My daughter tried to help me by doing the laundry. She washed her favorite Sunday dress and it shrunk. It’s one of a kind, handmade by her grandmother. Do you know how to unshrink a dress? Can we save it?
Lessie Noland, Los Angeles
I’m sorry to hear that your daughter’s favorite dress has shrunk! You might be able to unshrink it. Here is a very helpful guide on how to fix a shrunken garment: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-unshrink-clothes-the-ultimate-guide/ I’ll give you a little summary of it here.
In a nutshell, everything depends on the type of material. If the dress is made from 100% cotton, it’s easy to stretch the fabric. Or if it’s a blend, like cotton and polyester, follow the instructions in the guide for the primary fabric.
For cotton, fill up the sink with lukewarm water. Add two tablespoons of hair conditioner to the water and add the garment. Knead the mixture through the fabric, but don’t rinse the clothing when you’re done. Just ring it out and roll it in a towel to squeeze out extra water.
Now stretch the dress and lay it out flat. Weigh down the edges and let it dry. You can also hang up the item to dry, but keep it stretched. And that’s the answer for how to unshrink a dress.
You’ll see directions in the guide for unshrinking other fabrics like synthetics or natural fibers. I hope you learn what you need to know and have success in restoring your daughter’s dress!