Our new washing machine or dryer seems to have shrunk some of our clothes. I never had to deal with this before. Can you please tell me how to stretch fabric that shrank in the wash?
Bette Morris, Canton, OH
While the washing machine and dryer are not the best ways to stretch polyester and other fabrics, sometimes these machines cause unwelcome shrinkage. Unfortunately, even if you wash clothes at the proper temperature, a new detergent or too much agitation can cause clothing to shrink. But, heat is usually the number one cause of fabric shrinkage.
Denim is tightly woven and therefore less likely to shrink. Material with a loose weave may shrink quite a bit, however. Very delicate items like those made of wool or cashmere are best dry-cleaned or hand-washed in cold water and laid flat to dry.
Without knowing what kind of clothing you want to treat, I’ll go over the most common ways how to stretch fabric of most types. For example, cotton is one of the easiest things to stretch and it responds well as long as you don’t pull too hard on the fabric.
To stretch a hat to fit or another piece of clothing, start by filling a sink or bucket with lukewarm water. Add two tablespoons of baby shampoo or regular hair conditioner and mix it with the water.
Submerge the article of clothing, ensuring that it gets thoroughly wet and let it soak for half an hour. Don’t bother rinsing when the time is up. Once you wring it out, lay it out flat. Then, pin or clip the edges of the item in place, so it dries in the stretched-out position.
Rayon, polyester, and synthetics also recover their size when you soak them, as does wool. For the ways to unshrink wool and other fabrics, add baby shampoo or conditioner to lukewarm water in the sink or a bucket.
But, don’t wring out these fabrics or you risk damaging them. To stretch a shrunken shirt or your favorite pants, gently squeeze out the excess water instead and lay them flat to dry. Or, you could lay the wet garment on a towel and roll it up inside to get rid of excess water.
Jeans require a little more involvement on your part but there are definitely easy ways to stretch denim so that your jeans will fit you more comfortably again. Although it may seem strange, wear the pants while they are wet. Perform movements like squatting and lunging to stretch the material. Do this for at least 15 minutes, then hang them up to dry.
Wool and cashmere clothing need to soak in a solution of vinegar or Borax and lukewarm water. Once you’ve worked this liquid all through the fabric, squeeze out the water, but don’t rinse. Stuff the garment with a towel until it reaches the size and shape you desire. Let it dry with the towel inside.
Take a look at these tips for more specific information:https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-unshrink-clothes-the-ultimate-guide/