Is it possible to restretch a fleece hoodie that shrunk when it was dried on too high a temperature (a friend's dryer in another country, I didn't realize how high the setting was). The nylon zipper is now a roller coaster, the sleeves too short and it sits high on the waist instead of hitting my hips. I saw one can restretch wool, but what to do with a 100% polyester hoodie?
By Shira from Jacksonville, FL
A lot of times you can just run it through the washer again, then hang it to dry. It will usually stretch out some on it's own, but you can also stretch it by hand. Put it on the hanger, zip it up then hold on to the shoulder seams while pulling the bottom seam down. Hold the top fo the zipper & pull down on the bottom end to stretch the zipper. Hold the shoulder & armpit seams while pulling at the cuffs to stretch the arms.
May not work for you, but I've stretched shirts a couple or more sizes doing this.
So my wonderful new (and rather expensive) Eddie Bauer stretch twill pants shrank about an inch in length on the first wash. (I removed them from the dryer when they were about half dry.) They were perfect before the shrinkage.
I'm planning to try hanging them up wet next time I wash and hanging a weight from the bottom (like a partially-filled paint can) to help stretch them back. Is there anything else I could try to restore them if this doesn't work? It seems that pants stretchers are only for horizontal stretching.
By Kelly from Dallas, TX
If there is even only a half of an inch of extra fabric on the bottom of the pant leg seam, perhaps you could have a tailor rip the seam to extend the length. I've had that done before and even though I didn't like the cost, I loved the pants enough to do so. (10/04/2010)
Fabrics shrink the first time they are washed when they have natural fibers. There is nothing you can do to change this. This is why when you sew your own clothing, you are told to prewash fabric, zippers, and any trims in hot water to make them shrink before sewing into a garment. I agree that you can take down the hem, it will give you another 1/2 inch, and that may be enough to get by. (10/05/2010)
You should contact Eddie Bauer. If you followed the tag and washed them as they said then that is a manufacturing fault. I am sure they will refund your money or let you get a different item. (I would not get the same ones, as they will also shrink.) (10/05/2010)
I'm happy to report that I stretched my pants back to their original length. I did this by folding the pants lengthwise as if I were going to iron a crease into them, then attaching clamp-on pants hangers to both ends. I hung the pants upside down from a peg in my laundry room, then hung a 1/3-full paint can on the bottom hook. I let them dry that way, and not only did they stretch back to their original length, but they were wrinkle-free, too. This is how I'll be drying all my cotton/spandex pants from now on! (10/17/2010)
I am a believer in not dry cleaning, but recently I washed some Dry Clean Only clothes, in cold water on the gentle cycle, and had some problems with mild shrinking. The pieces didn't shrink a lot, but just enough.
This is probably a silly question, but does anyone know of any real way to un-shrink clothing that has been shrunk? Clothing was made of wool, viscose or rayon, which can be very delicate, but not always. Sometimes it turns out fine when washed gently in cold water.
I have heard that soaking the item in cold water with hair conditioner and then stretching it out helps, but maybe nothing really does.
I'd appreciate any tips anyone might have!
I've actually had this happen a few times and the solution I have found is to rewash and then stretch the item if needed. Then hang to dry. (05/18/2005)
Make a blocking form out of cardboard and contact paper. Soak the item, but don't wring it out. Put it on the form to stretch it back to its original shape. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's worth it. (05/19/2005)
Have you ironed the item? Sometimes washing will shrivel material, but once it's ironed, it will flatten and stretch the material back to the original or almost original size. (05/19/2005)
My ex-boss told me to un-shrink my wool dress I should put it in a load of conditioner and water. Then "not" put in the dryer. (12/02/2007)
Seems to me that you can get a wool item very wet and then slowly stretch it back to size. After some other reading, I believe that the wool will loosen up a bit when you wet it and pull it apart. I want to actually shrink a red wool dress just a tad and will try to wet it and put it in the dryer for a bit. Good luck. (01/27/2008)