Can Shrunk Material Be Unshrunk?

I failed to read the washing instructions on a tweed skirt and put it in a coloured wash at 100 degrees. The instructions advised dry clean.


The material is a mixture of 60% wool, 32% acrylic and 8% polyamide, with 100% acetate lining. Despite the man-made content, it has shrunk and the skirt level is now about 2" above the hem of the lining.

I really love this skirt and can't get another. I've never heard of shrink material regaining its original length, but does anyone have any suggestions about how to get it back to nearer its original length?

Add your voice! Click below to answer. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

By Holly (Guest Post)
March 13, 20050 found this helpful

The only suggestion I have is to thoroughly wet it and pin it down in the stretched out position until dry.
This is called 'blocking' and is something that is done after embroidery.
You are probably not going to get 2 inches worth of lengthening out of the above method.
How about adding a ruffle to the hem for additional length?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 13, 20050 found this helpful

Unfortunately, the shrinkage that occurs in wool is not reversible. The structure of wool fiber is largely responsible for this. The outside of wool fibers are covered with overlapping scales that run in one direction, much like the shingles on a roof. Wool shrinkage occurs when these scales become interlocked from exposure to moisture and agitation, such as during the washing process. Once interlocked, the scales cannot be released due to their physical structure. Attempts to forcefully stretch shrunken wools can weaken and damage the fabric.


A possible exception to the above information is in the case of a wool sweater. Due to the flexible knit structure of sweaters, you may be able to gain a little size back by blocking the sweater (if the shrinkage is not too severe). To block the sweater, gently hand wash in cool water and squeeze out the water. Roll in one or two towels to remove additional moisture. Then lay the sweater out to dry. When you lay out the sweater, try to restore the original shape and size by stretching and smoothing.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

I agree, I was going to say wet it with a vinegar and water solution and gently pull it to stretch it and clip it or weigh it down with weights until dry.

Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Marian (Guest Post)
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

There is a site called the Cheapskate monthly. They put out a newsletter I believe. Anyway, I read in their archives a way to UNshrink a wool sweater.


This might work for your skirt..worth a try...good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 14, 20050 found this helpful

Sorry can't help you with shrunken tweed or wool type fabrics. But with any ironable fabric, you can iron out alot of shrinkage. Since electric dryers became so common people hardly ever iron anymore. But if you have something in your closet that seems to shrink a couple of sizes just from hanging there, it just might NOT be your expanding waistline, maybe it just needs to be ironed. Also, when pulling jeans out of the washer & dryer, if you will step on the hem while holding the waistband and pull hard, it will stretch out the garment to fit better.


Be sure to iron the SEAMS good and flat, you'll gain at least 1 or 2 sizes better fit.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By piter (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

yes. here's what i did for my cardigan. cashmere or wool, don't really know what it is. soak that baby in warm water, add some shampoo. wait a while. 10 minutes or so, 20, 30. whatever. remove from water. wring dry as best as you can until it's damp. then while the wool/cashmere is wet and vulnerable, wear it for about 20 minutes. all the while, gently pulling at it therby molding it back to its shape. done.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By someone (Guest Post)
November 14, 20070 found this helpful

If you undo the hem, it should give you about a half an inch to an inch. That works for jeans.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Vivien (Guest Post)
April 17, 20080 found this helpful

I almost died when I accidentally shrunk my brand new wool sweater. I read somewhere that you can fiz the damage with Woolite. Soak the item in Woolite and don't rinse!


Then gently stretch out while you lay it out to dry. Every few hours, gently stretch it out. It really works. Good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Brent (Guest Post)
July 18, 20080 found this helpful

Take it to your dry cleaner they can fix the damage.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By becca (Guest Post)
October 18, 20080 found this helpful

Just in case anyone stumbles upon this (like I did), I just filled my bathtub up about halfway with lukewarm water and enough shampoo to make it a bubble bath. Threw one of my two prized sweaters in there for about fifteen minutes tugging on it every now and then, and put it on the stretch it out... perfect size now!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By angelane (Guest Post)
November 2, 20080 found this helpful

I tried to repair a wool dress which I put to wash by accident in my washer with hot water. Using some of the remedy which I found at this website. However to my disappointment, the dress did not come back to the regular size.


Just a note for everyone, please read your labels before you put to you clothes in the wash.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to answer. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

In This Page
Home and Garden Repair ClothingMarch 13, 2005
Christmas Ideas!
Thanksgiving Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-11-18 02:11:36 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.