NEW: Search The Forums

Loading

Shrunken Cashmere Sweater

LADYJAY2's picture

A favorite cashmere sweater got washed in water that was a little too warm and has shrunk. Does anyone know of a solution that might relax the fibers and "unshrink" the sweater. Thanks in advance.

decoratrice's picture

(post #29397, reply #1 of 8)

I seem to remember something about that in Threads way back when they carried articles about knitting.  If that doesn't work, use the felted cashmere to make yourself a heavenly beret! :)

jjgg's picture

(post #29397, reply #2 of 8)

You can't do it. Find someone smaller that it will fit. Wool has scales on the sides of the 'hair' With heat and agitation (and soap) these scales grab and lock onto each other. This is what causes it to 'Shrink" The term is actually FULL not Shrink. So, at this point theoretically it could be possible to pull the fibers apart and get it back to the original size, but this would be working on an almost microscopic level. Not worth it, and it can't really be done, so, sorry for your loss of the sweater, but it's a gonner.

dannii87's picture

Yeah I think this is the (post #29397, reply #8 of 8)

Yeah I think this is the case.

 

Cashmere Baby Blankets

woodruff's picture

(post #29397, reply #3 of 8)

Strictly speaking, it probably can't be unshrunk, at least not all the way. However, if the sweater was not subjected to a lot of both agitation and hot water, it can't hurt to try this technique, variations of which pop up all over the internet:

Fill a sink with slightly warm water (some of the sites suggest adding a little hair conditioner, which makes sense in terms of the fact that both wool and hair have little scales which can get caught on each other--not sure about pure cashmere, though). Put your sweater into the sink, make sure it's submerged, and let it lie quietly for 10 minutes or so. Do not agitate it at all. Do not rinse.

Lift the sweater out and gently squeeze out excess water, then lay sweater on a clean towel, and roll up towel to squeeze out as much more water as possible. You can step on the towel to help the process.

Lay the sweater out on another clean, dry towel or use one of those drying racks, and tug and stretch and smooth it out as close to the original size as you can (if I have a sweater that wants to contract as it dries, I use stainless steel pins along the edges to stick it to the towel)

Let sweater dry, checking from time to time, for you will need to straighten edges and check width and length as drying proceeds. You can tug at it if it tries to shrink up as it dries.

There are no guarantees that this will work, but what do you have to lose at this point?

LADYJAY2's picture

(post #29397, reply #4 of 8)

Thank you for your compassionate response...I will give it a try.

starzoe's picture

(post #29397, reply #5 of 8)

If the sweater cannot be resurrected, full (felt) the whole thing. The body can be transformed into a tote bag or purse, the arms make good eyeglass holders, insoles, felted flowers, etc. Stuff the arms with unfeltable fabric otherwise the insides may felt together.

gogojojo's picture

(post #29397, reply #6 of 8)

I've had moderate success with dialing my dressform to a larger size and kind of forcing the sweater onto it, and leaving it on for a couple of days.

HelgaPataki's picture

unshrinking your sweater (post #29397, reply #7 of 8)

try this link: http://ca.search.yahoo.com/search?p=how+...

I searched under <how to unshrink your sweater>

I read once that if you soak your shrunken sweater gently with warm soapy water using shampoo, it will soften the shrunken sweater out.  After it is softened you gently squeeze out the excess water and roll the sweater within a large towel to remove more excess water.  Then you slightly stretch the sweater a bit at a time all over, depending on where you want to work it most.  At this point, you are actually remolding the sweater into your own desired shape/physique.  I tried this out with a smaller angora sweater (cropped with short sleeves) and it works.   The end result is that it looks felted.  you have to make sure that if you don't want the hemline to be ruffled you have to fix that while you are stretching it.  Make sure you don't over stretch too quickly, but if you do, just stretch it out the other way, i.e., if it is stretched to widely, stretch it length wise. Your sweater won't look that glamourous but more casual jeans-like, but it works.  You just end up with a felted sweater made of special expensive fiber.  I actually like my angora sweater better now.  It looks very cute!