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Topic: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?  (Read 3528 times)

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Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« on: February 19, 2009, 02:39:02 PM »
I just washed my absolute favorite dress and it's now the size of a tight jumper. I washed it on cold, on the wool/delicates cycle, so I'm not really sure how it happened but I'm pretty upset.

Is there any way to stretch it out? I know I probably won't be able to wear it as a dress any more (though hope springs eternal), but is there a way to make the sleeves longer and make it slightly less tight on me?

From now on I'm washing every wool item I own by hand. The same thing happened to one of my boyfriend's jumpers, so clearly machines are untrustworthy and have no sense of fashion.
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 03:19:10 PM »
I usually do this to my sweaters but it might not work if it has shrank too much

I get a tub of water enough to soak the sweater
Then I pour half a bottle or a whole bottle of hair conditioner into the water and mix it all up.  You can use woolite but I found conditioner works better.  It's supposed to relax your wool like it relaxes your hair!

Soak the wet in the liquid and try to stretch it back to the shape it was.
Get a towel and soak up the excess and lay flat to dry

Good luck


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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 03:20:50 PM »
Mix some hair conditioner in cold water and soak the dress overnight, or at least for several hours.  Press the water out with a towel--don't wring it-- then gently stretch and shape the material.  Lay it on a flat surface to dry.  It won't be the same again, but you should be able to make it less tight.  

BTW, this works only for wool knits, not woven wool fabrics.  

Good luck  :)

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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 03:22:03 PM »
I'm storing the conditioner tip away in my head for the inevitable time when I shrink something! Thanks to both of you!  ;D
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 03:22:24 PM »
I have a sweater that has done the same thing.  Are you supposed to rinse the conditioner out of the wool after you soak it in it, and reform it.  Or just pat it dry and leave it to dry.
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 03:25:58 PM »
No, don't rinse.  The idea is to let the conditioner soak into the wool and soften it.  Plus, if you "work" wool too much, by rubbing or squeezing it, for example, it will become stiff like felt.  Try to handle it as little as possible when you're washing. 
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 03:29:44 PM »
I'm storing the conditioner tip away in my head for the inevitable time when I shrink something! Thanks to both of you!  ;D

Same here!
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 03:35:52 PM »
Thanks, sorry another question, What if I hang it to dry.  Would that help stretch it back to the length that it needs to be.
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 03:46:29 PM »
I don't rinse
if your sweater is caked with conditioner you've used too much!

Do not hang it to dry because no matter how much you dry it there will still be water in your sweater and that will weigh your sweater down so the top will get too stretched out and the bottom not enough

Do it like you would grill a steak.
Lay is flat and let is dry out that way.... if that makes sense.....

If you have a plastic mannequin you can put it that to dry


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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 03:50:25 PM »
 
Do it like you would grill a steak.
Lay is flat and let is dry out that way.... if that makes sense.....

That makes Complete sense. 

If you have a plastic mannequin you can put it that to dry
No mannequins in the house,  I think that would freak out the dog.

Thank you, off to unshrink a sweater
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2009, 06:05:31 PM »
Thank you for all the tips! :D
 I'll give it a shot---even if I can't get it back to 'dress size' (though that would be wonderful), if I can get it to 'tunic jumper-size' I can still wear it. *crosses fingers*
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2009, 06:48:21 PM »
These tips are great!  I recently shrunk my aqua blue wool sweater.  It went from a size 12 down to an 8.  Hopefully this tip will work for me!
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Re: Is there any way to salvage a shrunken wool dress?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2009, 10:49:19 PM »
You can also try stretching it out to shape and pinning it while it's still wet.


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