Unshrinking the Christmas Sweater

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Muddypause
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Unshrinking the Christmas Sweater

Post: #14313 Muddypause
Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:20 pm

I seem to have put a woollen sweater in the washing machine on the wrong programme. It now looks a feels similar to a stab-proof vest for someone half my size.

Ooops!

Is there a way to un-shrink it?
Stew

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Millymollymandy
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Post: #14317 Millymollymandy
Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:52 pm

I don't think so! I have a few jumpers like that that I tumble dried (only on low :oops: ) but I do find they are warmer now, as they are very wind proof from being so well matted!

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Post: #14326 Goodlife1970
Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:31 pm

Dont think that much can be done,what youve made is felt! You could try dampening it and trying to pull it back into shape,or as my Mum suggested,stuffing it full of newspaper while still damp like you would shoes although I wouldnt suggest that for a light coloured jumper as chances are it could still be shrunk and a patchy shade of grey!
Now, what did I come in here for??????

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Post: #14329 Shirley
Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:09 pm

I think you are stuck with it... give it to someone smaller than you to wear...

or turn it into a hat or something as it is now felt.....

useful tactic to remember for future use if someone gives you a ghastly wooly jumper for a pressie.

:mrgreen:
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Post: #14341 Goodlife1970
Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:08 pm

Why is it more likely to happen with Aaran type jumpers? No matter how carefully I wash them they always seem to end up shrinking.
Now, what did I come in here for??????

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Post: #14355 hedgewizard
Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:09 am

Natural fibres form sulphur bonds with each other in water, and the higher the temperature the more the bonds break and reform. This is why steam ironing works - by deliberately breaking the sulphur bonds and pushing the thing flat. Sadly with wool, the tangled fibres shorten every time they get wet and it's worse at higher temperatures, causing shrinking and pilling. You can reshape garments while wet to a certain extent, but if it's gone too far there's nothing you can do.

Wash only in wool-friendly detergent or use soap flakes; wash no warmer than 40C; spin no faster than 600rpm if at all; shape while damp and allow to airdry with support. That's why banisters were invented.

Arran jumpers shrink more than normal ones because they are very dense - effectively one big knot. Arran wool is also quite oily, and shouldn't be washed any more often than is essential. I have a big shapeless purple one that is very gradually shrinking down while I very gradually expand around the middle. One day we shall meet in the middle and for a brief time I shall look respectable.

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Post: #14380 Wormella
Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:54 am

I did a similar thing over christmas.

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Post: #14393 albert onglebod
Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:24 am

We've had a few woollies that shrunk over the years.If its not too bad,you can wash it in warm water and stretch it over something and leave it to dry but if it is very much smaller the only thing to do is give it to somebody who is very much smaller.
My daughter has one of OH's jumpers which shrunk and my son had one of OH's police jumpers years ago when he was about 4.They were pure wool with cotton shoulder patches so he looked a bit like an american football player.

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Post: #14449 hedgewizard
Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:17 pm

I tried putting Harry in a badly shrunk sweater once but it had got so dense that he couldn't bend his arms. 8)

O it made oi laff it did!

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Post: #14456 Muddypause
Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:21 am

Well, I'm please to say that after soaking in a bath of warm water for a few hours, and then doing some stretching, things are looking better. The sweater seems to be improved, too. At least it might do for use in the garden.

I did find out somewhere, that if you make a wool fibre wet, it has the property of changing shape, and will release heat as it does so. Not sure if this was a chemical reaction, or simply a frictional one, but it was put forward as an explanation of how sheep (and sweater wearers) keep warm in the wet. I guess it may also be a factor in what happens when you make wool too hot, and it shrinks.
Stew



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Post: #14709 ina
Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:44 pm

Probably happened to all of us, this involuntary shrinking... However, I have a couple of sweaters that seem to expand with every wash! Pure wool, not chemically treated in any way; a rare breed. Always wanted to find out whether it's just this particular breed that does it.

My old jumper of this wool is now the cat's bed. The new one I got only two years ago has already increased by a size or so. Unfortunately they also lose shape, so after a while they look like tattie sacks.
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Post: #14738 Millymollymandy
Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:34 pm

Oh well, join the club, Ina. I look like a tattie sack all winter (husband's cast offs). :lol:

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Post: #14746 Shirley
Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:56 pm

I wonder... If I turn the shower temperature up will I shrink????
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Post: #14753 ina
Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:39 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

You might also change colour!
Ina

I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Post: #14754 Shirley
Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:41 pm

so long as it was a nice natural suntanned colour I would be happy :mrgreen:
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