Any way to reverse clothing shrinkage from the dryer?
October 26, 2004 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Any way to reverse clothing shrinkage from the dryer?
posted by mert to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total)
I'm told that for small cases, cold water sometimes helps. If you're talking about an XL t-shirt now being a Small, you're probably out of luck.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:23 PM on October 26, 2004

Depends what kind of shrinkage you're talking about. Many fabrics, especially if they're knit, not woven, can be 'blocked' to an appropriate shape, and to some extent stretched back to size if they've shrunk. This would allow you to deal with small amounts of shrinkage, maybe one size difference. Hand knit sweaters are often washed and blocked just to ensure they don't get stretched out of shape in the dryer, but you could do the same with a knit garment that was already out of shape to try to get it back in to shape to some extent.

To block, simply wet the garment (or wash) and then place it to dry on a flat surface. Pull it out to the shape/dimensions that you want. If you're looking for a size increase, pin it in place so it holds size while drying. I find removable couch cushions work really well for this, but remember to remove the wet garment every few hours and move it to the other side so that you don't soak through the cushion or start a mildew problem.

You're not reversing the damage, really, and you'll probably have to reblock it every time you was it in the future, since it will want to spring back to its shrunken size when wet again, but it can make an otherwise useless garment wearable again.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:31 PM on October 26, 2004

thank you... I'm going to try something like that with the jeans that I just turned into children's clothes.
posted by mert at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2004

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