How can I fix stretched-out hand holes on my sleeves?
December 7, 2006 2:04 PM   Subscribe

How can I fix stretched-out hand holes on my sleeves?

I have quite a few sweaters and hoodies whose hand-holes are stretched out due to my rolling up my sleeves. Is there any way for me to shrink the holes back to their regular size?

The sweaters and hoodies in question are mostly an 85% cotton, 15% polyester blend.
posted by mikespez to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
How old are they? I have several shirts/sweaters like this and they usually shrink back into shape after laundering them and drying them in a clothes dryer. The heat helps, so if you're air drying them try a machine. If they're really old maybe they've just given up.
posted by Science! at 2:35 PM on December 7, 2006

Wash them and throw them in the dryer?
posted by JJ86 at 2:39 PM on December 7, 2006

Response by poster: Most of them are new - less than a year old. As a matter of fact, I am wearing a blue hoodie right now I purchased from the Gap less than a month ago. After rolling up the sleeves only a few inches (to a point in between my wrist and elbow) for only a couple of hours, I returned the sleeves to their normal position, and they're noticeably looser around my wrists.

Laundering seems to do a so-so job. Is there any trick out there I don't know of? Dry cleaning, soaking in cold/hot water for a specified amount of time, etc?
posted by mikespez at 2:40 PM on December 7, 2006

You could sew an elastic band around the inside of the cuff. It wouldn't be nearly as comfortable, but it would pull the cuff back into shape even after a lot of stretching.
posted by Science! at 2:44 PM on December 7, 2006

quit rolling them up and they'll quit stretching
posted by craven_morhead at 8:07 PM on December 7, 2006

I was going to suggest, stopping the rolling and start, instead, pushing the sleeves up. Rolling is for sleeves that aren't elastic at the end.

Unless you have enormous Popeye arms or you are doing manual labor, sliding up the sleeves should be sufficient.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:30 PM on December 7, 2006

If it's an actual knitted sweater (which is to say, not simply something made from knit fabric, like a t-shirt is), then you could try re-blocking the sweater. Wash it by hand and then carefully reshape it flat after carefully rolling it sort-of dry in a thick towel. Don't mess with it until it's totally dry. If your shirt has knit cuffs (like a sweatshirt does), then you may be dealing with badly-made knit cuffs and there isn't a lot you can do short of replacing the cuffs. If you have a sewing machine and the requisite minimal skills, you can remove the cuffs and sew new ones on. The manufacturer has put knit cuffs that are not meant to stretch out as much as you are stretching them, which is dumb since they COULD put decent cuffs on there and they chose not to. You might try to find elastic tread and threading a few rows of that through the cuffs by hand. This stuff is fairly thick and isn't the type that can go around a sewing machine bobbin. You could try finding the really fine elastic thread that does. The point of a knit is to be able to stretch, so if your cuffs are all stetched out from just shoving them up your arms or rolling them, then they're simply of a low quality.
posted by Lockjaw at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2006

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