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How do I in-shrink a wool jumper? please help!

(22 Posts)
missjemima Tue 08-Mar-16 07:41:25

My mum knitted me a lovely Arran jumper when I was a teen, I still wear it 20 years later. My mil has come to stay and one of her things is to wash EVERY item of clothing in our house- which is usually really helpful. However she has thrown my beautiful jumper in the wash. I've discovered it this morning (she left yesterday) and can't stop crying! My mum passed away just over a year ago and this jumper holds so much sentimental value. Please, please tell me there is a solution sad

AlisonWunderland Tue 08-Mar-16 07:42:49

If you can't unshrink it, make it into a cushion cover for your bed

SecretSpy Tue 08-Mar-16 07:45:03

I'm really sorry but felting is a one way process, the fibres get matted together and become very dense. ( I don't do S & B but I'm a knitter )
Could you get what's left turned into a nice cushion so you still have a momento?

MissTurnstiles Tue 08-Mar-16 07:58:54

I'm sorry, Jemima; the jumper's fibres will have felted and this is irreversible.

I agree with pp - it will make a beautiful cushion cover.

endoflevelbaddy Tue 08-Mar-16 08:45:42

My cleaner put a merino wool jumper in the drier. It was originally DH's and I shrunk it by throwing it in washer by mistake, meaning it was them my size. Cleaner then shrunk it further so I could barely get it on.
I googled how to un-shrink and found a you tube video with instructions.
Essentially hand washed with hair conditioner then stretch it all out while wet through and weigh down so it drys flat in its stretched out shape on a towel. Takes forever to dry but rescued the jumper so it fits me again.
Just don't leave it on a wood table to dry for days as you'll create yourself another problem grin

Rpj16 Tue 08-Mar-16 08:51:24

Aaw sad This happened to a lovely jumper I made my son. I'm going to find/buy a beautiful teddy bear for him to wear it (as old-fashioned as that sounds)
Hope you can find something to do with your jumper. 20 years is an amazing amount of time to have and wear it!

SuburbanRhonda Tue 08-Mar-16 08:53:40

I studied textile chemistry at uni and the reason the fibres lock together is because the surface of the fibre is covered by a ratchet like arrangement (where the cells overlap) and they lock into each other under conditions of heat, moisture and pressure.

Human hair has the same structure. That's how felt and dreadlocks are made.

I'd always believed that this process was irreversible but if someone has reversed it, it must be possible. I would expect the fibres to break with the stretching as wool has quite low tensile strength compared with, say, polyester but it has to be worth a try.

Fugghetaboutit Tue 08-Mar-16 08:59:31

You mil should be more careful when putting washes on. It's easy to distinguish a wooly jumper.

Poor you. Nice idea to make it into a cushion cover you can snuggle up with x

missjemima Tue 08-Mar-16 09:21:07

Thanks everyone, my Dad rang this morning for a chat and I ended up sobbing down the phone to him. He's promised to have a dig around the house for another of Mums knitted jumpers to send over. We used to have a sheep farm and so would spin the raw wool - she was a clever thing. Will try the shampoo idea, please keep fingers crossed - otherwise a cushion is a lovely idea. smile

Fugghetaboutit Tue 08-Mar-16 09:27:18

Ah that's good smile

PestilentialCat Tue 08-Mar-16 12:35:12

Poor you sad

Bromeliad Tue 08-Mar-16 12:39:29

Sometimes giving it a vinegar bath can work - just straight white vinegar and then leave it a bit to soak. But if it's felted it might not have much effect sad. I hope you find something nice to turn it into!

NotWithoutMyMerkin Tue 08-Mar-16 12:51:45

I think there's a difference between shrinking and felting? Has the texture changed OP? If yes then it's felted and this is irreversible. However if it's 'just shrunk' then soaking/stretching/blocking may help restore some of its former size

missjemima Tue 08-Mar-16 14:08:10

It seems more shrunk than felted, you can still differentiate all the patterns etc. I'm keen to try something - should I give the hair conditioner a whirl? Or vinegar first? Will be doing tonight when I get home from work... What's the consensus? So glad there is a glimmer of hope! Thanks all x

NotWithoutMyMerkin Tue 08-Mar-16 14:11:15

As long as you don't agitate (rub or spin in washer) or use hot water I don't think you will do any more harm so just keep trying things

amarmai Tue 08-Mar-16 14:49:15

don't use the machine to unshrink it. Soak in cold water and use a large plastic bucket as the stretching device. Pull it over the bucket and when it's dry the body will be stretched. Long boot shapers wd do for the arms -not wood tho.

missjemima Wed 09-Mar-16 12:41:12

Just to report back and say that it seemed to stretch quite well after soaking in cold water. It's now sandwiched between towels with weights on top! Keeping all fingers crossed! Thanks for all your help yesterday, feel slightly silly for getting so emotional.

IPokeBadgers Wed 09-Mar-16 13:45:54

feel slightly silly for getting so emotional

Don't feel silly. My mum passed away and I had quite the emotional breakdown [several years later] when a particular item of clothing with meaning inadvertently ended up going to the charity shop. Was an over the top and uncontrolled reaction but I couldn't help myself. It happens, we are all human.

Sanchar Wed 09-Mar-16 13:54:09

It really needs pinning out as it will shrink as it dries.

If you or a family member are any good at woodwork you could make this

Or buy it.

But definitely pin it out on the floor, use lots of pins!

flamingnoravera Wed 09-Mar-16 13:58:54

I have tried the conditioner and pinning method to stretch a shrunken sweater and sadly it does not work- it just pings back to its shrunken state as soon as you take the pins out. That despite it feeling like it was going to work whilst wet. I am so sorry- I know how much some items of clothing mean to me and how devastated I would be if they were damaged.

Fugghetaboutit Wed 09-Mar-16 14:31:28

That's good news!

MissTurnstiles Wed 09-Mar-16 15:59:10

Children's foam floor tiles are excellent for pinning knitwear. I've commandeered DD's for blocking my knitting.

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