During my recent North American travels I managed to thrift an honest to goodness made in Ireland aran sweater in my actual Irish clan’s aran pattern for only $1!
Unfortunately it had been shrunk just enough to make it uncomfortably short in the length and sleeves. Fortunately it gave me the chance to try out the de-shrinking method I’d seen floating about the interwebs.
Let’s see if this how to stretch a shrunken sweater trick really works:
Snag that shrunken sweater and some cheap hair conditioner
(yet another DIY use for those free samples!)
Fill the bathtub (or sink) with enough warm water to cover the sweater, mix in the hair conditioner, completely submerge the sweater and soak for an hour or so. Apparently the chemicals in the cheap hair conditioner loosen the shrunken knit fibers.
Drain the water (do not rinse out the conditioner), ring out the sweater and lay flat to dry. Give the sweater a few healthy stretches during the drip dry and damp dry stages.
Hey, hey! It actually worked! The sleeves and body of the sweater are now the perfect length!
+ the hair conditioner has made that itchy wool super soft and extra cozy!
Share your helpful hints for caring for secondhand gear in the comments below.
Check out all of my thrifty cleaning & laundry tips right here!
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