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Topic shrinkin' a wool sweater...just a tad Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By KittyFishsticks On 02/25/04  

So I found this uber-cute, vintage, pink wool cardigan sweater (covered buttons and everything!) at Buffalo Exchange today, and had to buy it even though it is about one size too big. I could still wear it, but it would look a lot sharper if it fit a little more snugly.

How might I get it to shrink a little? One time, I accidentally ran a 100% wool sweater through the washer/dryer and it shrunk, but not very much (I wear it all the time). But I'm afraid to do that with this this sweater! I wonder if there's a more controlled way to do it...

Oh, and it's actually 85% lambswool, 10% nylon, and 5% angora. Might that make a difference in the shrinking process?

Any tips?

-Stephanie



By ookpik On 02/26/04  

as far as i know, you can only felt 100% animal hair fibers. i've tried to felt a hat that was 75% wool, 25% acrylic to no avail. 10% synthetic might work but i doubt it.

if you want to try felting it, the current (winter 2004) issue of knitty.com has a felting how-to that includes checking the size progress as you go.

it might be easier to just take it in at the sides, unless the armholes are too big.



By innerlemming On 02/26/04  

the fibers in the material that are animal-origin will felt, the synthetic ones won't.

I shrunk a sweater this winter by hand--lots of warm water and soap and rubbing--and got it to fit just right (it was 90% lambswool, 10% something synthetic). just wash by hand in the sink, rubbing it against itself, and if you want to take a chance, throw it in the dryer to dry (I admit I was just impatient, I was in Houston and it takes wool 4 days to dry there).

if you full it by hand, it should only go a bit at a time, and if it's not small enough after one go, you can do it again.

temperature change (hot to cold or v.v.) + soap + agitation = shrinkage



By KittyFishsticks On 02/27/04  

Ooh, some encouraging words!

What kind of soap would be best?

-Stephanie



By innerlemming On 02/27/04  

I've heard varying things on that--Dawn is supposed to be gentlest on wool (they use it for cleaning up birds after oil spills, remember?), but any liquid detergent will work, and I've read somewhere that you can use a bar soap like Ivory to get the extra scrubbing power of the bar. Your hands will be tired and pruny, but it's much safer to do it slowly by hand than to throw it in the washer and hope for the best.



By KittyFishsticks On 02/29/04  

Sweet! I might do this tomorrow night, if I get a chance. I will check in with the results whenever I do it.

Thanks for the advice!

-Stephanie



By hello_kitten On 03/27/04  

how did it go?

I want to shrink a not fully wool sweater too ... wanted to know how yours went?



By KittyFishsticks On 03/28/04  

Urm...haven't done it yet.

I wanted to do it over spring break but I never got around to it. I still want to do it though, and I will definitely post my results!

-Stephanie



By invisilurker On 03/29/04  

Shrinking sweaters is great.
I bought a cute pink off the shoulder one at Walmart [evil..I know, I know..sorry people.]
but they only had the pink in a size large. I wear a small..cuz I bought a red one in small and it fits perfect.
I had to wash it twice in hot water, and dry it on high heat, but it did shrink down two sizes.



By Xuli On 03/29/04  

Regarding shrinking by hand (instead of in the washing machine): A woman at my Stitch N Bitch (she's new, I forgot her name) was saying recently that you can felt by hand by using a big bucket of hot water and swishing around your fabric with a (never-used) toilet plunger. Might help save hands from getting all pruny, especially if very hot water is used.



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