You wouldn't be the first person, and certainly not the last, to find your wool sweater has been shrunk or lost its shape in the wash. If it's your most cherished cashmere sweater, then you'd be safest taking your sweater to a professional to be reshaped. Most dry cleaners offer this service and will be able to fix your sweater in no time. But if you'd rather try yourself, then the following tips should have your sweater back to perfect size in no time.
You'll need a conditioning solution to soak your sweater first. This will soften the threads, making it easier to tease your sweater into its original shape. Vinegar acts as a cheap fabric softener - in fact, you can use a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar in your regular wash as a cheap alternative to fabric softener. Surprisingly, your clothes won't end up smelling, but you can always add a couple of drops of essential oil to add a pleasant fragrance to your laundry. A solution of lukewarm water and a few drops of white vinegar in a bowl, plus a little TLC, is all you'll need to fix a shrunken or misshapen wool sweater.
First, soak your sweater in the solution and then lay flat on some towels in a cool place; gently pull the sweater out into its original shape. Allow the sweater to air dry while laid flat to maintain its shape. If this doesn't work, then try a solution of one ounce of borax in a gallon of lukewarm water. Again, soak the sweater and then carefully tease it back to its proper shape and size.
To make sure your sweaters don't require reshaping, there are a few simple tips to follow to take care of them. When washed, lay your sweater flat on a towel covering a non-porous surface to dry. Reshape the sweater to its original shape and size and carefully push together any ribbing at the cuffs or neckline to avoid stretching. If it has a collar, fold this into place before drying. If there are buttons, fasten them to ensure the correct shape is maintained. Allow to air dry for 24 hours and turn over, placing a fresh towel underneath to dry for another 24 hours following this. When storing your sweater, take care to fold it and store it away. Don't place wool sweaters on hangers, as the shoulders can easily be stretched and the sweater will lose its shape.
Many sweaters are timeless pieces of clothing, and with a bit of TLC, they can outlive numerous fashions and be a staple in your wardrobe throughout the years.