How to expand a shrunken wool jumper

Written by dirk huds | 13/05/2017
How to expand a shrunken wool jumper
Wool jumpers shrink as the water causes the fibres to bind more tightly together. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Many people have had that moment of realisation -- you have just switched on the washing machine and realised that somehow your favourite wool jumper has been included in the wash. You know that when the cycle ends the garment will have shrunk, by as much as half its size. However, don't despair as there is a remedy that can help to re-expand your shrunken jumper.

Fill the sink or the large bowl with lukewarm water. Make sure the bowl is large enough so you can submerge the jumper without causing the water to flow over the side.

Add two tablespoons of shampoo to the water. Swirl the shampoo through the water so that it is evenly distributed.

Submerge your shrunken jumper into the water. The weight of the water should cause it to remain submerged. Allow to soak for approximately 30 minutes.

Drain the water from the sink or bowl. Press the jumper against the side of the sink or bowl to remove excess water. Avoid wringing the jumper out as this will cause it to be misshapen.

Lay the jumper on a dry towel. Place a second towel over the top and press down all over to further remove excess water.

Move the jumper onto the third dry towel and manipulate it into shape. Pull the sleeves and body out into the expanded size you require. Allow to dry.


You can use hair conditioner instead of shampoo if you prefer. The effect is the same.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use hair conditioner instead of shampoo if you prefer. The effect is the same.

Things you need

  • Sink or large bowl
  • Water
  • Shampoo
  • Three dry towels

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