Have you ever put clothing in the dryer, only to take it out and find that it would fit a growing tween better than an adult? Sometimes clothes just shrink; however, there are ways you can try to unshrink shrunken clothing so you can get more use! But really, can you unshrink clothes?
Can You Unshrink Clothes?
People are always surprised that rayon shrinks, because they think it’s synthetic,” she explains, noting that rayon is actually cellulose, like cotton. “The more absorbent the fiber, the more it will shrink. Rayon is incredibly absorbent–more so than wool clothing or any kind of animal hair-based fabric.
Shrinkage potential also varies depending on the type of fabric and how it was constructed. Generally, looser garments made with knit fabrics will shrink more than T-shirts or woolens because air trapped inside the stitches allows them to compact more when exposed to heat and water.
To restore a garment to its original condition, massage it with a mild soap (like baby shampoo) and rinse. Do not wring out the garment; instead use a towel to remove excess moisture. Gently stretch the fabric of the clothing item–this method is most effective on items that you really care about because after washing normally, shrinking may occur and restretching will be necessary.
If your T-shirt or other cotton item has shrunk, don’t fret! You can easily stretch it back to its original size using this method:
- In a basin of lukewarm water, mix 3 tablespoons of hair conditioner. Remember to use warm not hot water.
- Let the shirt soak for about five minutes before adding it. Gently squeeze out the water.
- To resize the shirt, first rinse it and then stretch it out on a flat surface like a countertop until you reach your desired size.
- Hang your garment on a line or drying rack using clothespins, and finish air drying.
If your jeans have shrunk in the dryer, don’t worry! There’s an easy way to stretch them out. Using, a spray bottle, just spray some water on the tight areas and pull the fabric out in all directions until you’ve achieved a comfortable fit. Let your jeans air dry after being stretched for best results.
The best way to prevent your clothes from shrinking is by laundering them properly. Wool and rayon can be cleaned, but not in a washing machine– take these out before they have the chance to dry completely. Hang or lay shrink-prone clothing items flat so they air dry instead.
Why Do Clothes Shrink?
If you follow the care instructions on a product’s label, it should keep its original shape and size after laundering. But sometimes, products still shrink. There are many reasons this might happen:
The primary reason why a piece of clothing shrinks is its fiber type. She explains that natural fabrics such as cotton and linen are more likely to shrink because of their moisture absorption properties. Natural animal hair fibers like wool and cashmere also absorb moisture, but they also “felt,” which is a permanent interlocking of fibers that makes a clothing item appear smaller when wet–something that can be mistaken for shrinking.
There are other explanations for why clothes might shrink, such as the amount of tension on the yarn when it is woven or processed. In general, clothing from higher-quality manufacturers use better finishes and production techniques to prevent shrinking.
How Can You Prevent Shrinking in the First Place?
To avoid experiencing shrunken clothes made of cotton, lower the wash temperature and air dry them instead. For blue jeans and other heavier garments, hang them by the hems on pants hangers to line dry. The weight of the damp fabric will lengthen the legs as they air dry. Lay less sturdy, lightweight fabrics flat to dry because wet fabric is heavier than dry fabric; shoulder seams can rip out or stretch if hung to dry. If you accidentally spill something, follow this guide to remove any stain.
Can You Unshrink Clothes – Bottom Line
Yes, you can unshrink your clothes by using a few different methods. Massaging them with mild soap and rinsing them in warm water can help restore the original size and shape of shrunken items made from cotton or other natural fabrics. If your jeans have been shrunk by the dryer, you can stretch them back to their original size by spraying them with water and gently tugging the fabric in all directions until it has reached your desired fit.
Let your garments air dry after stretching, or use a mild iron to prevent any further shrinking. Of course, the best way to keep your clothes from shrinking in the first place is to follow proper laundering instructions and select high-quality, well-made garments. With these tips, your favorite clothes should stay in great shape for years to come!