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How To Shrink a Sweater

How To Shrink a Sweater – The Easiest Way

Has your old favorite sweater stretched and become too big? Or have you ordered a sweater that doesn’t fit?

You can easily reshape the sweater and make it fit you perfectly by shrinking the sweater.

In the following post, we’ll discuss how to shrink your sweater.

Shrinking a Sweater Using a Washer and Dryer

Using a washer and dryer is good for angora, wool, cashmere, and mohair sweaters. You can prevent sweater fibers from snagging in your machine by putting the sweater in a pillowcase before washing it.

How to shrink an angora, wool, cashmere, or mohair sweater using a washer and dryer:

1. Wash the stretched-out sweater in a hot cycle and time it to wash for around 10 minutes (exposing it for a full cycle isn’t recommended).

2. Next, let the sweater dry for approximately 25 minutes on low heat. Be sure to check your sweater every 6 minutes.

Drying the sweater makes the fibers tighten up, which will result in your sweater becoming shorter and thicker (or simply shrinking).

3. Now try the sweater to see if it fits better. If you find that it’s still too big consider putting it back in the dryer and repeating the whole process. If it doesn’t shrink with the first attempt, the second round should work.

Shrinking a Sweater With an Iron

Using an iron to shrink a sweater is good for cotton sweaters.

How to shrink a sweater with an iron:

1. Put water in a large pot where your sweater will easily fit and bring it to boil. Then add the sweater and allow it to boil for about 5 minutes. If you worried about the colors fading, simply add 240ml of white vinegar to the water.

2. Next, remove the sweater from the water and blot it with a towel to remove all the excess water. To completely remove water from it, roll it up inside the towel and squeeze out all the water.

3. Iron the sweater on high heat for up to 5 minutes. To do this, you’ll need to place your sweater flat on an ironing board and then cover it with a cloth or towel to prevent heat damage.

Shrinking a Sweater with the Reshaping Method

Using the reshaping method is good for shrinking wool sweaters.

How to shrink wool sweaters:

1. Fill a sink with cool water, add a tablespoon of bleach-free detergent, and mix.

2. Soak your sweater in the resulting mixture for around 5-10 minutes, making sure to swirl it around every 3 minutes. Avoid twisting or bunching up the sweater during swirling to avoid damaging the sweater.

3 When done, blot the sweater with a towel to squeeze out excess water. You can also press the sweater against the wall to squeeze out the excess water.

Again, avoid wringing it out during blotting as this can easily damage the fabric.

4. Using your hands, gently press together the parts you wish to shrink. If you wish to shrink the entire sweater, do this for the whole sweater.

5. Finally, place the sweater on a flat surface where it’ll not get disturbed to allow it to air-dry and take in its new form.


If your favorite old sweater has suddenly become bigger and no longer fits you well or you bought a sweater that is too big, you can make it fit by simply shrinking it.

In the above post, we’ve just discussed the three most effective methods for shrinking your sweater. As you can see, all three methods are super-easy for anyone to do and require only 3 to 4 simple steps.

James M. Rai has been screen printing T-shirts and other textiles professionally and as a hobby for more than 15 years. During that time, he owned and operated a small screen printing shop in northern California for more than 7 years. More recently, James has gotten involved with Cricut and other cutting machines.