How To Shrink A Sweater

Do you love sweaters? Are you fond of wearing sweaters more than coats and jackets? Voila! You have come to the right place and you will learn many secrets and tricks about sweaters in this article.

You can buy a fitting sweater and then it enlarges and becomes baggy with time, or you can buy an oversize sweater, and you would like to shrink it to fit you. Here is how to do it successfully.

How To Shrink A Sweater

The process of shrinking a sweater

It is a common thing to see people shrinking a sweater, but if you have never done it before, that may be challenging to you. However, you need to be careful with the shrinking process, because you may end up running the entire garment.

First of all, you have to check the material that the sweater is made of, and also you should be careful with the process that you will use to shrink the sweater.

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Shrinking cotton sweaters

It is very effective to shrink cotton sweaters by exposing them to heat during the wash and dry cycle.

Take the oversized sweater and put it in a hot cycle and let it wash for not more than 10 minutes. But do not expose it to a full cycle. Keep on checking it randomly to ensure that all goes well. Since the sweater is made up of fibres, you should put it in a pillow case to prevent from snagging in your washing machine. Alternatively, you can turn it inside out.

After removing it from the washing machine, put it in the dryer for about 25 minutes to dry on low heat. Keep on checking it after every six minutes. This helps you to ensure that the fibres tighten up, which causes your sweater to become shorter and thicker.

Remove it from the dryer and wear it to see whether it is fitting. If the size is still not what you want, consider repeating the process until the sweater fits you properly. However, do not overdo it by repeating the process regularly because the sweater may shrink beyond your size.

Shrinking using an iron box

Put water in a large pot, and heat it until it boils and put the sweater there to boil for 5 minutes. If you do not want the colour of the sweater to fade, add 240 ml of white vinegar to the water.

Remove the sweater from the water after 5 minutes of boiling, and squeeze it with a towel to remove excess water from it. To completely get rid of all the excess water from the pullover, roll it up with a towel and squeeze it.

After that, iron the sweater at high temperature for another five minutes. To do this successfully, you have to place your sweater on a flat ironing board and cover it with a cloth even if it is a towel. This barrier cloth prevents the sweater from potential heat damage from the iron box.

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Shrinking a sweater without washing

The most common ways of shrinking a sweater is by washing it. However, there is also another method that you can use to shrink it successfully without washing.

Firstly, flip the sweater inside out and wear it. Hold the excess fabric that is around the waist area and measure the width to see how much you need to get rid of. Use a chalk to mark on the front and back sides before taking it off.

Lay the sweater on a flat table and use pins along either side of the sweater starting from the under arm to gather the excess material. After pinning, measure the front and back pieces to ensure that they are equal. If they are ok, add 0.5 inch on both seams and draw a line that will indicate the new seams.

Then sew the sides together and do it properly to make it look smart. Then flip it so that the outside can be out, and try it out by wearing it. This is the easiest and safest method because it does not tamper with the sweater’s colour.


There you go! These are three different methods that you can use to shrink your sweater to fit you. The third method is quite easy and safe for your sweater.

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