How to stretch clothes that have shrunk after washing - Veseldom (2023)

We often face the problem of things shrinking after washing.Such clothes immediately lose their aesthetic appearance and cannot be worn.However, the thing can still be saved by stretching it.You can perform the procedure in several ways.For this, you will need to either wash things again, or treat them with certain means, which will be discussed in the article below.Choose a suitable method for stretching clothes that have shrunk after washing, focusing on the material, features of the cut and the purpose of the product.We recommend that you pay more attention to the choice of washing mode and detergents in the future.

Why do things sit down after washing?

Most often, knitted things are more prone to shrinkage, due to the properties of the threads to shrink.However, there are often cases of shrinkage of things made of other materials that, it would seem, cannot sit down.

Such phenomena can be caused by several factors:

  • clothes made of poor quality material;
  • strong pollution was previously treated;
  • did not read the label on the product;
  • incorrectly selected washing mode;
  • the spin speed is too high;
  • drying and ironing rules were violated.

At the same time, the main reasons for shrinkage are improperly selected products for certain materials or an inappropriate temperature for washing.

How to stretch clothes that have shrunk after washing - Veseldom (1)

Incorrectly selected detergent

Some materials do not react well to ordinary powder.This is explained by the fact that the alkali, which is part of classic washing products, negatively affects the quality of threads, as a result of which they lose their original shape.

Similar consequences can occur if you have not previously studied the label on the product or familiarized yourself with the composition of the powder.

Incorrect washing temperature

Most delicate fabrics do not tolerate high temperatures or their changes.For example, if you wash clothes in hot water and then rinse in cold water, the item may settle after washing.

Always study the information on the permitted temperature regime of processing on the label and install the appropriate delicate washing program on the automatic machine.

Advice from housewives

If your favorite piece of clothing has shrunk after washing, it can still be saved.You can stretch clothes in several ways with the help of improvised means.


The first and most affordable method you can use is water stretching.For this:

  1. Soak the thing in cool water for 10-15 minutes, allowing the liquid to completely absorb into the threads.
  2. Take it out and, without twisting it, wring it out with a towel.
  3. Spread a large towel on a horizontal surface, and place the item on top.
  4. During the drying period, stretch the material from time to time and replace the towel with a new one.

In no case do not use heat sources for drying during the procedure, otherwise all the work will be done in vain.


This procedure is not suitable for knitted items made of natural or synthetic threads.Procedure:

  1. Wet the thing with cold water.
  2. Let the water drain and lay it out on an ironing board.
  3. Pull the material in the desired directions.
  4. Set the iron to low or medium temperature.
  5. With maximum effort, iron the material, parallel stretching the fabric.
  6. Turn the product over and repeat the procedure.

After ironing, spread the clothes on a towel or sheet, pull the fabric again and press the edges with a weight.Leave the thing to dry.

How to stretch clothes that have shrunk after washing - Veseldom (2)

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is not only an excellent antiseptic.The substance will help return the faded clothes to their former shape.Application method:

  1. Dissolve 50 ml of peroxide in 8-10 liters of cold water.
  2. Soak the product for half an hour.
  3. Gently pull out the item and wring it out with a towel.
  4. Hang the clothes to dry on the shoulders.
  5. In the process of drying, from time to time approach and stretch the thing, giving it the right shape.


Ammonia with vodka and turpentine will help make the material more elastic.

  1. Dissolve 100 ml of ammonia, 40-50 ml of turpentine and the same amount of vodka in 10 liters of water.
  2. Soak the product in the solution for 60 minutes.
  3. After processing, try to stretch the thing.

Steam stretching

Please note that this method is not suitable for things made of 100% wool.Procedure:

  1. Soak the clothes in water and wait until all threads are saturated with liquid.
  2. Allow excess water to drain (do not wring).Wring it out with very gentle movements.
  3. Lay the item on a horizontal surface.
  4. Set the steam function on the iron.
  5. Cover the material with gauze or cotton cloth.
  6. Gently iron the surface while stretching the fabric.
  7. Do the procedure until the item is completely dry.

A special steam generator will be an excellent replacement for an iron.

Cold stretching

Such a procedure will save your favorite item from shrinkage.

  1. First, soak the clothes in soapy water with a detergent suitable for the type of material.
  2. Keep the item in water for at least half an hour, then rinse and wring it out with a towel.
  3. Roll wet clothes and pack them in a bag.
  4. Place the bag in the freezer for 24 hours.
  5. At the end of this time, take out the thing and dry it in the usual way in the fresh air.


The milk-based solution is suitable for processing white cotton items.

  1. Mix a little milk with cool water and soak the thing in the solution for half an hour.
  2. After that, rinse the item in clean water, wring it out after wetting it with a towel, and lay it out to dry on a horizontal surface.


Since vinegar has an acidic environment, use it only in a diluted form.

  1. Mix one part vinegar with two parts room temperature water.
  2. Keep the thing in the liquid for 30 minutes, and then stretch.

Soda and tartaric acid

Processing is carried out in 2 approaches.

  1. At the first stage, dissolve soda in cool water at the rate of 10 g per liter of liquid.Soak the product for about 12 hours.After processing, wash by hand using a suitable product.
  2. At the second stage, prepare a solution of tartaric acid and water at the rate of 5 teaspoons of the substance per 1 liter of liquid.Soak the item in the solution for 2 hours.After that, let the water drain, squeeze it slightly without twisting it, and dry it in a suitable way.

Hair conditioner

Such products soften hair well, so they are perfect as a “stretcher” for natural materials.Course of action:

  1. Wet the clothes thoroughly with cold water.
  2. Apply hair conditioner to the wet surface of the product.
  3. Leave the substance to act for 5 minutes.
  4. Without washing off the product, stretch the item in the desired direction.
  5. Rinse the clothes thoroughly and hang them to dry.

It is believed that in this way you can increase clothes by 1.5 sizes.

You can use vinegar to enhance the effect of the substance.To do this, dilute 50 ml of conditioner and 50 ml of vinegar essence in 5 liters of water.Soak the product in the prepared liquid for 10 minutes and try to stretch it.

How to stretch clothes that have shrunk after washing - Veseldom (3)

Will the dry cleaning work?

Some professional dry cleaning companies will be able to help you stretch the product.Before taking your favorite thing to professionals, find out if they can provide this service.In some cases, specialists do not undertake work if the material fibers include silk threads or the product has decorative elements that may deteriorate.If you remove the decor yourself, most likely, the clothes will be taken.

How to stretch things from different types of fabric

Before processing, in order not to worsen the situation, be sure to study the properties of the fabric, since different types of materials behave differently in the same conditions.

  • Woolen.To increase the size of woolen items, use fabric conditioner, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar dissolved in water, or a mixture of ammonia with turpentine and vodka.Stretch the material in small areas, until you finish the entire surface.

If you can’t get your favorite woolen item back to the right size, use a time-consuming but effective method.Open the garment at the seams and stretch each part separately, then sew again.

  • KnittedKnitted clothes can be stretched in the following way.Soak the item in warm water for 15 minutes.Place the product in the drum of the washing machine and perform the spin cycle.At the end of the program, take out the thing and stretch it with your hands.Dry knitted clothes only vertically.After drying, iron the product and evaluate the result.

If you lay the item horizontally or use a towel to dry it, it will return to its previous position

  • Stretchy items can shrink even when washed in cold water.However, the material is easily and quickly stretched again.To stretch a stretchy thing, it is enough to put it on yourself until it is completely dry.
  • Viscose is a delicate material, so it can shrink or stretch when washed incorrectly.You can stretch things from viscose in the following way.Dissolve a little baby shampoo in a container with water.Place the item in water and mash the material so that the fibers are saturated with the soapy solution.Rinse in cold water.Squeeze without twisting and stretch the product on a towel.Tightly roll the towel with the product in the form of a roller.Wring out the towel with your hands.Untwist and stretch the thing with your hands to the desired size.Dry on a horizontal surface.

Afterwards, try to properly care for viscose.Wash the thing in a delicate mode without heating water and drying.

  • Made of cotton.To stretch cotton clothes, treatment with water, steam, milk, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide is suitable.A combination of these methods will help to increase the efficiency of the procedure.

How to stretch different types of clothes

The very method of stretching things depends on their purpose and on how the clothes need to be stretched: lengthwise or across.


Of course, coats cannot be washed at home, so these recommendations are more suitable for children’s products.If you washed a child’s coat and it sat down after washing, you can stretch it in this way.

  1. Dissolve 50 ml of hydrogen peroxide in 10 liters of water.
  2. Soak the coat for 1.5-2 hours.
  3. While soaking, occasionally stretch the coat with your hands.
  4. Remove the product from the container and let the water drain.
  5. Without wringing, wring out the coat with a towel.
  6. Lay a dry towel on a horizontal surface and place the item on it.
  7. During the drying process, replace wet towels with new ones and stretch the fabric from time to time.

Peroxide will allow the threads to become more elastic, due to which the thing can be stretched.

Cap, cap and other headwear

Stretch the caps as follows:

  1. Pre-soak the cap in water with hair conditioner.
  2. When the fibers are completely wet, remove the headgear from the container and let the water drain.
  3. Prepare a 3 liter can and turn it upside down.Pull the headdress on the container and leave it until it dries completely.

The conditioner will not only promote stretching, but also soften the threads, which eliminates unpleasant sensations on the skin when wearing a hat.


The dress can be stretched immediately after soaking or washing.

  • If you need to stretch the fabric in width, run your hands inside the elbow parallel to the side seams, and pull them in opposite directions.
  • If you need to increase the length of the dress, stretch the hem and neck.


To stretch the jacket, use a simple but effective solution of ammonia, turpentine and vodka.Processing scheme:

  1. Soak the jacket in the solution for 1-1.5 hours.
  2. Rinse in cold water.
  3. Press gently without twisting.
  4. Prepare a large terry towel or a sheet folded in 4 layers, and spread it on the table.
  5. Put the jacket on top of the towel and sew the edges to it, stretching it a little in parallel.
  6. Then spread the towel on a clean strip, stretch it and fasten it with pins.
  7. Wait until the product is completely dry.

During the procedure, be very careful, make sure that the pins do not get lost in the carpet.


You can stretch a knitted sweater or sweater lengthwise with the help of weights.

  1. Hang the product on the shoulders after washing.
  2. Attach weights to the sleeves and edges.
  3. After drying, the jacket will be the right size.

How to stretch clothes that have shrunk after washing - Veseldom (4)

Shirt or blouse

You can stretch a reduced shirt or blouse using any of the methods suggested above.In addition, if the product has a tight fit, you can stretch it with a simple method.

  1. First, soak for a short time, let the water drain and put it on yourself.
  2. Carry the shirt around the apartment until it is completely dry.

A similar procedure will help to change the size of the product to the desired one.

A steam generator will help stretch a loose blouse and shirt.


If the pants have sat down lengthwise, you can correct the situation in the following way:

  1. Prepare a hanger for pants with clips, a basin with water, a weight.
  2. Wet the pants and hang them by the belt.
  3. The edges of the trousers, turning the edge, fasten the hangers with a clip.
  4. Attach the load to the hook of the hanger.
  5. After drying, remove the load from the pant legs and try on the pants.Their length should increase.

Swimsuit and underwear

If the swimsuit or underwear has shrunk by a size or two after washing, try to increase their size yourself without resorting to re-cutting and re-sewing.

If swimming trunks, underpants or a one-piece swimsuit have sat down, wash them and stretch them wet on the back of a chair or an ironing board.If it didn’t help, stretch the item on an ironing board and pin the edges with pins.Through a cotton cloth or gauze, iron the product from the wrong side at a low temperature.


If you need to stretch nylon tights, keep in mind that nylon is not afraid of too low temperatures, so freezing will definitely not work.Too high temperatures will also not help to correct the situation, since the material will not stretch, but simply deform.It is worth noting that such tights rarely fit after washing.It is necessary to stretch them only if they were initially small.

To do this, fold the tights in half and wrap them around the elbow several times.This will help increase the product by a maximum of half a size.

If you need to stretch children’s tights to length, use the following method.

  1. Soak them in water with baby shampoo or hair conditioner.
  2. Remove the pantyhose from the container, let the water drain.
  3. Then hang them up, and place a small bottle of water in each leg.
  4. Wait for the pantyhose to dry completely and evaluate the result.

Socks or gloves

To stretch small items of clothing, for example, socks or gloves, you will need newspapers, a container with a spray bottle, cool water and vinegar.Procedure:

  1. Soak the gloves in water.
  2. When the fibers are saturated with liquid, stretch them a little with your hands.
  3. Take the item out of the container and wring it out without twisting it.
  4. Mix vinegar with water in equal proportions and pour into a container with a spray bottle.
  5. Spray the vinegar solution on wet gloves or socks.
  6. Stuff crumpled newspaper inside.
  7. Pin open edges with clothespins.
  8. Change newspapers as they get wet, the more often you do this, the faster things will dry.

Don’t worry about your clothes smelling like vinegar, as the smell dissipates quickly.

How to prevent shrinkage of woolen clothes

In order for woolen items to last as long as possible, it is easier to prevent shrinkage than to stretch the material afterwards.For this, you need to properly care for woolen clothes.Wool care rules:

  • always read labels on clothes;
  • dry things only on a flat surface;
  • after drying, you can hang the thing on the shoulders, but only in a place where sunlight does not enter, which can also cause shrinkage;
  • do not keep clothes on your shoulders for a long time, otherwise bulges will appear on your shoulders;
  • use only cold water for washing;
  • do not wash the product with ordinary powder, if you do not have a special product for wool, it is better to use hair shampoo.

In what water do you need to wash clothes so that they sit?

There are often cases when, instead of stretching, you need to shrink the fabric.In such a case, for washing or soaking, use water 20 degrees higher than recommended, and dry the thing on the battery.

If it didn’t help, wash the thing in hot water, wring it out at high speed or put it in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Please note that this treatment is suitable only for plain cotton or linen materials.

Care for deformed things

After shrinkage and further stretching, the thing requires more careful care than before.Recommendations:

  • prefer hand washing;
  • use only cold water;
  • choose a detergent suitable for the material;
  • during the procedure, do not rub things, but just carefully immerse them in water;
  • do not twist the product, but simply wipe it with a towel;
  • dry only in a horizontal position in natural conditions;
  • try to iron things as rarely as possible, and if ironing is necessary, do it through gauze without the steam function.

Of course, it is better to prevent things from shrinking than to fix the problem later.To do this, it is enough to follow the instructions for caring for delicate material.If the product still sags, its size can be returned with the help of mechanical influences and improvised means.

How to stretch clothes that have shrunk after washing


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