How to Unshrink a Hoodie? Tips to stretch out a hoodie
If you accidentally tossed your favorite hoodie into the dryer and it came out a size smaller, then you don’t need to worry. This commonly happens to everyone and today we are going to share tips on how to stretch back the fibers of clothes to their original shape. You can fix things using common household items or grab the ones missing from your local grocery. Before delving into our today’s discussion, let’s first take a look at the reasons which cause hoodies to shrink. The primary reason is exposure to heat. Other reasons are agitation and excess moisture.
Natural fibers like wool and cotton shrink more easily than others as the scales present on them mesh together on coming in contact with heat or water. These fabrics tend to absorb lots of water and this leads to shrinkage. The fibers are woven tightly during the manufacturing process. Agitation caused by the washer and dryer often leads to shrinkage as the fibers stretch out. The fibers go back to their natural state once the tension is finally released and this results in a smaller size. Now that you have understood what causes shrinking, let’s take a look at the different ways to unshrink your favorite hoodie:
The Water Soak Method for Unshrink a Hoodie
This method can come to your rescue if you have accidentally shrunk your hoodie in the dryer. However, for best results, your hoodie needs to be made entirely of cotton, wool, or cashmere. This method also yields satisfactory results on tight weaves of a polyester, rayon, or silk sweatshirt. You just need to follow these steps:
- Get a bucket that can accommodate your hoodie and fill it with 950 mL of lukewarm water. The water should ideally be at room temperature or a bit warmer to effectively relax the fiber fabric. Cold water won’t be of any help in this stretching process and excessively hot water will further shrink and damage your clothing.
- Now pour around 15 mL of baby shampoo or hair conditioner as these will help the fabric fibers relax. Though you can use any of these two alternatives, baby shampoo is the softest on clothing. You can even mix a little extra if your garment has shrunk a lot.
- Now sink your sweatshirt in the water while pushing out air bubbles with your hands. You should ensure that the hoodie stays submerged by swishing it around a little.
- After half an hour’s soaking time use cool running water to rinse out the conditioner.
- The hoodie will feel pretty bulky when you pull it out of the water. Press out the excess water without wringing it. Doing otherwise can damage your precious hoodie. For soaking out more water you can roll up your hoodie with a clean bath towel.
- Now spread it out on another clean towel and roll it up from one end so that the pressure levied squeezes out the excess moisture. You can leave your hoodie inside the towel for a maximum of 10 minutes. Keeping it longer will make it difficult to unshrink your hoodie.
- Next you will have to unroll the towel and place your hoodie on a second dry towel and gently stretch the regions you want to unshrink. If you want to enlarge the chest region, hold both the side seams and pull gently in both directions.
- You will have to keep stretching by applying gentle yet firm pressure until the hoodie attains your desired size. Pin the clothing in place using heavy books and similar objects like coffee mugs, paperweights, etc. If you don’t have heavy objects handy, then you can also opt for clothespins to hold the garment in place.
- Air dry the hoodie or hang it up so that the weight of the water pulls down its hem even lower. You can drape your hoodie over a curtain rod, and place it on a clothes hanger or any other exposed area that is away from direct sunlight and heat.
- If your hoodie hasn’t stretched out yet, then repeat the treatment as many times as required until it attains the desired size.
Using Borax or Vinegar on Wool and Cashmere Hoodie to stretch it out
Both these relatively strong cleaners help to effectively relax fabric fibers so that they can be easily manipulated and stretched out. However, you should make it a point to dilute them with water as the direct application might damage the fabric. White wine vinegar is preferred over distilled vinegar as it is gentler and clearer.
- Fill in a bucket with 950mL of lukewarm water near room temperature and submerge your clothes in it.
- Now mix around 15 mL of either Borax or vinegar. You can double the quantity if your garment is badly shrunken. As an alternative, you can mix 1-part white wine vinegar for every 2-parts water used. Both vinegar and borax are recommended for animal-based fabrics like cashmere and wool. Though plant-based fabrics like cotton also yield excellent results in this treatment, you should avoid trying it on tightly-knit natural materials or synthetics.
- Keep your shrunken hoodie submerged in the solution for around half an hour so that it softens and becomes easier to stretch. Though you can start stretching out the fabric while it’s soaking, it’s advisable to keep the clothing underwater.
- You need to be gentle while squeezing out water to avoid damaging your hoodie. Don’t rinse your hoodie just yet as that will prevent the vinegar or Borax from doing its job. Rather you should wait until you are done stretching out the fabric.
- To begin drying your hoodie you can stuff it with a few absorbent bath towels. You should position the towels in such a way that it shapes the garment to its original size. You can use as many rolled-up towels as required to revert the hoodie to its original shape. However, you need to ensure that it’s smooth and flat as lumps caused by towels tend to stay back once it dries.
- You can leave the towels inside your hoodie for half an hour and speed up the process by layering some either over or underneath the hoodie. While waiting for the hoodie to dry, examine its shape and fine-tune it by pulling on the edges.
- Finally place a hanger inside the hoodie without removing the towels and move it to an exposed spot away from direct sunlight. After the garment has dried, you can hand wash it in cold water if it doesn’t feel as smooth and soft as it normally does.
- If your hoodie hasn’t unshrunk adequately, then you can repeat the cleaning process further till you get the desired results.
How to Unshrink a Hoodie With Warm Water?
- Fill 1/3rd of your bathtub with warm water that feels comfortable enough to sit in. You can also fill up a bucket or sink with warm water if you don’t have a bathtub. For stretching a few areas, you can spray those regions with warm water and then stretch them.
- Now put on the hoodie and fasten buttons if any before attempting to stretch the fabric manually. Water automatically softens the hoodie and it stretches out since you are wearing them. Though sitting for so long might seem a bit frustrating, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on how long you stay there. You should try and keep the hoodie submerged for 10 minutes or until the water gets cold.
- You need to be extra cautious while getting out of the bathtub as the extra weight from the water can cause you to trip over. If it seems too much then you can take off the hoodie and tug on the edges. Now gently stretch the fabric as much as possible.
- Finally place your wet hoodie on a drying rack or clothesline. They should be kept out of sunlight or direct heat. You should try and find a spot with good air circulation to help the fabric dry out fast. Gravity can also come to your rescue while the hoodie dries out by helping them stretch out further.
The Steamer Method to stretch out a Hoodie
This method can serve you well if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving around with a soaking-wet hoodie. You can easily unshrink your hoodie in this way using a curtain steamer.
- Hang your hoodie and heat your steamer. Make sure to place your hoodie near an outlet unless you have a wireless steamer. Always position the nozzle of the steamer away from you to avoid injuries & burns.
- Once the steamer is ready, run the steam back and forth using a slow sweeping motion so that it can penetrate every part of the hoodie. This motion shall have to be repeated both at the front and back of your hoodie.
- Now gently pull the edges of your hoodie in opposite directions while it still feels damp and warm. You can either hold the sides of the neck hole and tug gently or tug on the hem and shoulders to make the hoodie longer.
- If it cools down before you are done stretching then turn on the steamer again and warm it up before resuming stitching.
Stretch out a Hoodie with Steam Ironing
- Fill warm water into a bottle sprayer.
- Now lay your hoodie inside out and flat on an ironing board before spritzing the entire surface with warm water.
- Gently iron the material using the lowest heat setting.
- As you move along the fabric, use steam from the clothes iron to prevent it from drying.
- Now keep aside the iron and pull the cloth on the sides and the bottom using both your hands.
- You can repeat the process if further stretching is needed. Otherwise, you can lay the hoodie on a flat surface to air dry.
Unshrink a Hoodie With Sewing
You can permanently alter the size of your hoodie and make it bigger if you have access to a sewing machine.
- Use a seam ripper to remove the hood by taking apart the stitches holding the hood in place.
- Next, measure the exact center back of the neckline using tape and mark this point.
- Cut down a straight line to the center back at the marked point. You will get more room to add to the upper portion of the hoodie depending on the longer you cut. This slit should be measured as you write down the measurement.
- Cut a triangle from the add-in material with each size measuring the same as the measurement you took from the center back.
- This triangle will have to be pinned into the “v” shape formed as you pull apart the silt’s edges.
- You can sew up both sides from the point of the “v” using a sewing machine.
- Cut along the center seam of the hood you separated at the first step by cutting it in half.
- Now again pull out your add-in material and cut out a strip of the same width you measured earlier. The long edge of this strip will have to be pinned along the new cut edge of one-half of the hood and sewn in place. The other half of the hood shall have to be pinned to the other side of the strip.
- Ultimately, you will have to pin back the hood to the neck and the add-in strip and center back will match up perfectly. You can secure the hood back to its place by sewing around the neckline circle.
Unshrink a Hoodie Without Sewing
Different cutting methods can be used to increase the size of your hoodie without sewing. You can try out this technique if you have a pair of sharp scissors to alter the neckline of your hoodie.
- Spread it out with the front facing up and locate the exact center of the neckline using a measuring tape. This can be easily found between the two drawstrings.
- Now mark this point using a piece of chalk.
- Next, mark the point where you want the V tip to end. This point should be placed lower down the front of the hoodie if you want a deep V-neck. For a short and wide V-neck, you can keep this point closer to the original neckline.
- Now cut a straight line between both the chalk points using your scissors. You can fold the cut edges away from each other at this point and create a V shape. You can also slice away the excess fabric using your scissors if you don’t want the folds.
It’s not a good feeling to find your hoodie a size smaller than what it was when you started doing the laundry. If you wish to avoid shrinking, then you need to always check the labels. You can get to know about the hoodie’s fiber type and how to care for the same from its label. Your hoodie might come out two sizes smaller if it stays in the dryer too long. You can get a hint on how to dry a hoodie from the labels. While some fabrics are fine with low heat, others require air drying. Doing laundry seems like an easy task but there lie chances of making dangerous mistakes along the way. On exposing your hoodie to hot water, you release tension in its fibers which results in the hoodie shrinking. Thus, when you have a pure cotton hoodie, it’s advisable to wash it using just cold water.