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Merino Wool

Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 in Mens Clothing

Merino Wool
Merino Wool

Is it possible to shrink a merino wool sweater?

I have a heather gray Ralph Lauren merino wool sweater vest that is just a tad too big on me…its nothing major, but I just want it to fit a little more trim. Any ideas on whether I can shrink it??? I never wash any sweaters and if they absolutely need to be cleaned thats why they have dry cleaners.

Yes, it can be shrunk, but you have to be really, really careful about how you do it or it will be ruined. Sweaters tend to over-shrink, and once that happens you cannot reverse it. Here’s how: First, you need to knows exactly how large you want it to be — exactly! No estimates, no guesses — you need precise numbers! The numbers you need are the width across the chest just below the armholes, the length from bottom hem to top edge on the back, and the length from bottom hem to beginning of armhole. (If you want to do this with a sweater with sleeves, you also need the length from bottom edge of cuff to where it first attaches to the body.) With those measurements in hand and written down, you then gently wash the sweater in lukewarm water, rinse in lukewarm water, and squeeze out as much water as possible without wringing it. Lay the sweater on two or three large towels. Roll up the towels into a big sausage shape and walk on it to press out most of the water. Carry the sausage shaped roll to the sweater drying rack. Carefully spread your sweater out on the rack. Now for getting the right size: Use a yardstick or tape measure and push the sweater into shape until it exactly matches the measurements you want. Take longish straight pins — the ones with plastic or glass beads at the top work best — and pin the sweater to the mesh of the sweater rack. Put pins all the way around. Let the sweater dry completely before you remove the pins, and your sweater should be the exact measurements you want.

The above is, by the way, how you really should clean any sweater! Dry cleaning damages many sweaters and should not be done. As to soap, use a liquid soap that is NOT Woolite (which actually strips color). Ordinary shampoo works very well!

Organic Merino Wool Education

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