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Shrinking a large sweater for better fit...

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    I did this with a merino wool BR sweater that I had. I washed it on hand wash and dried it on medium heat. I took it out about every 10 mins and measured it laying flat (I measured another sweater that I knew fit well to compare). I am pleased with the results. I will say that the body length shrinks at a much faster rate than the sleeves just FYI.
    Countryside Man of Letters


      That's sorta what happened with this one too but since it's 90% cotton I didn't see dramatic shrinking like I was initially worried about - After wearing it several times now I notice the weight if itself tends to stretch it out as well I think I could be a bit more aggressive in the drier next time- if there is any more shrinking to be done. I like the fact the sleeves appeared to tighten up as well so there isn't any excess in the forearms or biceps. Overall, not a bad experience and since they're sold out I can live with the results - when I find an all wool cable knit for the right price then I'll upgrade.


        Originally posted by yoyorobbo View Post
        I'm considering *experimenting* with one of my sweaters too. I'll keep ya posted if I get the guts to actually try it, and any results that I find.
        OK, so I went ahead and "experimented."

        No, not like *that*. Like *this*:

        Is it OK to simply link the other post/reply here like I just did, or should I actually paste my findings separately here all over again? Figured this was better. Let me know if not.


          I have some experience with this! I buy large stuff, because I am a large, but even most larges are too big (so maybe I'm somewhere between a medium and a large, then). Washing can be unfortunate in the sense that it'll cause wear with cotton sweaters, but they're also more or less the only ones you can wash repeatedly and have shrink every time. In my experience, at least, washing sweaters in cold water and drying them like normal clothing doesn't shrink them excessively unless they're wool (or some wool-heavy blend). Cotton ones shrink moderately with each wash/dry session, and you can repeat as needed. This doesn't always help as much as you want it to, and I'd echo the sentiment of others that you should perhaps consider returning it and trying to find another one. That said, if you're tied to the particular item, or the refund/exchange window has passed, then I've had sweaters that I disliked the fit of and wouldn't have worn that, after one or two shrinking sessions, fit in a way that I'd buy them all over again if given the choice.

          So sometimes, it really can do what you want it to. I find washing a lot of J Crew Factory's cotton sweaters once takes them from a frumpy to a slim profile, for example. The thing that I think is the most important aspect of it is the cut of the sweater. Washing can shrink things, but it won't tailor them. If the sweater's cut in a slim way and just too large (see: JCF), then washing can have a surprisingly significant impact. But if it's billowy in addition to being too big in the sides, then washing won't do much. It can make it smaller, but it won't make it not billowy.

          None of this holds true for wool, however. You kinda just have to try again with those. Although, just recently I had this heather orange, out-of-season BR shawl collar merino pullover I really like but felt was kind of sloppy looking, and I knew I'd either give it to Goodwill or try to shrink it and... surprise, it shrunk exactly the right amount! I was 90% sure I'd ruin it, but actually no, it's still quite soft and fits like... perfectly. Time will tell how it wears, but yeah, if you're desperate enough you can try it, as long as you know what you're getting yourself into.