Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Some FAQ's about shrinking and stretching
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And now to the article...
I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas! I got a couple new cashmere things to add to my collection (given to me, of course, because buying more for myself would be ABSURD).
I have received a bunch of e-mails from people curious if you can shrink or stretch cashmere safely. The answer is: yes! But only to a point... You can probably go about a size up or a size down if the sweater is in good shape to start with. If it's already been felted by going in the dryer by accident, then I'm sorry to say, you're stuck. Best to cut your losses and make a pillow.
1) Hand wash your cashmere sweater as you normally would, only change the temperature of the wash water to hot (as hot as you can stand) and rinse with cold water.
2) Leave the sweater to dry, without stretching it back to it's normal size and...
3) TAH DAH!
Shrinking is easier and less risky than stretching...
1) Hand wash your cashmere sweater as you normally would, with cold wash water and cold rinse water.
2) Lay out your sweater on a flat surface and (this is where it gets tricky, so be gentle)
3) With the sweater still laying flat, put both of your arms inside the sweater with your hands in fists, with your fists where your shoulders would go and your arms following the line of the seams, with your elbows at the hem of the sweater.
4) Slowly move your arms away from each other, GENTLY, and stretch the sweater in small little bits at a time. In other words, pulse a bit so the fibers can relax and then be stretched again.
***DISCLAIMER: If you are not gentle enough, or your sweater is of poor quality, you run the risk of stretching a hole in your sweater so PLEASE BE GENTLE and don't expect miracles ;o)***
5) Gently stretch out the arm sleeves, cuffs, and hem in a similar manner.
6) Try to stretch large sections at a time. If you just grab two opposite sides of the sweater with just a couple fingers, you'll stretch smaller sections at a time, leaving the sweater rather wonky looking...
7) Once it's all stretched out, leave it to dry.
8) TAH DAH!
P.S. You can also stuff your sweater with a carefully folded towel and leave it to dry that way- I've done this with pesky sweaters that are ribbed and INSIST on going back to half their original size. But, be careful for wrinkles in the towel! For very minimal stretching, you can also use a steamer and slowly pull on the sweater in sections directly after steaming (while the sweater is still warm).
So, remember: large sections and gentle pulsing! Remember: Gentle!!!!!
Best of luck to everyone!!!