It’s easy to accidentally shrink delicate polyester clothes when washing them. To free them from their shrunken fate, there are a few ways to unshrink them. Here is an easy to follow guide on how to successfully restore your shrinking polyester clothing items.
1. Determining If Your Polyester Clothing Can Be Unshrunk
Polyester clothing can easily become stretched and misshapen over time, leading many to attempt to unshrink it. Before taking any steps to try to unshrink polyester, however, it’s important to ensure that it is, in fact, able to be unshrunk. Here’s what to consider when:
- Fibre Reactivity: Polyester, being a synthetic fabric, is highly resistant to heat. It is largely unaffected by hot water and irons, making it difficult for the fibers to recoil and return to their original form.
- Fabric Weight: Generally speaking, heavier fabric is more difficult to unshrink compared with lighter fabrics. This means that a thicker polyester garment is less likely to be successfully unshrunk compared with a thin polyester piece.
- Age of Garment: Garments that have been worn for a long time may have aged fibers that are less likely to be coaxed back into shape. Additionally, older garments may be washable but not ironable, making it even more difficult to unshrink them.
After considering these factors, you may have a better idea as to whether the polyester garment you are attempting to unshrink is actually likely to succeed. Knowing the limits of your fabric can help you create an unshrinking plan that is tailored to your garment’s individual needs.
2. Preparing the Unshrinking Process
To begin, ensure that the clothing item is made from polyester. Natural fabrics such as cotton and wool will not work with the unshrinking method, as their structures do not respond well to the heat and moisture involved.
Next, fill a large basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it will cause the fabric to shrink even more. Add two teaspoons of hair conditioner before plunging the item of clothing in the basin and swishing it around. Make sure all parts of the fabric are adequately soaked in the conditioner solution.
Now, it is time to forcibly reshape the clothing:
- Gently stretch the item in all directions until it reaches the desired size.
- Once the desired size is achieved, place the item on a flat surface to block it into the new shape.
- If anything needs to be reshaped, such as a collar or pocket, dampen your fingers and reshape with caution.
Finally, allow the item to naturally air-dry. Never place wet clothing in a tumble dryer, as this will cause it to shrink again. Instead, remove excess water and blot with a towel, all the while maintaining the reshaped form.
3. Unshrinking Polyester Clothes: Step-by-Step Guide
Polyester is a strong and durable material, but unfortunately, it can be prone to shrinking. Fortunately, there is a way to unshrink polyester fabric. If you want to restore your clothes to their original size, you’ll have to take some steps, which are outlined in this step-by-step guide:
- Fill a bathtub or large container with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water, as this could damage the polyester fabric.
- Add a capful of baby shampoo or a tablespoon of hair conditioner to the water. Swirl the solution around to mix these ingredients together.
- Place the garment that needs to be unshrunk into the solution. Let the fabric sit in the water for at least 10 minutes.
- After it has soaked, rinse the garment in clean, lukewarm water.
- Gently but firmly stretch the fabric to its original size or shape and lay it flat on a towel.
- Roll up the fabric in the towel to remove the excess water.
- Finally, lay the garment flat or hang it up until it is completely dry.
Note: Never expose polyester to bleach, fabric softener, vinegar or washing soda, as this can damage the fabric. Additionally, irons and dryers should never be used when attempting to unshrink polyester garments.
4. Tips for Avoiding Shrinkage of Polyester Clothing in the Future
1. Before washing any item of clothing made from polyester, take the time to read the care instructions label on the garment. It may direct you to a machine cycle or process that reduces potential shrinkage. Use milder washing options such as cold or lukewarm water to prevent shrinkage.
2. If the garment can be safely dried, set the dryer to a low setting and monitor the progress to avoid shrinkage. When possible, avoid tumble drying altogether and allow clothing items to air-dry.
3. Consider steaming polyester clothing as opposed to washing if the item only needs to be lightly refreshed. Steaming eliminates handling and washing water, and therefore also the possible shrinkage associated with it.
4. Iron polyester items on a low or medium heat setting and press them lightly while they are still damp. This relaxes fibers in the fabric and helps avoid shrinkage.
5. If storing polyester items for a long period, always dry the clothing completely prior to folding or hanging the item in the closet. Damp items are prone to shrinking.
With adequate supplies and a bit of patience, you now know how to unshrink polyester clothes. Following these steps can help restore your favorite clothing items to their original size and shape.
Lori Randolph is an expert in technology and innovation, crafting informative and accessible articles that demystify complex concepts. With a knack for breaking down technical jargon, he empowers readers to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and make informed decisions in a rapidly advancing digital landscape.