Is there any way to make a wool sweater bigger, without wrecking it?

So, my BF just got back from Norway, and brought me a lovely “Dale of Norway” sweater. The blasted thing is worth about $350, and it’s a size XS!?!?! :frowning:

Man, I can bairly get one boob into an XS. Is there anyway to stretch it, without ruining it?

Oh - it’s 100% wool, BTW.

A few months ago I accidentally shrank a wool sweater in the wash. I did a bit of (frantic) research and found that one possible fix is to soak the sweater in warm water for about 10 minutes and then pull and stretch at it with your hands. Once it’s back into its proper size and proportions, you lay the thing down to dry on a towel, and it’s supposed to be as good as new.

So I tried this. It did come out looking more like its original size, but exactly how close it really is to its original size I can’t say. While it no longer looks as though it was made for a prepubescent child, it’s not quite as good as new.

I’m not sure how much this technique will help you. Not only were the size gains rather measly, but my sweater was supposed to be bigger than it was at the time of treatment. Yours, on the other hand, is currently at its intended size. In my head, stretching an accidentally-shrunk sweater is less risky than stretching a normal sweater. Don’t know if that’s true, though.

In answer to your question:


In answer to your question: Yes. (with qualifications)

At the University of NSW, School of Textile Technology there was a wool fibre that had been stretched to almost 3 times it’s original length. The “catch” being it was kept in a high humidity chamber and it had been under tension for nearly 20 years.

If the garment has been shrunk it will have partially felted and hence the chances of success are smaller.

Don’t use hot water. Soak the garment overnight cold water. Then, place it over one of those dressmakers dummys. Until the bulk of the water has drained away, lay the dummy down on it’s side else gravity will stretch it out of shape. Let it air dry slowly away from the sun.

There would be no guarantee that it will stretch evenly (due to the effects of dyeing and differential tensions during drying) so it will lose some, if not the magority of it’s shape.

Alice - does your boyfriend know the name of the shop where he purchased it? Is it on a tag or something?

You may be able to contact the shop, via email, and see if they would allow you to exchange it. It would be well worth the price of shipping.

I think before I’d risk ruining it, I’d stow it away for a future child, or give it to someone special as a present.

It’s a shame. Good luck!

Were you thinking of this situation, Alice?


Also, I ‘ruined’ a wool sweater by putting in the drier accidentally. I was able to stretch it by soaking it for six hours in a tub of warm water with half a bottle of fabric softener. It loosens the fibers and i was able to stretch it into close to its original shape…but if it’s an XS right now it’s not going to be much more than a S after even the best stretching event.

A Dale of Norway? Those are gorgeous.

But, probably not.

If it were a plain, nondescript, wool sweater - I would give it a shot. But those things are so intricately patterned and tightly knit that chances are if you stretched them, it might get bigger - but the pattern will distort and it won’t look good anymore.


Not to worry.

He’s going to swap mine for a larger one he got for someone else.


Hey, I work for a company that makes humidity chambers. Send your sweater on over, I’ll stick it in one:)

…Alice … I think I’m in love with you!! :smiley:

That enormous rack is just sooo much trouble.