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Why do wool sweaters shrink?

Why wool sweaters shrink and how to avoid it

I sweaters Of work they are warm and comfortable garments, but they also have a drawback: they tend to shrink if they are not washed and dried carefully. But why does this happen? And how can it be prevented or remedied?

To answer these questions, the article on the site helps us Knitalongclub.com

The cause of the shrinkage

The narrowing of jerseys Of work is due to two main factors: the structure of the wool fibers and the washing and drying conditions.

Wool fibers are composed of an internal part called bark and an external part called cuticle. The cuticle is made up of overlapping scales that open and close depending on temperature and humidity. When wool fibers are wet and subjected to heat or friction, the scales open and hook together, forming knots that make the fabric more compact and smaller. This process is called felting.

Washing and drying conditions influence the degree of felting of wool fibres. In particular, the factors that favor shrinkage are:

  • Hot water, which opens the cuticle scales and makes them more adherent to each other.
  • The aggressive detergent, which alters the pH of the wool and makes it more sensitive to heat and friction.
  • The mechanical movement, which causes the fibers to rub and knots to form.
  • Hot drying, which fixes the shrinkage and makes it difficult to recover the original shape.

How to prevent shrinkage

To prevent i sweaters Of work shrink or felt, some precautions must be followed when wash and drying. Here are some tips:

  • Wash i sweaters Of work by hand or in the washing machine with a delicate program and at low temperature (maximum 30°C).
  • Use a specific detergent for work or a neutral soap, which do not damage the fibers and maintain the natural pH of the wool.
  • Do not rub, twist or wring the sweaters Of work, but pat them gently with a towel to remove excess water.
  • Dry i sweaters Of work flat on a dry surface and away from direct heat or sunlight, which can discolor or dry out the fibers.
  • Do not use a dryer, iron or steam, which can cause irreversible shrinkage of the items sweaters Of work.

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How to fix shrinkage

Se it jerseys Of work have already shrunk, there are some methods that can help recover the original shape or at least reduce the damage. Here are some examples:

  • The soaking method: Soak the wool sweater in a solution of warm water and hair conditioner or white vinegar for about 15 minutes, then rinse and dry flat, gently pulling the sweater in tight areas to loosen it.
  • The ice methodor: place the wool sweater in a plastic bag and then in the freezer for at least 12 hours, then let it thaw at room temperature and dry flat, gently ironing the sweater in the narrow areas to widen it.
  • The ironing method: humidify the wool sweater with a spray bottle and then iron it with a low temperature iron and with a cotton cloth on top, gently pulling the sweater in the narrow areas to widen it.

These methods do not guarantee total recovery of the original shape of wool sweaters, but they can help improve the appearance and fit. However, prevention is always the best way to preserve your wool sweaters and enjoy their warmth and softness.


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