Cashmere Trauma

A well-intentioned person was helping me with laundry today and ran a favorite, new cashmere sweater through the washing machine. Perhaps fortunately, the sweater was put on a rack to try and not placed in the dryer. Nonetheless, it is now a twisted, misshapen mess. Any ideas that might help salvage the situation?

At least George Costanza didn't stretch out the neck hole. ;-)

You could try blocking it, the way knitters block finished pieces. Dampen it, then set it on a drying rack and push/pull it back to shape, using straight pins to hold it in place at the shoulders, waist, hem, etc. let it dry like that.

You could also wash it in an appropriate wool wash before blocking it.

Try hand washing it in the sink or tub in cold water with mild soap such as woollite and then block it and let it dry flat. If the sweater did not shrink too badly in the washing machine, this might help to return it to its original shape.

When we were trying to deal with an Irish Aran hand-knit sweater that went through a hot wash AND a dry cycle, we were told to use a gentle conditioner to help the wool go back to its pre-boiled size. It never returned to its original size, but it did go from a toddler 4T to about a child's 10. You could try soaking it in the conditioner (don't rinse it out) and then blocking the sweater to size to see if that will help.

Not gonna happen. Sorry.

Felting is a result of sudden temperature change and agitation. The fiber cuticles lock and can't be coaxed back to smooth. Get rid of it or you will forever resent the laundry helper.

Cashmere is cheap right now.

Thanks all. I'll try to re-wet and it then block it. Will update you all on my success.

If it was washed on cold it should be OK. Warm or hot, not so much.

I would add a little conditioner to the water.

I am not endorsing this product. I know nothing about it. But I must say, I am intrigued. Kinda makes me wish I still had my great grandmother's cleaners-shrunk cashmere sweater.

Bring it to the dry cleaners and see if they can fix it.

I always wash my cashmere sweaters--on delicate. However, I have had limited success reshaping cashmere when it has mistakenly been added to the regular wash. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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