Oh and not because of gaining weight.. Despite the fact that the cotton fabrics I use are of high quality and are tested for shrinkage before being processed, it can happen that cotton clothes shrink over time. You can largely prevent this by not washing the clothes too hot, adding a fabric softener also helps, but even then a garment may shrink over time. This is mainly due to the fact that cotton is a natural fibre, and if this fibre dries out it becomes shorter. This happened quite clearly with the curtains in my living room. Before I made them to length, I washed them at 90 degrees in order to pre-shrink them. I had already washed them a number of times without any problems. But the last time it didn't go well and now I have curtains that are 10 cm too short. Perhaps I accidentally washed them on a warmer programme? Did I use a different soap than usual? It could just be.
For my curtains it is not a disaster, I will look in another direction, but for clothes it is annoying. Fortunately, you can still try a few things to get them back in shape. Use baby shampoo or even better, a conditioner. Yes, the one you put in your hair.
*Fill a wash tub with lukewarm water, but not too hot because it will shrink even more, and not too cold because that will harden the fibres. And you want to make them softer.
*Add half a cup of conditioner, stir to distribute it. Immerse the garment completely. If necessary, put something heavy on it to keep it under water and leave it like that for at least half an hour.
*After about half an hour, squeeze the excess water out of your jumper or other garment. Make sure that you do not wring. No need to rinse yet.
*Lay the garment on the towel and roll it up completely. This way you can get the remaining moisture out without wringing or squeezing.
*Now lay the second, dry towel down and place the garment on it. This is the moment to stretch it back to its original shape. Do it gently, take your time and stretch piece by piece. The part you have stretched should be secured with a heavy object. When you are finished, the garment lies on the towel and is held in shape by the heavy books or something else.
*Leave the garment to dry, but check every now and then whether it has shrunk a little and whether you need to stretch it again.
Are you satisfied? Then hang the garment out to dry on a clothes hanger, for example. You do not have to rinse out the shampoo or conditioner.
Sunny van Zijst
I am maker of vintage inspired couture. I was trained as a designer for theater costumes. Now I enjoy making vintage inspired clothing for men and women.