how to wash a wool jumper and deal with a shrunken wool jumper
Laundry

How to wash a wool jumper and deal with a shrunken wool jumper

One wash on the wrong setting can ruin a wool jumper! Read on for how to wash a wool jumper in 7 simple steps & tips on how to rescue a shrunken wool jumper!

Key Steps

The best way to prevent your garments from shrinking is to make sure you always read the care label before washing. Accidents do happen, however, and if you’ve had a laundry mishap you’ll need the following to try and unshrink your wool jumper:

  • Baby shampoo
  • Warm water
  • Dry towels

Read on to find out how these items can help resize your item.

No one likes to wash a new jumper only to find that it has shrunk several sizes! If you’re hoping to launder something woollen safely, this guide is for you. Here we explain how to wash a wool jumper in just eight steps. Plus we’ve got some tips on how to unshrink wool jumpers – just in case you’ve had a laundry accident already!

Wool jumpers can be a hassle to maintain if you don’t know what you’re doing – it takes only one wash on the wrong setting and before you know it, you have ruined one of your favourite pieces of clothing. These days, you can wash wool using the hand wash setting on your machine, providing a low enough temperature is used – some washing machines even have settings specifically for wool. If you choose this option, then be sure to choose a specialist detergent like Persil Silk & Wool, to follow the directions on the label, and to read the care label of your jumper before washing.

However, if you want to wash your woollen items with a bit more caution, you may be wondering how to hand wash wool jumpers or cardigans. If so, you can follow these simple steps:

How to Hand Wash a Wool Jumper in 8 Simple Steps

  1. First, read the care label of your jumper – if it says ‘dry clean only’, then do not risk washing it by hand. Instead, take it to a dry cleaner for the best results.
  2. Fill a sink or container with lukewarm water – do not use hot water, as this could shrink the jumper.
  3. Mix the appropriate amount of Persil Silk & Wool laundry detergent with the water. Always read the label to determine the correct dosage and application, and make sure that your detergent is suitable for wool.
  4. Once the detergent has been mixed in, place the jumper in the water and leave to soak for a few minutes.
  5. Gently agitate the jumper with your hands, focusing on areas that might need a bit more cleaning (like under the arms or the cuffs).
  6. Empty the water and fill the sink or container again with cool, clean water. Rinse the jumper until all the detergent has been removed.
  7. Be gentle when rinsing your garment. You don’t want a clean, but misshapen and stretched jumper! Do not squeeze too hard or stretch it. Instead, roll the jumper in between two clean bath towels (preferably white, or colourfast) – this will remove much of the water.
  8. Then, let it dry flat. Do not tumble dry a wool jumper – this could cause it to shrink.

After you’ve washed your jumper, lay it out flat in an airy place so that the garment will not lose its shape. If necessary, gently reshape the jumper by hand, making sure the arms are extended.

Different wool garments may require different treatment – so it’s very important to read the care label on your clothing before you start. For more information on how to wash different types of woollen clothing, check out this article on how to wash wool hats and scarves.

How to Unshrink a Wool Jumper

No matter how careful you are, everybody makes mistakes sometimes – and it only takes one slip-up to leave you looking at your favourite jumper in a panic, thinking: “can I unshrink wool?”. Follow these steps and you may be able to salvage your shrunk wool jumper – though if you have any questions you can always consult a specialist or a dry cleaner.

  1. Soak your jumper in a sink or container in a solution of warm water and two tablespoons of baby shampoo or an appropriate amount of Persil Silk & Wool.
  2. Leave for about 15 minutes. This should be enough time for the solution to relax the fibres of the jumper.
  3. Remove the jumper and rinse in cool water. Use gentle motions to press the moisture out of the fabric.
  4. Roll the jumper in between two clean, dry towels (like in the previous method). Make sure you get out as much moisture as possible.
  5. Gently stretch out the jumper to something more like its usual size on a flat surface.
  6. Leave for about an hour. Return to the jumper and continue to stretch the garment out gently.

For more help with washing and garment care, check out our article on how to wash delicates.

Top Tip


The most important thing you can do to ensure the long life of your woollen garments is to use a suitable laundry detergent: something designed specifically for delicates, like Persil Silk & Wool, is ideal. Just follow the directions on the label and ensure that it is appropriate for your jumper.