How to Fix Shrunken Wool Pants

by Lisa Bigelow

Is there anything more frustrating than accidentally shrinking your new wool pants that fit like a dream? Probably not. However, if your previously perfect pants are now a size or two too small, you may be able to fix them using some simple household items. The key to success is don't use warm or hot water, as it may shrink the wool further. Also, don't forget to hang the pants the by the same crease; this will preserve their original shape.

Items you will need

  • Woolite
  • Pants hanger
Step 1

Prepare the bath. In your bathtub or sink, run cool-to-lukewarm water to an amount that's adequate to cover the pants. While the water is running, add a capful of Woolite or other wool clothing fabric cleaner.

Step 2

Soak the pants. Add the pants to the soapy water. Do not swish the fabric around the water; instead, gently press on the pants until they're submerged. Soak the pants for 20 minutes in the soapy water.

Step 3

Squeeze dry and hang the pants. Drain the water from the sink or tub and gently squeeze the pants to rid the fibers of excess water. Hang the pants by the hem, making sure to follow the crease. If there is no crease, zip and button the pants, fold them back pocket to back pocket, and hang from the hem.

Step 4

Try on the damp pants. Wearing the pants just before they're perfectly dry will encourage further stretching, especially at the waistband. If they're still too small, bring them to a tailor. You may be able to have the pants let out at the waist and at the hem. Alternatively, run an iron over the pants at a medium-high temperature after they're dry.

Warnings

  • Don't use warm or hot water; this may shrink the wool further. Do not rub the fibers against each other or put the pants in the washing machine, as this will cause the wool to pill.

About the Author

Lisa Bigelow is an independent writer with prior professional experience in the finance and fitness industries. She also writes a well-regarded political commentary column published in Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester counties in the New York City metro area.