Ever pulled a garment out of the dryer that suddenly would better fit a lanky tween than a grown adult? It’s happened to the best of us. There are some tricks to unshrinking that favorite piece, although sometimes it’s but a temporary fix. Still, it might help you to squeeze out a few more wears!

Certain types of fabric, like cotton, wool or any kind of animal hair-based fabric, are more likely to shrink than others, according to textile expert Deborah Young. Rayon is another example. “People are always surprised by rayon because they think it’s synthetic,” she explains, noting that rayon is actually a cellulose, like cotton. “The more absorbent the fiber, the more it will shrink. Rayon is incredibly absorbent.”

The type of garment and the way it was put together will also affect its shrinkage potential. “The looser the construction the more it will shrink. A bulky sweater will shrink more than a T-shirt,” Young says. However, she notes that knits tend to shrink more than woolens, thanks to the air inside of the knit, which allows room for the piece to get more compact. Add heat and water to that and it’s going to change the makeup of the garment in ways that are tricky to reverse.

So, if your favorite shirt fell victim to an accidental laundry mishap, can you unshrink it?

Young says you can try massaging a garment of any fabric back into peak condition by washing it with a mild soap (like a baby shampoo). Gently rinse out the water but don’t wring out the garment. (Use a towel to get out more moisture.) “You can gently coax [the garment] to stretch out,” she says, adding that this practice is probably best used on pieces you really care about because once it’s washed normally, the item may shrink back up again and will need to be restretched.

Read more: https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/unshrink-clothes.htm