Years ago when I was married to my first husband, I washed a sweater of his, and put it in the dryer...when I pulled it out of the dryer it was about 12 inches long and 18 inches wide. I freaked out and washed it again and hung it in the shower to dry. When I opened the shower curtain the next day, it was about 4 feet long and 12 inches wide! So I washed it again and then laid it flat to dry. It came out normal and he was never the wiser...I was like a one man SNL episode...
I have tried the pulling and stretching idea on shrunken wool items, have not been fully successful in regaining the original sizes.
We have done the "shrink on purpose" thing with knitted mittens, so they "felt up" with the wool interlocking tightly for a much warmer mitten to wear. You do make them a couple sizes larger to start with, before throwing them into hot water and running thru the machine. Of course you ONLY use the machine until mittens are the right size. All washing of mittens later, is done in cold water by hand.
The sheep washed in rain should NOT shrink, that is cold water and no agitation, in most cases! Ha Ha
I've bought from the Sally Ann a wool blanket to use as a cooler for my horse.
It was Queen size. When I eventually had to wash it it shrunk, and next it shrunk so much it was not usable as a cooler, so itwent down as a dog bed. Eventually, that Queen size blanket became something about4' square, and very felted.
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