I accidentally ran my brand-new jeans through the dryer and they shrunk by a whole size. They fit me like a glove when I bought them, but now they were cutting off my circulation!
I wore them around the house, did lunges and even tried to sleep in them. All this helped slightly, but not enough. And let’s be honest – I’m not about to lose 10 pounds just to fit in a pair of jeans. Luckily I had a backup pair (I always buy multiples!), but I’m not going to relegate a new pair of jeans to the back of my closet.
So last night, in a fit of desperation, I took a bath in my jeans. According to the always reliable Interwebs, this should mold the jeans to my body. The result? To be honest, they are a half size bigger, but not back to the original size. Still, an improvement.
Why wasn’t it a perfect fit? Well, the ratio of cotton to lycra will make a difference in how much the jeans stretch, and whether or not they will regain elasticity after washing. The Denim Blog has some great info about it. Basically, the problem was these jeans have a fair amount of Lycra/polyester in them, about 30%. They are made to retain their shape, so there is only so much stretching to be had.
In general, wet stretch has the best results on unfinished, selvage denim, but it can’t hurt in a situation like this. Want to give it a shot?
- Fill up the tub with lukewarm water
- Put on your jeans
- Soak in the tub completely clothed for 10 minutes or so
- Do some stretches, lunges, squats, etc.. in the wet jeans
- Pulled on the fabric where it’s tight
- Let dry overnight
A few tips to help your jeans retain color and shape:
- Always wash in cold water
- Wash jeans inside-out
- Tumble-dry low or air-dry. Never, never use high heat.