Can I shrink my wool gloves that are too large?

3:33 p.m. on November 13, 2010 (EST)
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Hey guys,

I have a pair of  wool gloves from Columbia.

85% wool

15% nylon

They are the kind without the fingertips, I like them a lot except for two things:

1. They are too large for me, L/XL

2. The knit is fairly loose, not tight like some of my other wool stuff.

So, just as an experiment, I'm wondering if I can shrink these a bit so they both fit better, and make them warmer (tighter knit).

I have done this is the past with a wool shirt by accidentally tossing it it the dryer. The shirt shrank of course, and more closely resembled wool felt than the comfortable shirt it had been.

I know you can boil wool, and I know what a dryer does to wool. So I'm wondering if there is a controllable process I can use to reduce the size of these gloves? And if anyone can tell me how to do it?


3:38 p.m. on November 15, 2010 (EST)
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Years ago my wife shrunk my favorite fishing sweater in the dryer.  Our 5 yr old wears it now.  I must admit that in its shrunken state it is a much denser weave. 

I read that back in the day (1800s) weavers would pre-shrink their wool cloth to make really warm, practically warerproof clothes. 

I'd try the boiling water trick.  Drying them on high with your bath towels is a good second choice.  As far as controling the process I'd say using the dryer and checking them periodically might work best. 

Let us know how it goes!

4:53 p.m. on November 15, 2010 (EST)
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I have an 85% wool sweater which I intentionally tried to shrink.  It's a tall size rather than regular.  The sweater shrunk a little, but nothing like pure wool.  I think with the nylon in the farbic the amount you can shrink is limited.  The weave does seem a bit tighter.  I just threw mine in the washing machine on hot with some detergent and then on high in the dryer.

6:38 p.m. on November 15, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks guys, I'm gonna go for it and I'll let you know how it turns out. I agree that the nylon will limit the results.

3:00 a.m. on November 16, 2010 (EST)
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I think that I would try hitting them with hot water and wear till dri or at least as close as I could get them to dry. If sweat from your hands keeps them from drying completely I would take them off for a while and put them back on.

I know they were cotton but I sure liked the results girls got with there 501's useing this method. A whole new meaning to "shrink to fit".

2:05 p.m. on November 16, 2010 (EST)
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I once unintentually shrunk a Woolrich wool shirt. I washed it, but then left it in the drier too long. Like someone above said it became a tighter weave afterwards. But I also remember it seemed to wear out faster afterwards, mainly at the elbows.

8:00 a.m. on November 23, 2010 (EST)
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Check the O.J. Simpson website; IIRC, he has the recipe for shrinking gloves.

3:16 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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So, how did it work out, Trout?

6:02 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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Well I gave it a go last weekend by washing them in hot water and drying them in the dryer, but not on high heat. They shrank very little if any, so this weekend I'm gonna go for the hot cycle on the dryer after washing them.

I'll let you know. They aren't 100% wool so it may be a waste of time, but they didn't cost much and they aren't much use to me as is.

7:47 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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Maybe you should get bigger hands? :)

8:07 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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I bet Alan is right.  The wool may have already been preshrunk when it was mixed with the nylon, kind of like certain Levis that are preshrunk v the originals that you buy too big, then wash to fit.

11:15 p.m. on December 16, 2010 (EST)
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over the weekend I tossed a ragg wool sweater (85% wool and 15% nylon) in the wash on warm and then threw it in the dryer on high and it tightened up a bit, but didn't shrink much.  I think the point of adding nylon to wool is to keep an item from shrinking.

3:09 p.m. on December 17, 2010 (EST)
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Why not buy a pair that both fits and you like?

8:20 p.m. on December 17, 2010 (EST)
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Why not buy a pair that both fits and you like?

Haha, yes that would be the simple thing to do wouldn't it.

I do have a couple pair that do fit, I was just trying to make a project out of the larger pair, you know, trying to learn. I generally buy what I need and not waste a lot of time messing around, but I was intrigued by the notion of shrinking the pair I have.

6:03 p.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
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I give up.

These gloves aren't going to shrink much.

May 26, 2018
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