#7. HOW TO DEAL WITH SHRINKING AND STRETCHING (first published in Dec. 2009)

by admin on February 3, 2011

once you have purchased the almost-perfect pair of jeans, you will naturally be confronted with the issue of how to care for them.  ignore any advise on the label and DON’T PUT THEM IN THE DRYER!  i learned this a while back from kate.  this also applies to any knit cotton tees you might have.  to be safe WASH IN COLD WATER.  these steps will not only preserve the shape of your jeans, but the color as well (adding some white vinegar to the first wash will keep dark jeans dark).

  that said, if you are like esme, there comes a day when, despite your vigilance, your jeans have ended up in the dryer and feel perceptibly smaller.  you  have just weighed yourself to make sure it is not you.  i have developed a simple method for dealing with this problem:  wash or re-wet the jeans, gently grab hold of the waistband and any other too-small parts, and tug carefully until they stretch to the size you want.  hang to dry and repeat this a few times until they are completely dry.  (my husband tends to grump at me when all the bedroom windows are draped in clothing and we are expecting company, but i try to explain that air-drying is now quite fashionable and is considered a green alternative to machine-drying). at one time, i invented a stretching machine, possibly a blow-up representation of your body (forget what you’re thinking!), on which you could place the jeans and then inflate to the exact size you were aiming for.  unfortunately, this invention never got past the concept stage!

  note that there is only one case in which it might be helpful to put your jeans in the dryer:  that is, if they have stretched TOO MUCH.  in this case, proceed very slowly, starting out with about 10 minutes on low heat, and gradaully increasing the time and temp as needed.  your jeans will wear out more quickly, but then again, you will have an excuse to shop for new ones!

you never step in the same jean twice,



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