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How to Shrink & Stretch a Beanie to Fit You

How to Shrink and Stretch a Beanie to Fit You

For a beanie to serve you to satisfaction, it has to fit perfectly. Anything small will be too tight on your skin. A big beanie will look like you borrowed it to beat the cold weather. We all have that one beanie we love but it turns out to be either small or big. Well, if you find yourself in this predicament just know you are not facing it alone. Thankfully, you can shrink or stretch your winter hat to fit you. And no, you do not need a pro to do it; you can do it by yourself.

Thank your lucky star for leading you here. This post is passionate about beanies and will make sure your small or big beanies are back to fit you. If that is some information you can use, then sit comfortably and read to the last full stop.

Shrinking your beanie

This is a delicate process and you should be careful not to lose your beanie for good. First of all, establish if your winter hat is washable by machine or hand. The procedure we detail here is only applicable to beanies that can be machine washed.


  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Mild detergent

The shrinking procedure

  • Once you establish that the beanie is machine washable, place it in the washing machine and add the mild detergent.
  • Using hot water, run a very short cleaning cycle. This should not be done for long as it may destroy your hat for good. When the cleaning cycle is over, remove your beanie ready for the next shrinking phase.
  • Place the damp beanie in the dryer. Leave it there for between 20 and 30 minutes. The drastic loss of moisture will force the fabric to shrink in so many areas at the same time.
  • When your hat is dry completely, take it out and try it on. It should fit just fine on your head.

You should also note that the shrinking process varies from one material to the next. To save you from making costly mistakes, we have covered the shrinking process for several beanie materials.

Shrinking organic cotton beanie

This is a delicate material that needs hand washing. If you are going to use the dryer, set it at very low temperatures. Organic cotton has zero treatments; thus, should not be exposed to extreme heat.


Linen hardly stretches, but for some weird reasons, you may find yourself with an oversized linen beanie. Putting in a washing machine will shrink it significantly. It is with the temperature settings where you have to be very keen. For colored linen, set the temperature at 40 degrees Celcius/ 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If yours is white linen, set the temperature at 60 degrees Celcius/ 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When you are done washing, put your beanie in between folded towel to absorb excess moisture and leave it to air dry.

Wool, acrylic, and cotton

Run your beanies through a short machine washing cycle. It serves to make the fibers tender and ready for reshaping. Set your dryer at a medium level and pop your beanies into it. If your beanie is a little lager then set the dryer at a high mode. After this, check if your beanie is fitting. You can repeat the steps if you need further shrinking.


Silk is a very strong material. There are never reports of it stretching. If you are dealing with a stretched silk beanie, it is more likely to be a manufacturing fault. You may want to contact the store before doing anything else. If you still feel that you want to shrink your silk winter hat, be gentle with it. Silk is beautiful and has to keep that look always. Soak it in water and leave it for a significant duration. The fabric will shrink and probably fit onto your head. Remember that silk should not be dried under direct sunlight as it is prone to discoloring.

Stretching your beanie

It is unbearable to keep wearing a beanie that is too small to fit your head. The solution could lie with stretching your hat. Let’s see how you can make your winter cap bigger and fitting;

How to stretch a beanie

  • Get a spherical/circular object that is more-or-less the size and shape of your head. Watermelon, soccer ball, or cantaloupe can help you on this end.
  • Put the beanie over the object and stretch it to cover the physical surface entirely.
  • Leave it in that stretched state for at least 12 hours.
  • Get it off the object and try it on. It should fit without any problem.



If your beanie is too small or too large to fit your head, it is not the end of the road for that specific hat. There are ways to shrink or stretch it to the size of your head. You just read some of those methods in this post. It is time to get back your beloved beanie. Be cautious to treat each material as instructed by the manufacturer. Also, a lot of heat is not friendly to beanies. Don’t forget to keep checking up this site for insightful and latest fashion trends and information.