General Question

sferik's avatar

How to prevent cuffs from losing their elasticity?

Asked by sferik (6099points) August 21st, 2008

I’m a big fan of half-zip sweaters. Over time, the cuffs invariably lose their elasticity, making otherwise-great sweaters unwearable.

There is an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry David claims that this is caused by rolling up the sleeve past the elbow. I am very careful not to do this, but the cuffs seem to loosen on me anyway. I fear it happens in the laundry.

Can anything be done to prevent or reverse this effect?

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7 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

@sferik: I was going to bring up that episode when I read the question. Good one.. :)

You could try handwashing in cold water and letting them dry flat.

Is it poly? Wool? Blend?

sferik's avatar

removes shirt from back

92% cotton
8% cashmere

Here’s a picture of model wearing the shirt that caused me to ask the question.

Snoopy's avatar

You might try dry cleaning, if it is a really nice sweater. If not so expensive, try washing in a delicates/sweater bag w/ woolite on a very gentle cycle. Lay flat to dry….and squish the cuffs together to encourage them to not dry “stretched” out…..

marinelife's avatar

Elastic wears out before fabric. Sad but true. A seamstress or tailor might be able to suggest a fix (elastic band on the inside?).


JackAdams's avatar

You don’t want the cuffs to be elastic in the first place, or your lady could easily escape from them, and leave you all alone in the bedroom.

marissa's avatar

Elastic breaks down quicker when repeatedly exposed to heat. Poof is right about handwashing in cold water and drying flat. Snoopy also has a great idea with dry cleaning. However to deal with it when it happens, get the thinnest gauge elastic thread (cording) available with a plastic needle that has an eye just big enough for the elastic to fit through (too big and you will have bigger ‘holes’ stretched in the sweater). Start at the top of the cuff (where the cuff is attached to the sweater) weave the elastic through the sweater fibers all the way around the top of the cuff. Be sure to take as small of ‘weaves’ as possible, so it is not very visible and make sure not to pull the elastic too tight or your cuff will bunch. Measure about 1/2 inch down from that and do the same thing. There is no guarantee that this will work, because its success depends a great deal on the type of weave the sweater has, but I hope it will work on your sweaters.

Randy's avatar

I totally believe in the “don’t pull long sleves past the elbow” rule. So far, it’s done me well. I once pulled off my whole shirt to show off a tattoo on my bicep, just so I wouldn’t stretch out my sleeves.

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