For the most part, it isn’t a great idea to try and stretch soccer jerseys. When I was younger my mother would often bemoan me for pulling too hard on the fabric of my clothes and tell me to be more gentle with them.
Despite this, there is still sometimes a good reason for clothing to be stretched out that usually relates to the item being too small for the wearer.
Today we will be helping those of you that are struggling with soccer jerseys that are too small by explaining a few interesting ways of how to stretch a soccer jersey.
These days soccer jerseys are among some of the most expensive items of clothing available on the high street and as such not everyone can afford to just replace a jersey that has become a little too small, especially if is a bespoke one made for a child team for example.
Fear not though, because help is on the way!
Important information: There are a number of ways of stretching soccer jerseys such as using an iron and heavy objects, however, all of them have risks attached. As a general rule, we would not advise stretching your soccer jerseys that have become too small as you could cause irreparable damage to them.
With that in mind, let’s get into it.
Here are 4 effective ways to stretch a soccer jersey.
1. On An Ironing Board
The most basic and widely used method of stretching soccer jerseys is to stretch them out over an ironing board, there is a little more to it than merely pulling the jersey across the board though.
To begin, you are going to need to lay the small jersey out over an ironing board as this will allow you to mist the fabric from a distance (be careful not to have the iron too close to the fabric of your jersey as it will likely cause serious damage to it).
After misting, you should start pegging the jersey down with some clothespin (clothes pegs) as this will prevent the jersey from loosening up during the stretching process.
The key thing to take into account when doing this is that you should put the clothespin’ in the places that you want stretching (so at the bottom of the jersey for length and on the sleeves to stretch those).
Once the jersey has dried, it should have been stretch out evenly. This method is also the safest way to avoid causing damage to your jersey as it is unlikely to tear over the course of stretching.
2. Using The Iron Itself
While misting is a great technique for stretching jerseys that only need minor adjustments, you may need to try a more drastic measure for jerseys that need to be stretched even further. This will again require an iron, although this time you are going to actually use it on the fabric of the jersey.
For this method to be successful, you are going to also need a towel that can act as a barrier between the heated iron and the jersey (if you don’t form this barrier it is likely that the iron will burn through the delicate material of your jersey).
It is also a wise idea to make sure that the towel is slightly damp when it is placed over the jersey, again to prevent any burn damage.
Whilst doing this, you should be pressing relatively hard on the towel to ensure that some of the moisture is transferred into the fabric of the jersey as this makes it easier to stretch.
There are quite a few things going on at the same time during this method, so it is a good idea to have a helper that can stretch the jersey out for you while you conduct the other steps.
The final thing that you should do is start to iron over the towel on a low heat setting, press down on the towel and pull on the jersey underneath.
After a short while you should notice that the areas you have stretched are now permanently altered, giving you a larger jersey.
An important word of warning when using this method is that it doesn’t always provide an even or neat stretch, so only really use it if you are getting desperate.
3. Use Some Heavy Objects
If heating and using an iron on a soccer jersey is something that scares you (we totally understand), then there are other ways of attempting to stretch fabric however bear in mind that this technique isn’t always successful.
The most common and cost-effective way of stretching soccer jerseys is simply to lay them out over a table or on the floor and place heavy objects at the edges of the area that you want to stretch. By doing this you create strain on the material, causing it to be forced into stretching.
Like with the previous method we discussed though, this doesn’t always result in an even stretch and can sometimes leave jerseys looking tattered.
4. Loosen The Seams On Your Jersey
For those of you that really don’t want to physically stretch the material that your favorite jerseys are made out of, there is a less invasive way of making them feel larger.
If you know someone that can sew (or can yourself) then you can alter the size of the soccer jersey like any other item of clothing.
By using an ‘unpicker’ tool you can pick away at the seams on your jersey, therefore releasing some of the tightness in certain areas such as the sleeves and collar.
Before messing with any of the internal working of the jersey make sure that whoever is unpicking the seams knows exactly where to do it and how many seams to remove, as taking away too many could leave your jersey distorted and baggy.
Using any of the methods that we have discussed in this piece can be a risky move when attempting to alter the size of soccer jerseys.
Unfortunately in some cases the delicate nature of the material that they are made out of means that they cannot be stretched safely, in this scenario you may be forced to buy a new jersey.
If you’re buying a jersey online, it’s not always easy to know which size to choose, since a Medium soccer jersey from Nike won’t fit the same as an Adidas, or Kappa for example.
To avoid getting a soccer jersey that’s too big, you should read my jersey size guide. In that article, I listed all the major brands and how their soccer jerseys fit, so you can be sure that you’re getting the right size. Hope that helps!