How to Stretch a Football Jersey

It's Monday evening. After a hectic day of work you receive a telephone call from your son's football coach about his jersey, and you drop by his office and pick up his medium-size jersey. After throwing it in your car you rush home to make dinner for the family. Before bed, as an afterthought, you have him try it on. Oh no, it's too small! There's no way your son and his huge shoulder pads will fit in there together and his first game is tomorrow night.

This is a scenario that has happened to many. While it might be possible to ask for another jersey, there are times this may not be an option. The best option may be stretching the jersey yourself. While this may seem like a difficult task, with a little know-how it can be done fairly easily.

Fill the washing machine, the storage or bath tub, or other container with water. Cold water is best for this process.

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Immerse the jersey in the water, letting it remain until thoroughly soaked and the fibers are loosened. This should take about about 10 minutes.

Remove the jersey from the water and ring it out by hand to remove much of the excess water. However, make sure it is still sopping wet. The more saturated the fibers, the easier it will be for the fabric to expand.

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Place the bottom of the jersey around the back of the wide-backed chair and gently work it down over it until it's as far as it can go. It is important to do this gently so that the fabric only stretches and is not damaged by stretching it too fast.

Rotate the jersey around the chair back repeatedly and at regular intervals. This action should be continued until the jersey is dry. This is to ensure that even stretching occurs. You don't want the jersey to be bigger in the stomach but still too narrow at the sides, or vice versa.


It's a good idea to use a fan pointed toward the chair/jersey to speed up drying time, especially if time is short. Also, to stretch the arms and/or shoulders of the jersey, try placing large food cans or jars in the sleeves while wet.


This process is for temporary stretching only. Repeated stretching will damage the jersey over time.