How to soften my washed cotton sweater?

This lovely cotton knit sweater, made by a dear old aunt 17 years ago, and worn by my teen daughter for 4 years throughout high school, (she’s now 35) then put away for awhile, worn a few more times…is now mine. I washed it yesterday,in a front-loader washing machine, on ‘hand wash’ cycle, then dried it on a rack, now it’s all stiff like cardboard. Maybe the soap didn’t come all out?

any ideas on how I can soften it? or maybe if I wear it crunchy it will soften with the wearing…or I can toss it in a cool dryer maybe with a lint remover sheet…

No when you air dry cottons they become stiff. Dampen it a little and put it in the dryer a few minutes. Next time you wash it you could just throw it into the dryer until only damp dry, then finish drying flat. Cottons only shrink in the dryer if left in too long until they’re dry dry; they stretch a bit with wearing, so you need them to shrink back to the knit size a little.

I don’t have any suggestions but that’s a beautiful sweater!

I agree about the washer and dryer and I’d use a little fabric softener, too. (I use Downy)

How did you wash it for your daughter during her HS years? Or how did she wash it?

Ok, will try the dryer. For my daughter in high school, I hand washed it, she wore it crunchy and it would soften with the wear. I could do that too.