Sometimes clothing ends up with small holes, but don't rush to throw them away. There's a way to salvage your favorite garments, even if sewing isn't your strong suit. In fact, for tiny holes, this method might be preferable to sewing because it avoids bulky, noticeable stitches. Once you start watching for these small imperfections, you'll probably notice them in more garments than you initially thought. The good news is that once you've learned how to mend them, each fix will take just a few minutes.
What Causes a Hole in Clothing
These small holes can show up for a variety of reasons. While it's easy to point fingers at moths, they're not always to blame. Ordinary wear and tear can also lead to these little imperfections, and you might be surprised by some of the common culprits that can cause them, such as:
- Fasteners like zipper
- Undergarments like bra
- Accessories like belt
- Household appliances like washing machine
- Cleaning agents like chlorine bleac
- Contact with abrasive surfaces
How to Prevent Holes
The position of the holes in your clothes can often point to the source of the problem. For example, holes at the bottom of shirts might be caused by belt buckles that scrape or catch the fabric. To avoid this, you could forgo the belt, adjust its placement often, or sand down any rough edges. If you find holes where you tuck in your shirts, the zipper on your jeans might be the culprit. Zippers can also snag other clothes in the wash, so always zip up items like jeans and hoodies before tossing them in the laundry. Similarly, fasten bras before washing them to prevent their metal clasps from snagging on other garments. You can also place bras in a separate laundry bag, particularly if they have a tendency to unfasten.
Regarding laundry, avoid overloading the washing machine. Doing so increases the chance that items with zippers or buttons will catch on each other. Make sure to turn garments with embellishments like beads or buttons inside out before washing. Also, separate delicate fabrics like cotton and silk from more durable items like sheets and towels. Use a gentle spin cycle for delicate materials. Be cautious when using chlorine bleach, as misuse or excessive amounts can cause holes. Opt for eco-friendly alternatives like vinegar, citric acid, or baking soda.
Moths can also be behind those pesky holes, particularly in natural fabrics like wool, silk, and leather, though they're not too picky and will damage other fabrics as well. To deter moths, use pheromone traps for the males and natural repellents like dried lavender or mint essential oil for the rest. For severe infestations, wash your clothing in warm water and cleanse your closet with vinegar.
Lastly, be wary of rough surfaces you might rub against, like brick, nails, wood, or stone. These can snag your clothes and create small holes that may worsen over time. If you have these types of surfaces in your environment, consider either smoothing them or covering them to avoid accidental rips and tears.
How to Repair Clothes Without Sewing
Before you start the repair process, make sure you have the following items on hand:
- Garment with a hole that's 5 mm or smaller
- An iron
- Fusible bonding web
- A large sheet of wax paper
1. Turn the damaged garment inside out and lay it flat on the ironing board, ensuring the hole is visible.
2. Snip a piece of fusible bonding web that's just a bit larger than the hole you're looking to mend.
3. Carefully align both sides of the hole together, making it appear as though the hole has disappeared. Place the cut piece of fusible bonding web over this area. Then, cover it with a sheet of wax paper. Fusible bonding web is readily available at stores like Walmart, fabric shops, craft stores, and online platforms like Amazon.
4. Set your iron to the "wool" setting. Gently place the iron atop the wax paper, holding it still without pressing down, for around 10 seconds. Lift the iron carefully afterward.
5. Pick up your garment and turn it right-side out to check the hole. If it's not fully closed, use your fingers to align the edges of the hole as in step two. Reapply the fusible web and the iron, following steps three and four until the garment looks as good as new.
Mastering this technique may take a few attempts, but once you get it right, the hole should be virtually invisible.
Take a look at the video below!