Save Your Holey Sweater in a Flash with this Quick Tip

How to mend a hole in a sweater or another knit fabric garment.

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Learn how to mend a sweater or other garment made with knit fabric when it gets a hole.

Do you know why your T-shirts sometimes come out of the wash with holes in them?

It’s not moths; it’s the zippers on other garments grabbing them in the wash and making holes.How to mend a hole in a sweater or another knit fabric garment.

I know this, so you’d think I would separate out my zippered things from my more delicate items, but no.

This is a lesson I need to learn again and again. Sometimes with the same sweater.

How to Mend a Sweater with Holes

This particular sweater has come out of the wash with holes twice in recent history.

The good news is, I know how to fix it. I should mention that this sweater has a double-thickness, so that’s why there’s gray fabric behind the hole instead of just, you know, a hole.

All you need is a needle and some coordinating thread, and maybe a teeny, tiny crochet hook if the stitches are unraveling around the hole (you’ll see extra threads running behind the stitch if that’s happening; put the crochet hook in the loop and pull through each thread in order until you’ve worked your way back to the hole).How to mend a hole in a sweater or another knit fabric garment.

Cut a length of thread, double it and tie a knot in the end so the ends are tied together. Find a spot on the fabric near the hole on the back side of the garment and pull the needle and thread through.

Grab the open stitches on each side of the hole with your needle. Pull through firmly, but not so hard that the fabric pulls underneath.How to mend a hole in a sweater or another knit fabric garment.

Repeat across as many stitches as is required to closed the hole.

Stitch around the outside of the hole, anchoring the threads you just stitched into the surrounding fabric for extra stability. You can see I didn’t do this particularly neatly, but this sweater is a little slubby so it doesn’t matter that much.How to mend a hole in a sweater or another knit fabric garment.

Take the thread to the back of the garment, tie another knot and trim the excess thread.

Even though I didn’t do a great job, I still had trouble finding the mended spot when I turned back to the outside of the sleeve. Another person would never notice it.

The great thing is, once you know how to mend a sweater you can do it in just a few minutes and save your favorite garments from the trash. Even better? Get some laundry garment bags and keep your knits protected from the jeans in your wash so you don’t keep having to do this over and over. Maybe I’ll take my own advice on this one.

Have you ever mended a sweater, T-shirt or other knit garment before? I’d love to hear about your technique.



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  1. I bought a new sweater and pulled a hole in it the very first week! They didn’t sell a repair thread so I had to go to the craft store to find embroidery thread to match. My repair wasn’t perfect, but as you mentioned, most people aren’t going to notice it. Next time, I’ll avoid the really fine knit stuff…

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