Sweater season is upon us! And with it, the holes in our sweaters. Maybe a moth ate them away when they were in storage for summer and spring, or maybe one of the threads got caught in something last winter and you forgot about it. If you're not ready to part with your favorite sweater, or you'd like to enjoy your cozy woolen knit socks without holes, read on. You'll also learn how to mend your non-stretchable fabrics, like bed sheets or jeans. Let's get mending!
A sweater, as well as any knit fabric, is made of thousands of tiny loops. If the hole is small, we can simply re-connect the loops. This method will "seam" invisible (pardon the pun), as we will be stitching our thread between the two layers of knitting. Any knit garment has two layers, even a T-shirt! In lighter fabrics, these layers are thinner and the loops are minuscule, but they're there. That's what makes all knit fabrics stretch.
With bigger holes, the method will be almost the same but we will be using a needle and thread and sewing over and under, and over again, many times, until we fill the hole instead of attaching the existing fabric to itself. We will stitch horizontally and then vertically, and finish off without needing a knot at the end. This is called darning. Let's demonstrate:
Mending big holes in knits:
Darning a woven fabric:
Darning with a sewing machine:
Mending small holes in knits:
Pre-treatment in the case of moths:
If the holes in your garments were caused by moths, the first step will be to kill them, and then we can get to the mending. Put your garment in a sealed plastic bag and store it in the freezer for a few days. Take it out of the freezer and out of the bag and allow it to return to room temperature before storing it away again in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer. This will kill any possible larvae as well as bacteria and other kinds of pests.
We will be using the darning method here as well. The thicker the fabric, the thicker your thread of choice should be and vice versa. Enjoy this extensive demonstration of mending two socks with darning:
Needles Aren't an Option? Here Are Other Methods
If for any reason you cannot use needles, there are still plenty of options for fixing your garments at home.
Fuse-it powder allows you to use existing fabric and melt it into the hole using an iron. You can purchase it in any haberdashery, in some hobby stores, and even on Amazon. Here's a demonstration of use:
You can also use a patch, and simply iron it on.
For some fixes we can use a needle but not for stitching. For example, a snag or a loose thread. This video will show you a couple of methods:
How to Mend a T-Shirt
This video demonstrates two methods: one with stitching and one without. As with the Fuse-it powder, patches, and any other instruments you see in the videos, the fusible bonding web from the video down below will be available to you in any haberdashery, in some hobby stores and on Amazon.
The stitch you'll learn in this video will help you with fixing any torn woven (non-stretchable) fabric.