How can I mend small holes in my sweater?
July 22, 2008 3:12 AM   Subscribe

How can I mend small holes in my sweater?

My favorite turtleneck sweater has a few small (1cm across) holes in it and my previous attempts at repairing them with black cotton thread have been dismal.

Can anyone please recommend a tried-and-true method of (preferably) seamlessly repairing holes like this in a cotton sweater?

Taking it to a tailor is out of the question, I got quotes today and they want more than the jumper originally cost just to repair the holes 0_0

A huge thank you in advance for any help you can give me :)!
posted by katala to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Darn it! That's pretty much the only way you'll repair the holes seamlessly. How difficult that proves to be (and how seamless it will look) depends on the thread size of your sweater, the colour of the yarn/thread you use, and how carefully you darn it.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:34 AM on July 22, 2008

In the U.S., reweaving is a dying art, and therefore, a generally expensive process. It's labor intensive and calls for dexterity, great eyesight, and an uncommon knowledge of knitting, weaving and fiber. So, it's expensive, when you can find someone to do it. But if you're unwilling or unable to do it yourself, and have plenty of time to send it to her, you can try Alice Zotta, or Without a Trace.

You might also consider re-purposing the sweater, as part of a patterned shell, by intentionally cutting in patterns of holes overlaying the damage areas, and coarsely weaving fabric strips through them, as a kind of soft, bulky knotted macrame.
posted by paulsc at 3:50 AM on July 22, 2008

Argh! Stupid cat!! *sigh* Here is the 'close enough' version... (Let me know if you need more detail though?) My experience with holes is mostly from socks...
- Quarter your thread. (ie Doubling it twice ..Duh:)

- Hopefully they're not perfectly round 'cookie-cutters' (they just suck). Start in the middle and start winding your way through to one side. Keep close to the edge yet where the stitches won't pull free. You can see what fabric is actually there and how to make the most of it. Stitches should be slack-ish (as in neat but not all that taut).

- Then on the way back you go 1-2mm out from the first stitches and do this layer very tight and neat. This is where it gets it's shape. I pinch it between my fingertips before the stitch is pulled through so it doesn't gather and pucker.

- The more uniform and patterned you stitch the nicer it looks. (I can take pics of some socks if you want to see what I mean exactly). At worst, if it does get noticed it should look interesting rather than like an old birds nest...
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 8:37 AM on July 22, 2008

le morte de bea arthur's link goes to a page about darning woven fabrics. I think what you want for a knitted sweater is a "stockinette" darn. These instructions look pretty good to me, although I have never (successfully) darned a knit, so I can't really speak from any kind of expertise.
posted by Orinda at 8:42 AM on July 22, 2008

I have darned knit sweaters, and the result is usually ok-looking, but visible to someone who is looking. Good enough for a favorite day-off sweater, but not perfect.

Be sure you get thread/yarn that's as close as possible to the original in color and thickness, and be sure you get the tension right -- it's easy to end up with a puckered bit that sticks out and calls attention to the mend. If you don't know much about knitting, you might think about going to a local yarn store's "advice night" or whatever, and doing your repair while sitting in the shop so they can help if you get in trouble.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:12 PM on July 22, 2008

I should say, if the sweater is made of very, very thin yarn, it will be much harder to darn well. The fatter the yarn, the easier the darn.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:14 PM on July 22, 2008

Thanks so much for the replies :)!! I'll let you know how I go...
posted by katala at 7:16 PM on July 22, 2008

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