As many people store certain types of clothing when not in season, there is always a probability that moth larvae eat holes through them. The damage happens especially when the clothes are not stored properly. Wool and other natural fabrics are a favourite meal of moth larvae.
Stitching up a moth hole differs in process depending on the type of fabric. Although both knitted and woven fabrics need the use of basting stitch as foundation stitching, each require a specific process in the actual mending. The same goes for wool fabrics such as cashmere or merino. The ways to repair moth holes range from simple solutions to utilising a specific stitch, and DIYers who know these can easily save a cherished item of clothing.
Knitted fabric is unique in the sense that it is made of interconnecting loops. To camouflage the work when fixing a hole on knitted cloth, DIYers need a yarn that resembles the cloth and a tapestry needle, which is a blunt, large-eye needle.
The first step is to cut the worn-through stitches, leaving the stitches on all four sides intact. Sew basting stitches on the area around the hole with large running stitches all the way around the hole. Sew two full stitches to prevent creating a larger hole while working.
Next, thread a tapestry needle with a yarn the same colour of the cloth, but with a yarn much thinner than that of the cloth. The thin yarn serves as a foundation of the repair. Employing a Kitchener stitch or grafting method, make long stitches with the thin yarn to connect the top and bottom stitches of each column as if they were only one row apart. The thin yarn creates the base for the actual mending, so DIYers should not draw the hole tightly.
DIYers should have a yarn that resembles the colour, texture, fibre, content, and diameter of that of the damaged cloth. After threading the tapestry needle while making sure to not double or knot it, the next step is to recreate the knitted cloth utilising again the Kitchener stitch method and the thin yarn as the base. Start with one full column and one full row each side of the hole with duplicate stitch. After mending the entire hole, sew in the ends of the underside of the fabric and trim it before removing the basting stitches.
Woven fabrics feature threads that are perpendicular to each other. DIYers begin by utilising the basting stitch method and creating large running stitches about approximately 3 centimetres from the edge of the hole and all the way around. The basting stitch is permanent so it is important to use a matching thread. With the same matching threads, make large stitches that are evenly spaced and run in the same direction as the warp threads-the threads that cross the warp perpendicularly-of the original cloth.
DIYers who find it difficult to determine the warp threads can just choose one direction to follow. The number of stitches should be the same as the number of warp threads in the original cloth to cover the hole. Remember to not pull the stitches too tight so the fabric does not distort.
Using a new thread that matches as closely as possible with the weft, weave over and under the warp threads. Upon reaching the end of the row, create a stitch into the fabric on the side then turn and weave under and over the warp threads. Continue the process to repair the entire hole and then secure the thread. Finally, create an unimposing knot at the back and trim the thread.
DIYers should use a thread that looks inconspicuous in the wool clothing. Another option is to use the spare thread that comes with the garment or thread from any hidden part of the cloth. Begin by turning the cloth inside out and drawing the mending thread through the yarns in the wool cloth. Employ a blanket stitch or knit while making sure to not pull the stitches too tight to prevent distort the fabric. To finish up, tie the mending thread on the inside of the clothing.
DIYers can use iron-on patches to cover the holes. The package of these patches typically come with application instructions. Instructions for Simplicity iron-on patches, for instance, require press the patch onto the cloth with a pressing cloth for 10 to 15 seconds and then turning the cloth inside out before pressing again firmly for 20 to 25 seconds.
eBay has materials DIYers can use to repair moth holes, from woven to knitted to woollen fabrics. Buyers should look for listings with free postage that top-rated sellers may offer, along with discounted items. To get more value for the money, buyers can find bargain items on eBay's Deals page.
Moth larvae can damage stored garments like wool, especially when the clothing is stored in less-than-ideal conditions. When repairing moth holes, a rule of thumb is to use a thread, whether for basting or for actual mending, that blends well with the cloth. Saving a hole-ridden cloth that is otherwise in perfect condition requires DIYers to know repair methods from simple patching to using a Kitchener stitch.