A cashmere sweater is one of the most luxurious and rare clothing that you can own. So having your favorite cashmere sweater damaged with a hole from a moth or any other reason is a nightmare. Washing and caring for cashmere requires delicateness and concentration, and it is the same when it comes to repairing holes. But once you have learned how to properly care for your cashmere and repair your cashmere when needed, it is a life-long skill that will save a lot of stress, time, and money.
Related: What is Cashmere? Why is Mongolian Cashmere Unique?
There are several different ways to repair a hole in cashmere, mostly depending on the contents of the material of your sweater. I will explain it as quickly and simply as possible for you to follow through so that you won’t struggle. Plus, I have added some videos that will make it even more clear for you to understand.
Causes for holes in cashmere garment
- Friction: This occurs as the cashmere fabric rubs against itself and other surfaces during wear, causing the soft cashmere fibers to thin, weaken, and eventually tear.
- Moths: These insects feed on the fibers of the fabric, causing holes in the process.
- Chemical treatments: Certain detergents, fabric softeners, and bleaches can damage the delicate fibers of cashmere sweaters, making them brittle and prone to breakage.
Repair holes in cashmere: Things to know
- Choose Your Tools Wisely: Use a sharp needle and a thread that matches the color of the cashmere garment. For larger holes, an extra piece of cashmere fabric is necessary.
- Understand the Process: Inspect the garment to determine the size and shape of the hole. Cut a piece of cashmere fabric slightly larger than the hole, place it over the hole ensuring it’s flat and smooth. Then, sew the piece to the sweater using small, even stitches. Knot the thread to secure it and trim any extra fabric or thread.
- Repair Procedure: Start by threading the needle with a length of thread longer than the hole. Begin from the back of the sweater, and sew around the hole, keeping the stitches close together.
- Finishing: After sewing, tie a knot and trim the extra thread. You might want to gently brush the area with a clothes brush to make it look neat.
Recommended repair kit
How to mend/sew cashmere hole: Step-by-step
To mend or sew the hole in your cashmere, first, you will need a matching yarn and embroidery needle. Some cashmere products come with a bit of yarn in case of damage, and if that’s not the case, you can go to a store to purchase a matching yarn. Bringing your sweater will you help get the same or closer colored yarn.
Flip the sweater inside out. Then place your sweater on a flat surface. It could be an ironing board, table, or some people even use a Champagne cork. Thread your embroidery needle with yarn, but do not tie a knot at the end. (you will tie the two knots at the end) Run the needle through the knit loops carefully and pull the yarn gently. To explain simply, you are mending/sewing in two directions, the second one going over the first one. Once you finish going over the hole, gently pull and tie the two ends together) To clear any confusion, watch the video below:
Another way to fix holes in cashmere sweater repair
Here is a different method of repairing the hole in your sweater by using a Fuse It Powder. It was also new to me as I’ve accidentally found this video and thought it was another useful and easy method to repair your sweater.
Or if you are worried that you might not be able to repair the hole, then you can contact a professional to get it mended. Just make sure that you get it repaired as soon as possible because the hole might get bigger over time.
It helps to spray and/or steam the cashmere sweater after you have repaired the hole. Read my article about how to properly wash and care for your cashmere to prevent further damage. Overall, all the methods above require no previous experience or skill which means anyone can do it with careful concentration and patience.
Mend the hole: Sew moth hole the right way
- Prepare Your Materials: Gather all the necessary materials, which should include a darning needle, thread that matches the color of your sweater, a darning mushroom or egg (optional but helpful), and good lighting to see your work clearly.
- Inspect the Garment: Identify all the holes that need mending. Keep in mind that moth holes are often small and can be hard to see.
- Thread the Needle: Cut a length of thread that’s around twice the size of the hole you’re mending. Thread it through the needle and make a knot at one end.
- Start Darning: Position your darning mushroom or egg (or your hand) under the hole to keep the fabric taut and give you a solid surface to work against. Begin sewing around the edge of the hole using small, even stitches
- Weave Across the Hole: Once you have sewn around the hole, start making stitches across the hole, weaving in and out around the perimeter. This creates a woven patch that covers the hole.
- Secure Your Work: After you’ve covered the hole, make a few more stitches into the surrounding fabric to secure your work, and then knot the thread and cut off the excess.
- Smooth the Fabric: Use your fingers to gently smooth the fabric and adjust the new stitches so that they blend in with the rest of the garment.
- Repeat for Any Other Holes: If you have more holes, repeat the process for each one.
Other common cashmere sweater problems
It commonly occurs when you machine wash your garment on a high setting or when you are not gentle with the fabric when wearing it. Try not to pull as much and don’t machine wash. Either hand wash by removing any stains with a damp cloth or go to a professional dry cleaner.
If it’s already stretched out, use a steamer and hang it in the freezer. The cold will get it back into proper shape. For extreme cases, try machine drying to significantly shrink it.
There isn’t much you can do about pilling as your clothes will naturally wear and tear, but to prolong the lifespan, be gentle with the fabric and don’t rub it on surfaces as much. Usually, the elbow and the back part suffer from pilling and wear and tear the most.
To remove any pesky pilling, use something like a special pilling comb or a fabric shaver. Be gentle and get something with softer bristles.
Soak your clothing in cold water for a few minutes. Then remove any excess water without being too harsh on the fabric.
Once that’s done hang your sweater at a mild temperature and gently pull it to bring it back to its proper shape.
Need to mend your sweater? Try professional cashmere repair service
Ideally, you’ll want to use a professional dry cleaner for any sensitive fabric. Yes, it may cost some money, but you can go years and years without getting any holes, pilling, stretching, or shrinking.
I regret machine washing my cashmere cardigan and shrinking it beyond repair, whereas I still could have worn it for a few more years if I had it professionally cleaned.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my cashmere sweaters get holes?
Damages can occur due to wear-induced friction, moth activities, or improper use of chemicals.
Can a cashmere sweater be repaired?
Yes, you can certainly restore it, often using meticulous stitching techniques with a color-coordinated thread.
Can I repair a cashmere sweater with fabric glue?
Using fabric adhesive isn’t advisable as it might leave unwanted residue and might not provide long-lasting results.
How do I keep moths out of my cashmere sweater?
To deter moths, maintain your luxurious knitwear in a cool, dry environment and consider using cedar blocks or moth deterrents.
Can you wash cashmere?
You can clean by hand with cold water and a mild cleanser. Some items may also be cleaned in a washing machine, using a gentle cycle, but not recommended.