How to Keep Tights From Ripping

Before- and after-care maintain the appearance of your tights.
Before- and after-care maintain the appearance of your tights. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Whether you wear tights as part of your dance attire, to keep your legs warm, or because you simply enjoy them as part of your personal style, you know that you must take special care to preserve their appearance and condition. The main goal in the maintenance of your tights is avoiding any kind of hole or tear in them. Second to that, however, is being prepared for the inevitability of holes or tears when they happen. You can use a few tricks to prevent a tiny hole from becoming a major tear.

Buyer Beware

The quality of your tights often determines their longevity. Purchase the right kind of tights for your activities. If you are a dancer, for example, you may want to invest a little more in denser tights specially made for more strenuous activity that tend to not run or snag. Opaque tights also provide a denser coverage than sheer tights. Consider purchasing a size larger than you normally wear to avoid your tights getting stretched to the point of breaking.

An Ounce of Prevention

Even the slightest jagged edge can snag the delicate material of your tights and create problematic holes that lead to large rips and tears. The toe area of your tights receives the most wear and tear from your toenails. Keep your toenails short and neat. If the problem persists, purchase tights with reinforced toes.

Handle With Care

When you pull on your tights, you invite trouble from items such as jewelry and the condition of your fingernails; avoid stretching out your tights unnecessarily. Bunch up the legs of your tights from toe to hip before slipping your foot into the first leg of the tight. Gently smooth the tights up your leg, stretching slightly as you go. Take off any jewelry that may pose a problem prior to handling your tights. Trim your fingernails to smooth, rounded edges to prevent snagging. Alternatively, wear cotton gloves to prevent tearing from rough hands or nails.

Maintenance Care

Inevitably, despite your best intentions, you will likely find yourself performing preventative care from small holes or snags in your tights. To prevent tiny pinprick holes from spreading into a dreaded "run" in your tights, keep an emergency care kit on hand. Stock your kit with clear fingernail polish. Inspect your tights regularly, and the moment that you see a hole or tiny run, apply clear polish to prevent additional tearing. Apply the polish while you have the tights on and already stretched to fit. Allow to dry before removal.

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