How to Repair Wool Clothing

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Mend wool clothing.
Mend wool clothing. (Image: needle 2 image by Zoltán Futó from Fotolia.com)

The art of mending and making do has been lost in recent generations. Wool clothing is often an investment, so learning to repair wool clothing can help you to make the most of a new piece you've purchased or salvage something already in your closet. Damage to wool clothing can include rips and tears, as well as holes caused by moths or other insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Sewing thread
  • Lightweight wool yarn to match your fabric
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

Assess the damage. Plan your mending based on whether you are simply sewing up a seam, fixing a very small hole or worn area or dealing with more significant moth damage.

Repair seams by threading a needle with matching sewing thread. Line up the fabric, pressing with an iron on the wool setting if necessary. Pin the seam into place. Hand stitch using a neat backstitch for woven items or mattress stitch for knits (see Resources).

Press the fabric or steam it smooth with your iron before you attempt to darn a hole in wool clothing. Place the fabric on a flat surface.

Knot a length of wool yarn or wool mending thread. Come up from the underside of the fabric, then stitch a circle in running stitch approximately 1/2 inch on each side from the hole, simply passing the needle and up down through the fabric. Reverse and use the running stitch in the opposite direction.

Make long vertical stitches across the hole, from one side of your running-stitch circle to the other. Keep these stitches neat, parallel and not too tight.

Turn your garment 90 degrees. Holding the thread perpendicular to the long stitches covering the hole, begin weaving the thread in and out of these threads. Alternate your weaving pattern with each row, weaving under the threads you went over on the previous row and over the ones you went under. Securely knot your thread and weave the ends into the fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a patch of the same or a closely matched fabric to create a less visible darn.
  • Choose fingering or lace-weight wool yarn to repair most wool fabric.
  • Wool damage is often caused by moths. Use a natural or chemical moth repellent and kill existing moths and their larvae by freezing wool clothing to prevent further damage.

References

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