With winter approaching, I've been pulling out all the sweaters that have been languishing in the back of my closet for months. But while I do a pretty good job of storing them with cedar and lavender, I always find a couple of sweaters with moth-created holes.
Those pesky moths love feeding on wool — and seem to have expensive taste, as they always go for the cashmere first. After finding several holes in one of my favorite sweaters, I debated what to do. Give it away? Find some high-priced service that could darn it?
Then, I did a little internet research and found a solution I could do myself. All I needed was a magic powder that cost less than $10.
How a bonding agent fixed my sweater
When I first discovered this video explaining how to fix sweater holes with a powder, I scoffed. Surely, this was one of those "hacks" (the kind that populate TikTok these days) that turns out not to actually work.
Reader, it actually worked.
I decided to give it a try because, what was the worst that could happen? The sweater was already unwearable. If I messed it up further, I could still donate it or even use it as the most expensive household rag that ever existed.
So, I bought Bo-Nash 2-Ounce Fusible Bonding Agent ($8.78, Amazon), which came with handy instructions. After reading them and re-watching the video, I gathered my tools — scissors, an iron, a small dish and parchment paper.
Now, the instructions and video recommend using a fiberglass iron sheet, but I wasn't about to purchase one so I used the parchment paper instead.
Once everything was in place, I got to fixing.
How to fix a sweater hole with fusing powder
The first step is to cut off a small amount of the sweater. Turn the sweater inside-out and examine the seams. There should be extra fabric, but be very careful while snipping. You don't want to create another hole yourself! You won't need a ton if the hole is small.
Next, cut up the fabric with the scissors into tinier and tinier pieces until it's essentially fluff. Then, mix the fluff with a small amount of powder.
Insert a double layer of parchment paper into the sweater, so that it's visible on the other side of the hole.
Then, place enough of the powder-flecked fluff to completely fill the hole. Place another double layer of parchment paper over the hole.
Apply a very hot iron (mine was on the wool setting) for five to seven seconds. Lift the top parchment paper to see if the fabric has fused. If it hasn't, heat for a few more seconds.
Once the fabric has fused, the hole should be filled. Likely, the area will look a bit darker and more shiny than the part of the sweater near it.
Carefully turn the sweater outside-in. Rearrange the parchment and apply the iron again for a few seconds on the outside of the sweater.
Now, the hole should be fixed!
My sweater is saved!
As you can see, my sweater no longer has a visible hole. While the fix isn't perfect, it's almost undetectable.
This method might not work on all of your sweaters, particularly if they have a pattern or texture. It will work best on plain, single-color sweaters. If you look closely at my photos, you can see that the arms of my purple sweater have a pebbled-texture. If a hole had appeared in one of the arms, I'm not sure if the fusing agent could've repaired it so invisibly.
In this case, the magic powder saved my sweater to be worn for at least one more chilly winter.
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.