It’s happened to yet another t-shirt: it was love at first sight, you bought it, you wore it a few times… and now you’ve spotted some tiny holes in the front. Again.
It’s not just you. Sometimes, they appear on other garments and tops, but they’re especially common with t-shirts.
But why do our t-shirts get little holes in the front?
Well, we’re about to solve that mystery for you (and we bet the answer will shock you).
But don’t worry: we’ll also show you how to get rid of those tiny holes in clothes and prevent them from now on.
Best part? No stitching and sewing needed!
The causes behind these tiny holes in clothes
In 2015, Radar—a Dutch platform and TV programme—did extensive research to understand what causes those tiny holes in t-shirts in particular.
They questioned a test panel of over 44,000 people and even hired textile and fashion experts (yep, they took it pretty seriously).
- Some people thought it was due to poor quality… but that research showed those tiny holes were common in premium t-shirts, too
- Given their size, others assumed those tiny holes in clothes were caused by vermin… but no moths were discovered
Plus, it still wouldn’t solve the main mystery: why are these tiny holes in clothes more common in t-shirts... and in the same spot (near the belly button area)?
Plot twist! The answer lies in how most t-shirts are made nowadays. They’re usually knitted with a single thread. So, as soon as it becomes loose, it leaves a pinhole in your t-shirt.
So, what causes tiny holes in t-shirts and tops?
Those tiny holes in your t-shirts are caused by objects that pull out their thread. In most cases, it’s the button of your trousers or your belt buckle.
Other culprits? Your washing machine (especially if you spotted these tiny holes in clothes after washing them), car belts, sharp corners on tables and countertops, and shoulderbags.
Alright, mystery solved. But how do you get rid of these tiny holes in clothes and t-shirts?
We’ll show you!
How to get rid of the tiny holes in your clothes
What you’ll need:
- Small piece of fusible interlining—special fabric with hot-melt glue on one side—like Vlieseline (you can find it online, on Amazon, or in local DIY shops)
- Iron and ironing board
- Press cloth (or any piece of cloth or fabric)
Step-by-step guide to fixing those tiny holes in your t-shirts:
- Lay your t-shirt inside out on the ironing board
- Close the hole by pressing its sides together
- Put the Vlieseline or fusible interlining on it
- Lay the press cloth over it
- Spray water onto it
- Place your hot iron on it and press for 10 seconds (DON’T move it, or you’ll open the hole again!)
That’s it. You’ve fixed that tiny hole in your t-shirt without sewing it!
You can also choose to use an iron-on patch to cover those little holes in your t-shirts, especially if you’re aiming for a distressed, vintage, or more personalised vibe. Or if you’re particularly crafty, why not design your own?
How to prevent tiny holes in your t-shirts from now on
There are different things you can try:
- Tuck your t-shirts into your trousers and skirts – That way, it won’t rub against your belt or buttons
- Wear a "button cover" – It’ll stop your t-shirt from touching your trousers button. We got ours from Holé: their covers are made from soft silicone (= no unnecessary plastic) in a factory that’s regularly checked unannounced by Veritas (= ethical)... and they work! Plus, they’ll help you jazz up your jeans and trousers, too
- Choose belts with smooth buckles – Unfortunately, button covers alone won’t prevent those tiny holes in t-shirts if you then add a spiky or rough belt
- Get laundry wash bags – These won’t only help with those tiny holes in t-shirts: they’ll protect all your clothes and help them last longer
- Be mindful when wearing your t-shirts and tops – We get it: that’s not always possible. But try to be careful when putting your seatbelt on or throwing a shoulderbag on top of your t-shirts
Now you know exactly what causes those little holes in clothes and t-shirts, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them.
Plus, don’t forget: fixing your clothes and keeping them for longer is excellent news for the planet, too (= less waste).
And when you do need new ones, consider choosing t-shirts that were made ethically. On Project Cece, we bought hundreds of fair trade brands in one place and added filters to narrow down your choices.
And if you’ve found this helpful, start receiving our tips and inspiration to make even more sustainable fashion choices.
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