One of the biggest myths in fashion today is that if you invest in men's suits and tweed jackets and take care of them, they'll last forever. While they do tend to last a lot longer than clothing made with low-quality fabric that isn't cared for, nothing --no matter how well it is made-- is immune from tears, snags, and holes. When this happens to your suits or men's tweed jackets, however, knowing what to do can save you time and money.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide including the best tips and techniques to fix most of the usual drawbacks that could affect your suit’s quality and durability. If your suit has elbow rips or tear, your jacket and sleeves are torn, or that evil moth in your wardrobe has caused any in-famous “moth holes”, grab yourself a cup of tea because you are in for a mending lesson.
There are some things to consider before making a decision:
Is the rip too obvious and longer than a few centimetres? Is the fabric too thin due to wear?
Most suits, when worn over and over, or even if you just keep them in your wardrobe, will end up needing a repair or two. If you want your suit to last looking neat and seamless, make sure you take it to a skilled professional that’s able to make all the repairs invisible. The most usual issues that could affect the quality of your suit are:
As your jacket is the first contact with your surroundings, it may get hooked by a piece of metal on the street or scratched by your cat, or you-name-it. Moth holes(()) Moths are known for being wool and cashmere lovers. Once they get into your closet, it’s hard to get rid of them. They can cause many small holes that later on expand and end up ruining your suit. If this happens, we recommend first getting rid of the larvae and the eggs. Freezing them is the easiest way of doing this as you only need to put your garments into a sealed plastic bag. After doing so, just leave it in the freezer for a few days. You can repeat this process more than one time.
The friction between your legs, your elbows on your desk or even the items you place in your pockets –such as keys, phone or coins-- can cause serious damage to the fabric over time. The erosion of the fabric can cause unwanted shiny spots due to wear. Most times, this is hard to reverse if not taken care of in time.
A silly movement can, in one second, ruin your suit –and style! But, there’s one way to prevent most ripped garments: proper fitting. Lucky you, we’ve got that covered
When it comes down to the truths of “how to fix holes” in, for example, a tweed jacket–that’s among the most asked questions in menswear—our best advice is: do your research and then, talk to the experts. There are a number of techniques that can be applied according to the size of the hole or the torn, the thinness of the fabric, the nature of the problem –such as the moth holes—or even the type of fabric and texture.
This is known as invisible reweaving or French reweaving. It involves weaving individual threads into the original cloth. The new strands of thread fill in the hole so the suit or jacket looks as if it was never snagged or torn, to begin with. Reweaving is often the best option for small tears or holes. Reweaving suits pants, tweed jackets and similar clothing requires a delicate approach and it takes time. So don’t leave the repairs for last minute as you may have to wait quite a few days to get your suit ready to rock again!
Also called Inweaving. Again, this technique must be performed by a professional in order to achieve optimum results. It involves placing a small patch over the hole or tear, then weaving the frayed edges of the patch into the suit so the patch is almost invisible. This option is often used when holes are too large to simply 'fill in' via reweaving.
This has to be done very carefully and it’s not recommended for areas that may be quite visible. Darning consists in patching a piece of fabric under the rip to make it stable –or a darning mushroom-- and then sewing a running stitch half a centimetre away from the edge so it doesn’t expand anymore. Then, you sew the stitches across the hole and weave some others perpendicularly, working the thread over and under your stitches.
This is simply placing a patch over the hole, torn or rips. The most stylish use for this technique is when it comes to reinforcing your jacket’s elbows with visible patches.
If you are lucky enough and the tear is just along the seam, just getting a sewing machine –still may be done by a professional—and reinforcing the area would do.
So far, we’ve walked you through the main enemies of your suit, how to fix them before it’s too late and what to consider before making the decision of fixing vs ditching. Repairs can be done on suits and tweed jackets with holes and tears, but it's up to you to determine if these are worth the time and money. Truth is, when you treat yourself to a high quality, exclusive ensemble, doing your part and taking great care of is part of the drill.