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Small Holes in Cotton Knits
updated: Jan 20, 2014, 8:23 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

The past few months I've been getting small holes in my cotton knits. Anyone else having this problem and does anyone have a solution?

I'm really ticked off about it! I've got 5 cotton knits-sweaters, tops, dress- with tiny holes. All have been washed and have been put outside to dry. I've put silverfish packets in my closet but that didn't seem to make any difference. Grateful for any suggestions on this…..

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 487594P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 09:18 PM

Probably moths. Jerks. You can try cedar blocks, pomanders, miscellaneous herbs hung (sage, bay, etc..) If they are seasonal clothing, definitely storage. If not, you might want to think about storing them somewhere else, isolated, that can have some sort of repellent effect (cedar chest, drawer with herbs) and try to starve them out. Good luck!


 COMMENT 487611P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-20 11:37 PM

Don't blame the silverfish. Most likely you have the larvae of the webbing clothes moths eating away at your cotton clothing.

You need to wash your clothing in warm water and either hang it out in full sun after every wash, or put it into the clothes dryer for a hot 20-minute spin. I suppose the cotton will then shrink a bit, too.

I put my favorite things in plastic bags (the kind with the zipper), if I'm hanging items in the closet. Otherwise, try wrapping your sweaters and such in newspaper, when you put them in the drawers. The moths don't like newspaper for some reason and newsprint is actually very clean----if you make sure it's the kind where the ink doesn't rub off.


 ASW agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 06:49 AM



 COMMENT 487632 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 06:57 AM

I don't know that moths attack _cotton_ clothing.

Suggestions: - avoid using pins.
- avoid using the dryer.


 COMMENT 487636P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 07:08 AM

Clothes moths often get the blame for damage actually caused by carpet beetle larvae. The adult beetles are very small, dome-shaped, and either black or gray speckled. The adults are attracted to light, so you may see them near windows. The light-brown grub-like larvae prefer the dark.

What is perplexing is that you're seeing holes in cotton garments, whereas both moth and carpet beetle larvae tend to prefer protein fibers like wool or silk.

Herbs, cedar, and even moth crystals won't work against carpet beetle. Cleaning garments and closets thoroughly and sealing clothes in bags may discourage them.


 COMMENT 487640 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 07:19 AM

You'll have to quit joints and switch to a bong.


 COMMENT 487677P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 08:50 AM

There is a manufacturer defect, not a defect that happened in the home. I am convinced of this because I've bought tops at Macys that already had the holes in them.


 COMMENT 487694 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 09:20 AM

Another tip: Zip up all zippers before putting your clothes in the wash, because they can the teeth can scratch and catch on other garments.


 COMMENT 487754P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 11:00 AM

That happens to me all the time and I've always blamed it on my cats. Their claws often snag my clothes if I don't trim them regularly.


 COMMENT 487761 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 11:08 AM

694- Good point. Hook your bras also, or put them in a separate net bag...they snag and rip everything.


 COMMENT 487774 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 11:32 AM

Check the inside of your UGG boots in the closet, maybe moths have hatched inside the woolen fur and are now moving on to your clothing. Get cedar spray or use herbs to keep moths away. You have to check folded clothing too and put all in hot dryer to kill larvae and moths before putting back in closet.

Use "fraystop" or "fraycheck" that you can get at the craft store to stop the little holes from getting bigger and save your clothes.


 COMMENT 487818 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 01:13 PM

Are the holes all in the front near the waistband? I have been experiencing holes in this area, especially when I wear jeans. The fabric rubs or catches in that area. I think the problem will go away if I could lose some weight.


 COMMENT 487819 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 01:13 PM

Check the inside of your washer for snaggly bits--possibly on the center part (if you have that type of washer)--or rough spots on the wash basin itself. Probably unlikely, but it's free to check.
I concur about the zippers and bras hooks--they'll ruin all sorts of garments--zip them up, bag them or wash them separately.

Put outside to dry, you say? maybe insects are snacking on them.


 COMMENT 487835P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 01:36 PM

640 for the win!


 COMMENT 487932P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-21 05:42 PM

819, that's a point I forgot to note earlier: carpet beetle adults are common outdoors in our area and they can fly as well as hitchhike in on your clothes. They could easily be laying eggs on your knits hanging outside, leaving the larvae to hatch out and chow down later. But I think others could be right in suggesting that holes could also result from manufacturing defects or snagging on sharp things.


 COMMENT 488582 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 01:10 PM

I believe it's now known, that cedar doesn't repel moths.


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