How to Fix a Snagged Sweater




Introduction: How to Fix a Snagged Sweater

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Fix your snagged sweater easily with this quick tutorial. I snag my sweaters all the time because I have a velcro attachment on my backpack that always catches on to my clothes. No matter where you are you can quickly fix this using tools you have on hand. It's important to catch these snags quickly before they break and your sweater starts to unravel.

Step 1: Tools

It is best to use a pointy tool that isn't too sharp. If it is too sharp on the end it might snag even more of the yarn. If it is too dull you won't be able to pick up the yarn.

I found this awl like tool in by sewing box. You can also use a bobby pin, tapestry needle, and crochet hook. Any other suggestions?

Step 2: Understanding the Yarn

A a snag is just a pulled loop in the knitted pattern. When you pull on one loop it tightens up the other loops that are surrounding that loop. To fix this you will need to pull the surrounding loops a bit to spread out the tension.

I've attached some graphics that explain how the loops connect and how to fix the tension. The first image was take from Annie Modesitt and the second image was taken from Martha Stewart.

Step 3: Fixing the Snag

Now that you understand how the loops are connected, use the tool you selected in the first step to spread out the tension in the knitted fabric. To do this, find the adjacent loop to the pulled loop and use the tool to pull that loop out. Now, use your hands to spread out the fabric to spread out more of the yarn and tension.

Check out the video to see how I work the snagged stitch until it is no longer visible.



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    27 Discussions

    Hi so well done. I also bought a snag tool for very fine sweaters and even fabrics, in Joanne's. It has a little lever that pulls the very fine thread thru to the back where you can hide it. I am constantly doing what you show here, being a knitter and having 4 cats!!! I finally started putting a sheet over my sleeping aphgan so when the cats come to visit during the night and they start their "kneading" they are not creating more "pulls". Great job, thanx

    4 replies

    Thanks! I didn't know you could buy tools specifically for fixing snags. Thats great! I can imagine cats love to pull on sweaters.

    I also have a cat and problems with snags in very fine doubleknit polyester fabrics. Sometimes a difficult-to-handle snag can be pushed through to the back more easily using a slightly rusted needle (not, of course, one with so much rust that it would come off on the fabric), and I imagine that like Nor-tea-a does, a toothpick would probably do as well. After I pull some polyester thread loop through that had become all separated into many very fine filaments, I just leave it there on the back and it doesn't come back through again to the front. If it did, maybe the superglue suggestion would be in order.

    I was actually thinking that the implement Carleyy looked like a crochet hook! :)

    Thank you for posting this clearly illustrated and well explained tutorial.

    I find the title misleading as you are using a knitweave fabric to demonstrate a repair of a snagged woven thread.

    When using that title I would expect it to be knitwear as in knit/purl and fixing a pulled stitch/loop such as the picture you used in step 2.

    As a beginner I would find that confusing...

    A better title would be: How to fix a snagged knitweave sweater

    This is kind of time-consuming, but I must admit that your method makes the sweater look brand-new and really beautiful again! However, I'm not always that fussy and wonder if the following method might work almost as well: Pull the loop through to the backside of the sweater, cut it in half, tie a knot and trim off the excess. Any seamstresses care to comment? You can just call me lazy!

    3 replies

    That's exactly how I fix em too! Not lazy at makes it so it won't snag from the inside now!

    I'm glad Carleyy made this instructable. It is great for people who love their sweaters because it does get beautiful results. I usually take that "time-consuming" way, if a sweater was hand-knitted (by me, in most cases), and sometimes I do it when the sweater is not a hand-knit, but has yarn/cotton thread of a manageable thickness. However, if it is not one of my favorites and not a hand-knit, and ESPECIALLY if it happens to have lots of snags, I do exactly what Russell suggests. If the yarn or thread I pulled through to the back is long enough, after knotting it, I often weave it in with the adjacent stitches and make another knot, provided that can be done without its showing on the front.

    Thanks! I don't know if I would trust a knot. If it comes undone the sweater can unravel. It also might keep the tension in the loops and it will look like your sweater is bunching. If you try it let me know how it works out!

    Better trick: why bother with all these tedious work, a simple drop of crazy glue on the spot, then cut off the excess strands when glue dried in a few minutes...

    By the way, the gel type glue works best!

    2 replies

    To each his own, of course. but I can't imagine using superglue on a sweater, unless it was a cheap sweater that also had terribly fine stitches that were hard to pull and even out their tension. Still, using the glue is something I had never thought of, but it might be useful to me as a last resort when nothing else could save a sweater I like.

    The tool is called a "knitpicker" and I use it on some of the finer knit pieces and reweaving coarser dress fabrics. I also use a sewing ham to help keep the curvature on my socks from being distorted. If it's a recalcitrant slippery fabric it is sometimes necessary to pin the piece to the ham or a narrow sewing board made of thick cardboard, old rags and a cotton cover.

    1 reply

    just wanted to add about the velcro, I have this on my ball cap,and it forever was sticking to my favorite coat's hood. The trick for me was to just cut out and put an opposite velcro piece ove it. for what its worth

    1 reply

    Very handy trick! Just used a toothpick to fix one of my favorite sweaters.