Due to the soft, delicate nature of silk as a fabric, it can be prone to snagging and ripping. If silk comes into contact with something sharp such as a nail or even just jewelry, then it is very likely to rip apart.
I’m here to provide you with some different fixes and repair for when your silk snags unexpectedly.
So how do you fix snags in silk? One of the best ways to go about fixing snags in silk is to use a snag repair needle and use your sewing knowledge to smooth them out.
It’s important to know how to deal with these snags and tears since with silk being so lightweight, there is always a risk of it happening. So get your pen and paper ready, as we get ready to delve into the various silk snag and tear fixes that’ll have your silk clothing or accessory looking it’s shiny best as soon as possible.
The Needle Fix
Starting out with a relatively simple fix—providing you have some sewing know-how—this one requires a snag repair needle and nothing else!
A great fix for when you’re at home and have access to your sewing supplies, your silk item will look back to its best in no time.
Here’s how to fix a snag with a needle:
- First, with a delicate touch, pull away from the snag in every direction to lessen the size of the loop and make your life easier.
- Next, try to level out the small loop by pressing it back down into the material.
- For this next part, you’ll need your snag repair needle at the ready. Take the needle and thread it through the silk from the back, making sure you stay close to the snagged area.
- Finally, with the hook on the snag repair needle, latch on to the loop and pull it through the other side of the fabric, et voila!
You should notice that the snag is now barely visible, and you can go back to wearing your snag-free silk.
The Sewing Fix
Similar to the first fix, the sewing fix will take advantage of your ability to use a needle and thread. What you’ll need for this one is a needle, some thread, and some steam, either from an iron or a steamer.
First things first, let’s properly assess the damage. To do this, hang the clothing up and check whether the snag loop is facing inwards or outwards. The last thing you want to do is touch the snag, as this can cause further, maybe even irreparable damage to the fabric.
How to sew a snag in silk:
- Like the first fix, tug away from the damaged area until the loop gets smaller. This will feel like an initial relief as you will notice the snag much less than before, but we shouldn’t stop here if we want the silk to look as good as new.
- Now take your needle and thread, because you’re about to work some magic on the fabric.
- Attach the thread to the needle first, one that is ideally the same color as the silk garment.
- Working from the outside of the garment in, push the needle through the fabric. Through this process, you will be able to take the snagged fabric through to the interior of the garment and make it less visible.
- Continue to do so until you no longer see the small loop on the exterior of the garment.
- Now, to finish things off and keep the snag closed off, take your steamer or iron and aim a flow of steam at the fabric while it’s hanging up. Keep at least 5 inches away so as not to damage the sensitive silk.
The Temporary Fix
If you are out and about and your silk blouse or shirt snags on something, then here’s what you can do to avoid potential embarrassment.
Of course, you probably won’t have your sewing supplies on hand, so this temporary fix will just prevent the snag from creating a large tear and keep it from becoming a bigger problem until you get home and make a real fix.
For the temporary fix, you’ll need to have some clear nail polish handy. So it’s worth bearing in mind the next time you leave the house wearing something made of silk.
- All you’ll need to do is gently apply some of the clear nail polish over the damaged area. “Why,” you ask? Well, because this will have a freezing effect on the silk. This means there is much less likelihood of the snag turning into a tear or rip.
- After you’ve done this, let the area dry out. Don’t try to speed up the process with any appliances as this could lead to melting, which you definitely don’t want.
So now all that’s left to do is survive the rest of the day until you get home, at which point you can use one of the techniques mentioned earlier to fix the silk more permanently.
What To Do When A Snag Becomes A Tear
Sometimes you are unfortunate enough not to notice the snag immediately. This could lead to it catching on something else and becoming a much bigger tear.
Luckily for you, I have some handy tips and techniques for dealing with the snag-cum-tear in your silk clothing.
We have several options, depending on the size of the snag/tear and the materials available to you.
The Silk Patch Fix
Let’s start with the silk patch fix, a simple and subtle solution to your silk snag problems.
For this fix, you’ll need some silk fabric, a pressing cloth, an iron, some scissors and a needle and thread – matching the color of the garment.
- Take your silk fabric and cut it to size. The size should be half an inch bigger in both length and width than the tear, and should be in the form of a triangle.
- With your scissors, you are going to get into the damaged material and take care of any frayed or stray edges, and generally cleaning the area up.
- Next, you’re going to sew the patch to the fabric. So, after you have attached the thread to the needle, take your triangular patch and lay it over the tear.
- The bottom of the triangle needs to line up with the line of the tear. Fold the patch under and pin it to the fabric. Then do the same with the 2 other edges.
- Now sew a row of stitches in a triangular shape in the form of a running stitch.
- Then turn the material inside out and sew the edges of the tear from the inside using the whip stitch technique.
- Now all that’s left to do is use a pressing cloth to seal the patch in place, with your iron on silk setting.
The Fusible Fabric Fix
A no-sew alternative to the silk patch fix, we have the fusible fabric fix.
For this one, you’ll need some one-sided fusible fabric (this is a good one to use), an iron, and a pressing cloth.
- Like the silk patch fix, you’re going to have to cut the fabric to half an inch more in width and length than the tear.
- Again, trim away the frayed edges and ensure the tear is relatively clean-looking.
- Lay the silk item over an ironing board and prepare your iron. Now bring the edges of the tear closely together as neatly as you can.
- Using the silk setting on your iron – any other setting could cause damage to the fabric – put your pressing cloth onto the damaged area and iron over it, before removing it again.
- Now take your fusible fabric patch and stick it down over the damaged area with the sticky part face down of course.
- Get your pressing cloth wet and lay it over the fabric patch to keep it in place. Take your iron again and hold it on top of the cloth for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer.
And you’re done! This one is definitely a great way to go if you don’t have any sewing supplies or sewing skills.
How can you prevent your silk from deteriorating?
To avoid encountering silk snagging and deterioration issues in the future – like those associated with moths – you’ll want to check out these simple tips to take care of your silk.
Store it correctly – There is actually a correct way to store silk if you weren’t aware. A good idea to store your silk goods is to hang them up in bags in the closet. Keep an anti-moth repellent in the bag to prevent the pesky flying critters from laying eggs and getting to your silky goods. Make sure they are stored in a dark, dry place and from time to time you should air them out in the light and give them a shake, to avoid potential issues with moth larvae.
Wash it appropriately – You also might not give much thought to how to wash silk correctly, but it’s important to do so to avoid snagging in the washing machine. For machine washing, make sure you select the ‘delicates’ option before you start the load. Place the silk garment/s in a mesh bag before putting them in the washing machine to prevent the risk of snagging. Set the temperature to approximately 30 degrees, and keep the time in the washing machine as brief as possible.