Q & Answer: Fixing Holes or Tears in Tailored Clothing
Craig asks: I recently developed a small tear on the right side of my suit pants, and the place that made the suit no longer has the original fabric, so I can’t have another pair made (the suit was custom). Is there anything I can do besides throw these away? I’m open to anything, but would like to not throw good money after bad. 
One of the biggest myths about expensive clothes is that they’ll last you a lifetime. Some things last a while, to be sure, but no matter how well made, anything can develop a hole, snag, or tear. When these things happen with suits or sport coats, the best solution is usually to have the fabric “rewoven.”
That can mean one of two things. The first is what’s known as French reweaving or invisible reweaving, where individual strands of thread are woven into the original cloth. It’s sort of like what I recently had done on my sweater. In this way, the new threads are “filling in” the hole. 
The other technique is known as overweaving or inweaving. Here, a small patch is used to cover up the hole or tear, and then the frayed edges are woven into the suit in order to help conceal the patch. As you can guess, French reweaving tends to be good for small holes or tears, while inweaving is good for anything that’s too big to easily “fill.”
Note, any kind of repair can be seen if you look hard enough. The question is just how well it can be made to look “invisible.” Often times, such are repairs are very, very good and will be hard to detect, but a lot depends on the damage and fabric at hand. Generally speaking:
Darker colors are easier to work with, although for some reweavers, black is the hardest of all.
The finer the weave, the more difficult it is to repair (no surprise).
Solids are typically easier to work with than patterns, but a lot depends on the type of pattern that’s being compared.
Anything with synthetics will be hard to work with, if not impossible.
You mentioned that you had the suit custom made. In such cases, it’s sometimes a good to keep a little extra of the cloth, just for situations like this. Otherwise, the reweaver will have to take material from an inconspicuous place on your suit, or try to find a closely matching material somewhere on the market. Sometimes your tailor will keep a little extra of the original cloth (even if it’s not enough for a new pair of pants) and have a reweaver he or she can recommend. It’s best to check with them. Otherwise, search around for a reweaver. For what it’s worth, I’ve had good experiences sending sport coats to Best Weaving & Mending, and sending knitwear to The French American Reweaving Company.

Q & Answer: Fixing Holes or Tears in Tailored Clothing

Craig asks: I recently developed a small tear on the right side of my suit pants, and the place that made the suit no longer has the original fabric, so I can’t have another pair made (the suit was custom). Is there anything I can do besides throw these away? I’m open to anything, but would like to not throw good money after bad. 

One of the biggest myths about expensive clothes is that they’ll last you a lifetime. Some things last a while, to be sure, but no matter how well made, anything can develop a hole, snag, or tear. When these things happen with suits or sport coats, the best solution is usually to have the fabric “rewoven.”

That can mean one of two things. The first is what’s known as French reweaving or invisible reweaving, where individual strands of thread are woven into the original cloth. It’s sort of like what I recently had done on my sweater. In this way, the new threads are “filling in” the hole.

The other technique is known as overweaving or inweaving. Here, a small patch is used to cover up the hole or tear, and then the frayed edges are woven into the suit in order to help conceal the patch. As you can guess, French reweaving tends to be good for small holes or tears, while inweaving is good for anything that’s too big to easily “fill.”

Note, any kind of repair can be seen if you look hard enough. The question is just how well it can be made to look “invisible.” Often times, such are repairs are very, very good and will be hard to detect, but a lot depends on the damage and fabric at hand. Generally speaking:

  • Darker colors are easier to work with, although for some reweavers, black is the hardest of all.
  • The finer the weave, the more difficult it is to repair (no surprise).
  • Solids are typically easier to work with than patterns, but a lot depends on the type of pattern that’s being compared.
  • Anything with synthetics will be hard to work with, if not impossible.

You mentioned that you had the suit custom made. In such cases, it’s sometimes a good to keep a little extra of the cloth, just for situations like this. Otherwise, the reweaver will have to take material from an inconspicuous place on your suit, or try to find a closely matching material somewhere on the market. Sometimes your tailor will keep a little extra of the original cloth (even if it’s not enough for a new pair of pants) and have a reweaver he or she can recommend. It’s best to check with them. Otherwise, search around for a reweaver. For what it’s worth, I’ve had good experiences sending sport coats to Best Weaving & Mending, and sending knitwear to The French American Reweaving Company.

Q and Answer: Can I Get Bedbugs From Used Clothes on eBay?
Dwight asks: What is the risk of getting bedbugs from an eBay purchase and what are the proper steps to mitigate them?
The risk of getting bedbugs from an eBay or other second-hand clothing purchase is very small, but it’s not zero. It’s increased a bit if you’re shopping somewhere where bedbugs are more widespread, like New York City. Bedbugs prefer the regular blood meals that bedding provides, so they don’t travel much via clothing, but they can go without eating for quite a long time. If they end up in clothes, they can hang out for up to a year, waiting for snacking conditions to improve.
Luckily, if you’re concerned about bedbugs, it’s very simple to kill them.
Bedbugs can’t live in temperatures over about 115 degrees. So, if you want to kill any bedbugs that might be hiding out on a garment, just put it in the drier on hot for a few minutes. Expert recommend 15 or 20 to be safe, but say that even five or ten should do it. Dry cleaning will also kill bed bugs, so if you have a dry clean only garment, there’s no need to put it in the laundry.
Of course, cleaning second-hand clothes is good practice anyway. While some second-hand stores and vendors dry-clean clothing, some don’t, and dry-cleaning or laundering your new-old clothes will also eliminate the risk of bringing another terrifying pest into your home: clothing moths.

Q and Answer: Can I Get Bedbugs From Used Clothes on eBay?

Dwight asks: What is the risk of getting bedbugs from an eBay purchase and what are the proper steps to mitigate them?

The risk of getting bedbugs from an eBay or other second-hand clothing purchase is very small, but it’s not zero. It’s increased a bit if you’re shopping somewhere where bedbugs are more widespread, like New York City. Bedbugs prefer the regular blood meals that bedding provides, so they don’t travel much via clothing, but they can go without eating for quite a long time. If they end up in clothes, they can hang out for up to a year, waiting for snacking conditions to improve.

Luckily, if you’re concerned about bedbugs, it’s very simple to kill them.

Bedbugs can’t live in temperatures over about 115 degrees. So, if you want to kill any bedbugs that might be hiding out on a garment, just put it in the drier on hot for a few minutes. Expert recommend 15 or 20 to be safe, but say that even five or ten should do it. Dry cleaning will also kill bed bugs, so if you have a dry clean only garment, there’s no need to put it in the laundry.

Of course, cleaning second-hand clothes is good practice anyway. While some second-hand stores and vendors dry-clean clothing, some don’t, and dry-cleaning or laundering your new-old clothes will also eliminate the risk of bringing another terrifying pest into your home: clothing moths.