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How to Mend Silk Lingerie in 2 Steps (Without Using a Needle and Thread!)

Mending a torn silk slip, before photo

The other day I pulled one of my favorite silk slips out of my closet, only to discover a huge tear! I always washed it in the delicate cycle of my washing machine as the care label suggested; however, the fibers had become weak and thin, and eventually pulled away from each other, creating an almost threadbare spot on the hip. (This is a good reminder to take proper care of your lingerie!) On an area like this, you can't really use a needle and thread, unless you want the fabric to pucker and hang poorly when you put it on. What's a girl to do? You can't exactly re-weave broken silk fibers, so you could throw it out (no thank you!), cut it into a tank top (why?)... or you could apply one of the easiest fixes ever.

Supplies needed to mend a silk slip without a needle and thread

All you need is a small amount of lightweight fusible interfacing, which you can find at any fabric store, and an iron, of course. Pick the lightest weight interfacing you can find; this will keep it closest to its original weight.

mending silk without a needle and thread

Step 1: Cut your fusible interfacing into a rounded patch a little bit larger than the tear. Rounding the corners will help keep the patch from peeling off. Place the patch adhesive-side-up on your ironing board, and lay your slip on top with the tear centered on the patch. If your interfacing is woven, make sure the grain lines match; the weave of the silk and the weave of the interfacing should be parallel. (If your fabric is a twill like mine, the weave will be diagonal, but you should keep your interfacing positioned vertically.)


Step 2: Set your iron to medium heat, or use your silk setting. Apply some steam to the tear and use it to help lay the torn fibers flat with your fingers. Try to get them in as natural a position as possible, with most or all of the interfacing covered in fabric. Once it's situated, carefully lay a pressing cloth over the tear and steam press the spot for 30 seconds, or for the length of time noted on your interfacing. Let cool before moving the pressing cloth.

mending a silk slip--before and after

That's it! No needle and thread, no glue, no cutting into or throwing away your favorite slip. Have you ever tried this method to repair torn silk? Do you have any other favorite tips for repairing lingerie?


Quinne Myers

Quinne Myers is a lingerie expert living in Brooklyn, NY, where she creates quippy written content, crafts dreamy illustrations, and runs the ethically-made loungewear line, she and reverie.