Moth Holes: How to Mend

by , on
Jan 24, 2022

Illustrated, Step-by-Step Instructions Showing How to Mend Moth Holes in Clothes and Other Knit Items.

When my brother asked me if I could fix the moth holes in his cashmere sweaters, I said ‘sure!’, even though I had never repaired moth damage before. I’ve repaired holes in knit fabrics before, but I was usually dealing with bulkier fabric that hid repairs well.

These cashmere sweaters were a different story. The fabric was knit with fine thread and needles, so I wanted to make sure I was able to repair the moth holes in such a way that the repair wasn’t visible.

And, I’ve got to say, I’m pretty tickled with the moth holes repair. Check out the before and after…

If you look closely you can see where the repair is. But, bear in mind, three moth holes like this will create a mend that is much more visible than a single hole. And even with three holes mended, you have to look closely. Can you spot it?

What Do You Need to Mend Moth Holes?

The short answer, ‘not much!’

Really just a needle and thread. For finer knits, use a thin, sewing needle. If this had been thicker yarn, I would’ve used a darning needle.

And I just used sewing thread…in this case bright yellow so that it is easier for you to see. In fact, the mend you see above was made using this yellow thread.

How Do You Mend Holes?

Turn the work over, as we will be working on the back.

Thread a needle. I chose a yellow to make it more visible for illustration purposes, but normally I would choose a color closer to the color of the sweater.

We will be working with the columns and rows on the back. Find a column to the right of the moth hole and a row or two below the hole. Secure your needle in a loop there.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You will only be working on the backside of these loops. Don’t push your needle to the front of your fabric. By staying on the loops on the back, you will make your work almost invisible.

After you’ve secured your thread, go up the column that is to the right of the hole by a column or two.

Turn your work over to make sure that your needle didn’t come through to the front of your work.

Pop over to the next column and thread your needle down that one.

Continue working up and down, grabbing the loops at the side of the moth hole is, as much as possible.

You can see where the holes are, where there aren’t threads to grab.

Continue working up and down.

What your mending looks like after the columns have been worked.

Now, turn your work 90°, and work your needle across the row.

Continuing in an up and down pattern.

Again, be mindful that your needle is staying on the back half of the stitches.

When you hit the places where the moth holes are, weave your needle up and over the threads, to create a mesh.

Finished! Tie off your thread and turn it over!


You have to look very close to see the yellow thread.

To see the full video showing the mend from start to finish, pop on over here.

I found the process of mending these moth holes oddly rewarding. That being said, I’m not anxious to go into business. To that end, when I sent these back to my brother, I sent a bottle of Eucalan along too. Eucalan is a rinse-free wool wash that contains Eucalyptus and Lavender, scents that repel moths.

And I also took a deep, rather creepy-crawly dive into the moths that eat clothes and how to prevent them. Pop over to read how to prevent moths here. It’s clear evidence that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer to this post on mending moth holes in the future.

A moth hole and a hand with a needle and thread mending the hole.

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  1. Astrid Davidson

    January 24, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Thank you. I had this problem once. Now I stock my draws and closet with Yardley’s lavender soap and I’ve never had the problem since. We have Dollar stores here in Canada that seem to stock this soap for a dollar or two.

    • lynn

      January 24, 2022 at 2:40 pm

      That’s great to know Astrid! I’m going to check out our dollar store this week! I’m going to do ‘all the things!’ so that we don’t have them take up residence in our closet.

      Thanks for the tip.



  2. Tove

    January 7, 2023 at 1:17 am

    65 years ago men’s socks were not as cheap as they are now. As a newlywed from “the old country” I mended my husband’s socks. The first time he saw me work on one he told me That he didn’t want to walk on LUMPS. I told him that I don’t make lumps and he happily wore his invisible mended socks!
    Great work Lynn and thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture handy, but there is a special mending tool for darning. It is shaped like a mushroom and called a “stoppeæg”, darning egg in Danish

    • lynn

      January 9, 2023 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Tove,

      I’ve seen that egg/mushroom!It looks very handy and I’m sure it makes the process easier. Luckily (fingers crossed), I haven’t had to mend any more holes since I fixed my brother’s. But, if I do find myself mending more often, I will definitely look into a darning egg.

      Thanks for the suggestion and have a great day!



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