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How to Fix Snags

There are few things that elicit a heart-stopping gasp more than the realization that the handwoven item you are wearing has just snagged on something. For years I avoided weaving anything with a float thinking that would save my hand work from the zippers, drawer pulls and buttons that seem to lurch in the general direction of a fine fiber, but I’ve discovered that plain weave is just as vulnerable to snags thanks to this one’s dew claws.

dog snag

Because I can’t resist this face (and honestly, it’s nice to have a lap-heater during the New England winters in a drafty old farmhouse), I have learned a few repair tricks that keep my weavings wearable.

First, don’t panic. Smooth your weaving out as much as possible by pulling the cloth back into shape along the direction of the snag. It is highly unlikely all of the snag will reset back in to the fabric. A blunt-tipped tapestry needle will help distribute the last bit.

fixing a snag in a woven fabric

Gently “ease” a bit of the extra yarn into the surrounding stitches. You may have to work back and forth over the same picks a few times to smooth out the excess and not simply move the loop from one spot to another. If the snag happens near a selvedge, you can move some of the yarn into the rows above and below the snag.

fixing a snag in a woven
fixing a snag in a woven
fixing a snag in a woven
fixing a snag in a woven

Once the snag has been redistributed, wash, wet-finish or steam the fabric with an iron to allow the fibers to rebound into position.

I hope this helps!

About Christine Jablonski

Christine is Gist Yarn's Director of Content and Customer Experience. Through wit, relentless enthusiasm and enough knowledge to be dangerous, Christine seeks to introduce the wonders of weaving to every person possible.  Put another way, she is responsible for nurturing Gist's relationships with our current designers and finding new ones to bring you engaging content and patterns that are fun to both learn and weave. She is also our resident weaving whisperer, who is happy to help demystify any pattern and answer any loom or equipment questions you might have. In addition to her duties at Gist Yarn, she is an exhibiting artist whose work has been shown in New England galleries and is held in private collections across the country. She is a contributor to Little Looms and Handwoven magazines, and the author of SoulSpace Notes, a monthly column on weaving, art and life.

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