General Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Why are there holes in my shirts?

Asked by Demosthenes (9301points) June 4th, 2019

Recently I’ve noticed at least two T-shirts I own have very small holes in them. One right by the collar, the other in the middle of the shirt. One shirt is old and has been worn many times, one shirt I just bought and I’ve only worn about three times.

My roommate swears that he hasn’t noticed holes in his shirts; we use the same laundry machines and detergent.

What is usually the culprit behind small holes in clothing?

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19 Answers

Lonelyheart807's avatar

Well, if this had been in the Social Section, I might have said for the buttons, but I’m not sure except to say this happens to me sometimes. Could it be that you somehow weakened the fabric in that area, so that over a few loads of laundry, it weakened it enough to make a hole? I know sometimes one of my cats will catch their claw in my shirt, which will end up causing a hile over time if not right in the minute.

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chyna's avatar

Are the holes around your belt line? Because I get tiny holes around my belt line where my jeans near the button rubs against the fabric. I don’t know about the ones around your collar.

filmfann's avatar

Assuming you don’t mean the holes for your arms and your head, it could be from too much bleach

LadyMarissa's avatar

My best guess is that it’s clothes moths. At the same time clothes moths usually attack wool, furs, or animal based fabrics so I could be wrong. Then again, maybe the clothes moths have adapted to the modern forms of fabric. To be on the safe side, you might want to purchase some cedar clothes hangers or cedar balls to place around your closet or in the drawer where you store your shirts. You can find the cedar balls in the laundry section of a grocery store or a drug store.

Any chance you’re using OxiClean when you do your laundry. I love the way it assists in the cleaning process; but, my hubby always insisted that it weakened the fibers in the fabric. After listening to his reasoning, I did begin to notice that my clothes had weakened areas. Any place that was stressed on a regular basis would tear or suddenly obtain a hole. Even though you & your roommate use the same detergent, is it possible that you add OxiClean to yours or that maybe the 2 of you use a different method of pulling on your shirts?

Another thought…
Maybe it’s the fabric that the manufacturer chose to use & the shirts your roommate buys are from a different manufacturer.

My niece & her roommates at college had a similar problem…her 2 roommates had the tiny holes & she didn’t. The roommates chose to purchase the cedar balls to put in their closets & it seemed to help them over time.

kritiper's avatar

I have no moths in my clothes. So any holes that show up are probably caused by the washer or drier. Try not to run the clothes for too long and use a setting for more delicate items.

ragingloli's avatar

spontaneous micro black holes
micro meteorites
virtual particles forming in the quantum vacuum foam
localised data corruption on the hard drive of the Matrix
a hidden species of magical dwarves stealing patches of fabric for their underground civilisation
aliens borrowing your clothes every night, and their acidic sweat burns holes into your shirts

JLeslie's avatar

A friend of mine and I have decided that holes in shirts near the belly button are from belt buckles and jeans. I think holes are showing up more in clothes because clothes are made from garbage fabric. All this rayon, and very very thin fabric of other types doesn’t hold up like fabric back in the day. Possibly, if you are washing your shirts with other items that have buttons and metal rivets that are banging around in the washing machine with the more delicate materials, maybe that is a culprit.

That’s my guess.

It’s a fact that companies use cheaper materials to cause you to have to buy new clothes. Clothes are not meant to last anymore.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Probably moths, or some other creatures…

seawulf575's avatar

If you wash shirts with jeans or shorts and don’t button the jeans AND zip the zipper up, these things can hit and tear the fabric of other clothes, especially thinner material (shirts) leaving small holes.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That is indeed a possibility…

Demosthenes's avatar

Thanks for the answers. If it happens more, then I will suspect something more sinister is afoot (i.e. moths). At this point I can’t rule out coincidence, but it’s pissing me off, especially on a shirt that I just bought…

kritiper's avatar

Here’s a wild guess: Sometimes, when people are working on cars, small bits of corrosion from the battery may get on cotton clothes and a hole will form with the first wash. (I don’t think this is it but I thought I’d throw it out there.)

YARNLADY's avatar

@seawulf575 is correct, the holes are mostly caused by other clothes. Wash and dry t-shirts alone, no buttons, zippers, etc.

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Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Sometimes, when people are working on cars, small bits of corrosion from the battery may get on cotton clothes and a hole will form with the first wash

That has happened to me a couple of times.

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