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How to Fix a Run in Knit Fabric

Use clear nail polish to temporarily fix a run in knit fabric.
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Things You'll Need:

  • Clear nail polish
  • Cardboard
  • Ironing board
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Iron-on fabric patch
  • Iron


Making an invisible fix on a synthetic knit is nearly impossible.


  • Before beginning any fabric repair, examine the care instructions for the item. If the instructions are missing, use the flame of a match to burn a scrap cut from a hem or other inconspicuous place. If the fabric melts, it is synthetic. If it burns, it contains natural fibers.

Knit fabric is a smooth, woven fabric that has many names, including polyester knit, cotton knit, double knit, interlock knit and jersey knit. Some knit fabrics, such as wool jersey, are composed of natural fibers. Others, such as polyester knit, are synthetic. The way to stop a run in knit fabric is determined by the type of fabric and the size of the hole or run in need of repair.

Fixing a Small Run

Turn the fabric item inside out or over so that you are looking at the wrong side of the fabric. Slide a piece of clean cardboard beneath the fabric, directly under the run to protect the other parts of the fabric.

Use the applicator on a bottle of clear nail polish to apply a dot of clear polish to both ends of the run. Apply nail polish in a wiping motion to the sides of the run, as well, if it appears to be spreading out. Runs wider than a pencil eraser are a losing battle with a nail-polish repair.

Allow the nail polish to dry completely before you use the knit fabric item. Eventually, the nail polish will wash out in the washing machine, and the polish will have to be reapplied.

Fixing a Run on Natural-Fiber Knit Fabric

Turn the knit fabric item inside out so that you are looking at the wrong side. Place the item on the ironing board.

Measure the width and the length of the run. Cut an iron-on fabric patch 1/2 inch wider and longer than the run. Iron-on fabric patches come in a variety of colors, denim and print fabric. You can find fabric patches at fabric, craft and some grocery stores.

Center the patch over the run. Press an iron set on medium heat with no steam on the fabric patch. Hold the iron down according to the duration specified on the patch instructions. Do not iron a synthetic fabric unless you are 100 percent certain the fabric can be ironed. Synthetic fabrics will melt when ironed. Allow the patch to cool before you use the knit fabric item.

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