That’s why your shirts always have these little holes at the bottom

What causes those little holes in clothes?

I’m sure you know that feeling: you take a t-shirt out of the closet and realize that it has a few tiny holes in it. Now one might assume it was a hungry moth, or maybe just the sharp edge of the belt buckle, but the culprit is probably neither.

The Dutch magazine Libelle has done some research in cooperation with the Textile Museum in Tilburg. The answer? The quality of the thread is to blame. A t-shirt is usually made from single jersey, i.e. a fabric with a single thread. If one of these thin threads breaks, it immediately leaves a hole in the fabric.

T-shirts made with two threads don’t develop holes as easily, but because this type of fabric is more expensive, many apparel manufacturers choose to work with just a single thread. Holes that form around the belly button are likely caused by a belt buckle or other sharp edges such as on a table or countertop. So be careful here! Holes in clothing are nothing new for many, according to Dutch TV show Radar, which has been investigating the matter. This sparked a wildfire of reactions, as even the experts polled blamed the quality of the clothes as a result of “fast fashion”.

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