Tiny holes in your favorite shirts? Kitchen mystery solved.
July 11th, 2011

I don’t remember the first time it happened, all I know is that it drove me crazy and it drove Oliver crazy because I got all furious when I -yet again- had spotted new tiny holes in my shirts or pullovers and couldn’t for the life of it figure out how they got in there in the first place. I almost felt haunted, certainly an unsolved  mystery for a long time.

You might think of the obvious – clothes moths. Nice guess, but no, we didn’t have new room mates, Oliver’s shirts (same fabric, same wardrobe) were all fine. OK, here’s another hint: all holes were located in exactly the same place, just below my bellybutton, where shirt and trousers meet. Logically, this discovery led to the conclusion that it must be something I do. I began tracking my moves and watching myself very closely throughout the day and very soon I thought I had found the reason. At my desk I oftentimes lean against the edge of the table (don’t tell any orthopedist!), resulting in my shirt scrubbing between edge & belt-buckle or edge & trouser button – voila, this could easily make a hole or two! Relief settled in, no more damaged shirts, I just needed to duct tape cover that killer edge at my office table…

A couple of days later I bragged to my friend Franzi about my observation and to my utter surprise she chimed in: “Wow! I have the same holes, at the very same spot in some of my shirts! My mother suspected clothes moths, but we never found any.

Weeks went by and I had almost forgotten about the whole subject until I spotted two new holes in a brand new t-shirt. WHAT???!!! This was starting to make me really angry! And it didn’t make any sense. With the sharp edge at my desk  still padded, why didn’t I find any holes over the last weeks, but just now? More close observation was in order!

It took some time until I finally realized the ultimate cause. The holes did result from scrubbing, that much was true, but not from the time spent at my office desk (don’t insert joke here). The holes had formed when I cooked or baked and had leaned against the kitchen counter!

The rationale behind why not all of my shirts caught new holes in the past was manifold: I had either worn an apron, tucked my shirt into my trousers or worn heels (that made me taller), so the shirt would not scrub between trouser button and kitchen counter. And I am happy to report, no new holes have occured ever since this insight.

Of course, I couldn’t keep my findings to myself and found two more friends who share my experience. A beautiful excuse for more shopping – cute aprons and high heels in the kitchen!

EDIT: Wow, who knew the “hole subject” was so widespread and so many of my readers share the same problem! Believe me, I feel your pain, countless of my favorite shirts have these damn holes, but since I finally realized the real culprit, no more holes have occured. One more detail about prevention though: Make sure your apron is made of thick material, otherwise actually both (shirt & apron) might get perforated during kitchen action! I’m so psyched about it now, I usually combine both precautions (instead of simply changing clothes and not wearing yet another favorite shirt when cooking…): Tuck shirt into trousers & wear an apron.

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