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Sewing Hacks: How to Fix a Run in Tights

Tired of snagged tights? Learn how to save your tights from rips and tears with this list of sewing tips and tricks!

By: Ashley Jones, Editor, AllFreeSewing.com
Sewing Hacks How to Fix a Run in Tights
Sewing Hacks How to Fix a Run in Tights
This image courtesy of AllFreeSewing.com

We're all familiar with the following scenario: You can't wait to show off your favorite fall dress with tights and boots, but when you put on your tights, you discover a hole or snag. Suddenly, your outfit is ruined! If your pair of tights or pantyhose has a snag or run, don't toss them in the garbage. AllFreeSewing has compiled a stellar list of quick tips and tricks for how to hide, prevent, and stop runs in tights, so that you can show off your gorgeous legs in style.

This list of quick fixes for runs in tights includes the tried and true nail polish trick, as well as a few brand new ideas you may not have thought of. If you're brave enough to take a needle and thread to your nylons, AllFreeSewing has included a short and simple solution to repairing holes in tights that will have them back in working order in no time. Don't get flustered by snags in your tights and show off your legs with confidence with these steps for how to fix a run in tights.

Materials List

  • Tights with snags/holes
  • Clear nail polish
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread matching tights/pantyhose
  • Hairspray

How to Fix a Run in Tights

We know just how aggravating it is to find a run or snag in your favorite pair of tights. Luckily, AllFreeSewing has your back! This list of tips and tricks is the perfect way to stop a run in your tights or to quickly repair a hole in your stockings. We've also included a few ways to prevent runs in the first place and some unusual quick fixes for women on the go. Don't panic over finding a run in your tights and stop them before they grow with this list of ideas for fixing runs in tights.

The Tried and True Method: Fixing Your Tights with Nail Polish

The most common quick fix for stopping a run in tights is to apply clear nail polish to the snag. Recommended by stylists, we've broken down the nail polish method into a few quick and easy steps:

  1. Remove your tights. Taking clear nail polish, apply polish around the entire snag or hole, moving outward until you are about a quarter inch from the edge of the hole. 

  2. Wait for the nail polish to dry and harden. Doing this will seal the hole and prevent the run from widening. 

  3. Turn your tights inside out and repeat the process. Once the polish has hardened and dried, put tights back on.

  4. That's it! This simple 3 step process takes barely any time at all.

Using Hairspray to Stop Snags in Tights

Similar to the quick and easy nail polish method, using hairspray to stop a run in its tracks is a great option, especially if you don't carry nail polish in your purse. 

  1. Remove tights. Placing your hand inside the tights, gently stretch the hole against your skin. Be very careful to not tear the fabric any further.

  2. Spray the hole or snag generously with hairspray until the entire area is covered. Allow hairspray to dry.

  3. Turn tights inside out and repeat the process. Once dry, you may put tights back on.

How to Fix Holes in Tights

If you've got a larger hole in your tights that hairspray or nail polish can't fix, you can easily sew them shut. Sewing with lycras and nylons may seem intimidating, but we promise that fixing a hole in tights is easier than it seems!

*Note: You should only sew on tights that are made with mesh, lycra, or nylon. Tights like fishnets or thicker fabrics like wool can also be sewn and patched. However, soft fabric like supplex (often used in dance tights) should NOT be sewn, as sewing with these fabrics can cause larger snags to appear.

  1. Find a thread that matches the color of your tights. 

  2. Taking a needle and thread, move around the hole like a clock. Stitch from 12 to 6, 1 to 7, etc.

  3. Repeat until the hole is closed. Sewing this way will bring the hole closed evenly from all sides and should not majorly affect the overall fit.

Other Tips and Tricks for Fixing Snags in Tights

While the above methods are great ways to fix holes in tights, there are even more fantastic ideas out there for ladies on the go, from other quick fixes to how to prevent snags from happening.

  1. Always air dry tights. Heat from dryers can weaken and damage the elastic of your tights.

  2. Don't store tights in wooden drawers. This is a simple way to prevent a run.

  3. For black tights: If you're really in a pinch, you can cover up holes easily with a black marker and painter's tape. Simply color over the tape with the black marker and stick to the inside of your tights.

  4. While this won't cover up the run, you can also run a bar of soap over the snag. It will dry out the fabric and keep the hole from tearing.

  5. Make sure you're buying the correct size, as tights that are too small can also create tears. Most tights have height and weight suggestions on the back of the package for sizing.

  6. One way to extend the longevity of legwear is to place them in a plastic bag and then in a freezer after purchasing. This will strengthen the fibers of the tights and overall lengthen their longevity.

Have any tips on how to fix snags in tights? We'd love to hear from you! Simply leave a comment below! 

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These are some great tips! I guess I never realized that wooden drawers could create snags. Oops. Guess I'll have to change my ways!

Runs in tights are the worst; I am going to have to try these tips the next time I find a snag or hole in a pair of tights.

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