Why Do My Shirts Rip At The Elbow?
I’m a proud owner of some beautiful TM Lewin shirts. So proud I’ve ordered some for others and told ample amounts of people to get them. Then out of nowhere – my shirt ripped right above my elbow, the fabric just decided to split and tear. I was so shocked I thought maybe I put on one of my old cheap shirts by mistake. I always thought only cheap shirts rip and quality/luxury shirts last a lifetime. In all my previous jobs I was always out & about and now working 9-5 on a desk, I’m a victim.
If this has not happened to you, then I’m guessing you probably don’t have an office/desk job.
You may be asking – Why Do My Shirts Rip At The Elbow? Does This Mean My Shirts Are Low Quality?
Why they rip is pretty easy to answer, the area under your elbow will be the most worn out part of any shirt. Every time you bend your elbow, you stretch all the fabric and the shirt will get more worn out as the day goes on. On top of this constant flexing, everyone that sits at a desk puts their elbows on the desk. Using a mouse or typing on your keyboard requires some movement which will slowly ruin the elbow area of your shirt.
To answer the second question, does this mean your shirt is low quality? – it’s a bit more complicated. I find TM Lewin to be among the best quality shirts on the high street and still my shirt ripped. The problem isn’t the quality, it is how thick the material of the shirt is. All fabrics rip after some time, unless it’s some indestructible military fabric. Thin fabrics will rip and tear faster than thicker fabrics – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
How To Stop It?
It’s too late for my beautiful blue shirt but it doesn’t need to be too late for yours. Preventing your shirts from ripping at the elbow is not too difficult, you just need to be conscious of the fact this can and will happen to you if you sit at a desk or table often.
Blazer or Jacket – Easiest way to stop it is to keep your blazer on, your blazer will be able to handle a beating much better than your shirt will.
Elbows off – Keeping your elbows/forearms off of the table/desk is a sure fire way to stop them for tearing. All you have to do is adjust your chair and keyboard/mouse so they are on the edge of the surface and your forearms are in the air.
Roll your sleeves – I always roll my sleeves up, mainly because the people I work with live in the 1800’s and haven’t discovered air conditioning yet. Rolling up your sleeves will mean that your skin is free to rub against that table as much as you want it too. Just make sure you have your sleeves rolled up high enough.
How To Fix It?
Easy answer will be take it to the tailor and they’ll get it stitched over, it won’t look perfect but it’s better than having a hole in your shirt. You could also get your shirt converted into a short sleeve shirt but I don’t see why you would! Or you could be like me and attempt to stitch it yourself, however, I strongly advise you don’t unless you know what you’re doing. I did a horrible job stitching mine up and tomorrow I’m taking it to the tailor. (Lesson Learnt – I can’t stitch.)
I found a great article from this blogger, Eileen, on how to fix your shirt – properly! Click Here.
I’m a massive fan of TM Lewin as I’ve mentioned a million times and I’ve decided to order myself some more of their Twill shirts. My blue shirt that ripped was a Poplin shirt which like their Twill shirts it’s made from 100% cotton. The difference however is Poplin shirts are great for summer as they are thin and light. The Twill shirts are a lot thicker which is great for me as I know they’ll last a lot longer. Considering my blue Poplin shirt only lasted me five months, I’m hoping to get a good eighteen months out of my Twill shirts. Only time will tell.