Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
for Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto

Textiles: Linens & Accessories Repair

The most sustainable action to take with damaged accessories, bags, belts, scarves, and hats is to repair them and wear or use them again rather than letting them sit in your drawer while you buy or rent something else to replace them. Follow these common repair tips and check YouTube for informative videos with examples of many types of accessory repair and reuse more particular to your needs.

Lost or worn zipper pull tab on purse or pillow or luggage

A zipper pull tab is what you hold on to when opening or closing the zipper. Often the zipper pull is damaged, lost, or you do not like it and want to make it more you. The zipper does not need to be replaced, just the pull. First, you will need pliers to remove the pull that is there. Second, you can replace this with another key ring or other zipper pull of your choosing. Third, if the zipper tab is fine, but you want to personalize it, add another pull to the original pull tab.

Tears in a Pillow, Duvet Cover, or Blanket

Most pillow coverings can be removed from the pillow for cleaning and repair by unzipping, unbuttoning, or unfolding them. When released, sew the seam or hole or consider a creative patch if the tear is not on a seam. Consider a duvet cover as a giant pillow covering, and repair it in the same manner. Blankets are generally a single layer; the top and bottom are attached to the filling inside or woven as one layer and can be repaired by stitching directly on the surface. These repairs will require a sewing machine or hand sewing needle, thread, and scissors. If the fabric covering cannot be removed, the tear can be fixed while still on the pillow covering or insert. First, identify the hole's location at either end of the hole and sew by hand with a needle and thread until the spot is completely repaired. Then clip off the excess thread with your scissors. Here are tips for care and cleaning of vintage textiles and quilts. Tips for cleaning pillows and comforters (including down).

Faded or Stained/Dirty Leather in a Belt or a Bag or Pillow

You will need some leather conditioner, leather cleaner, and 1 or 2 soft clean cloths. First, with a circular motion, wipe with the cleaner. Second, apply the conditioner with a cloth, and rub over the entire surface in an even layer. Wipe off any excess. You may want to complete this process once or twice a year to keep your leather products in good condition. Here are steps to clean a leather purse.

Holes in Socks

When your favorite socks get holes, they can be sewn or darned. MANY YouTube videos show methods depending on where the spot is and the sock's yarn type. Another suggestion, if the hole is somewhere on the foot or heel, is to make leg warmers. Take some scissors and cut off the toe, the heel or the entire bottom of the sock. The sock will now fit over your foot and keep your ankles and calves warm. If you do not want the new cut edge at your toes, you can turn the edge under it to provide a more finished look.

Closet and Drawer De-Clutter for Scarves, Hats, Belts, or Gloves

Scarves, hats, belts, and gloves are often damaged because of how they are stored; incorrectly hung or stacked on a shelf or in a drawer where they become damaged. First, consider if you wear, need, or want all you own and reuse or move forward what you do not need. Second, separate what you have by type, use, or fabric. For example, keep your gloves separate from your hats or your scarves, and you will not need to spend so much time going through them to find what you need. Consider separating your wool scarves from your silk or cotton ones, making it easier to locate them when needed.

Tips and hacks on how to repair, remake and refresh your clothes to make them last longer.

Produced in partnership with CPSC.

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