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Get the Most from Your Bra: How to Fix a Broken Underwire

Last week, we took a look at a few of the most common issues that can cause underwires to break, and how to avoid them. But that’s not a lot of help if you’ve got a favorite bra that already has a broken underwire. If you’re about to throw out a bra with a broken underwire, wait – you might be able to fix it!

What You’ll Need

The most important thing you need to fix a bra with a broken underwire is a replacement underwire. To ensure proper fit and longevity, you should really only use an underwire that comes from the same manufacturer and bra style. Different manufacturers use different materials, lengths and shapes for their underwire, so a replacement underwire from a different bra might not fit the one you want to fix, or it might have a bend in the wrong place, etc. If you don’t have an old bra in the same style, you might want to save your current broken underwire bra, buy a new one in the same style, and then use this as your spare if you need to repair your underwire in the future.

Other items you’ll need include:

  • Scissors
  • String and a needle (for a hand-sewn repair)
  • Patch kit (optional, if you don’t want to sew)
  • Clear nail polish (optional)

Pull Out the Broken Underwire

The first step to repair a broken underwire is to carefully pull out the existing underwire. You may want to use pliers or tweezers to ensure you don’t cut yourself, as broken underwires can be sharp. Make sure you pull out all the pieces to make room for the new wire.

Insert the Replacement Underwire

Next you’ll want to insert the replacement underwire. To do this, you’ll probably want to cut a small slit in one end of the underwire casing on the bra. You need to be able to slide the new underwire entirely into the casing so that no part of it is exposed. Slide the new wire in carefully, as you don’t want to break it by forcing it into the casing.

NOTE: If the end of the underwire is sharp, you may want to dab a little bit of clear nail polish on it and let it dry before inserting it into the underwire casing in the bra. A sharp underwire may poke out through the casing and dig uncomfortably into your skin.

Close the Hole

Finally, once you’ve got the new wire in place, it’s time to close the hole you used to slide it into the bra. If you’re using a needle and thread, you’ll want to make many small stitches to help reinforce the hole and prevent the underwire from poking out again. Some women prefer to use upholstery thread for extra strength. If you want a little additional reinforcement, you could also dab on a little clear nail polish after you’ve finished the stitching. If you do this, though, be aware of irritation or potential allergic reactions from the nail polish.

Alternately, if you don’t want to sew, you could use a patch kit to close the hole. One enterprising woman has created an adhesive patch kit that is pre-cut to size – you simply stick it on and the hole is closed. Keep in mind, though, that if you do use an adhesive patch, it may come off – or the adhesive may leave a residue on fabric or your skin.

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