Holes in t shirts: what does it MEAN?

You know what I’m sick of? Buying t shirts that end up having holes in the front of them just a short time after. Know what I’m talking about? No? HERE LOOK:

T2

I started to notice it a few years ago. It’s not on every top, but I will say it’s on A LOT of the tshirts and tops that I own. Mostly the cotton ones, but sometimes ones with a little stretch in them.

T1

I’ve heard a few different theories:

  • Caesarstone benchtops catching the fabric – I’m not convinced. I’m just NOT. I’m sure I had these when we lived in Sydney when we had a laminated kitchen bench. And last time I checked my bench tops are at the top of my thighs and not where these holes are.
  • Seatbelt rubbing – really? I’ve NEVER worn this t-shirt in the car. In fact, it’s worn to bed only. Mostly because of these stupid holes.
  • Buttons on jeans rubbing and creating holes – possibly. But when did clothes start being so badly made that this is a problem. I still have some old school to shirts from 20 years ago, old faithfuls, and they don’t have this problem.

Do YOU know what they are? Because they are bullshit, and I want some answers. I know I’m not alone….

Comments

  1. Nicky Perry says

    OMG! Yes – you are not alone – this also happens to my tops, mostly cotton and merino. I just thought we must have a silverfish or moth problem, but mysteriously it is always in the same place as your…

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      They must be clever moths or silverfish…

    • I have the same thing with my husbands shirts, small pin puck holes. I have to ask if any of you have a cat? I’ve just worked out that I think it’s my cat, who I’ve found in my robe sometime,I’m sure it’s her playing with his shirts while there hanging up. I’d like to here if you guys have cats? Cheers Leesa

    • the thru is that nobody knows nothing at all including the doctors about sweating,and holes on the t-shirts

      • Merlayne above is Wrong! I have had several occasions when I looked down after having a NEW shirt on for an hour with yoga pants and see tiny holes, always in the same place. Low front center..
        This is a conspiracy to top off consumers! I get to wear most cotton tees once before they appear. I shop at landsend and Talbot’s mostly but every brand I have bought same thing happens even my Garnet Hill tops!

    • i have also same problem, please give some idea to avoid this thanks.

    • It’s definitely silverfish cause theres not moths at my house nor cats, dogs, mouse, or whatever else there could be, but ive definitely seens silverfish in my room. Ugh my favorite pants are ruined ?

      • I got rid of the problem by putting my t-shirts together in the mesh zip-up bags that you can buy at the $ stores. Put the bag in the washing machine. After the wash, take the t- shirts out, stretch them out to reshape and hang to dry. I have not had any holes since doing this!!

        • How does washing in a mesh zip-up bag eliminate the problem? I thought you were going to suggest keeping the T-shirts in a zip-lock bag when storing in your drawer? This problem is frustrating me beyond belief, and of course it only happens to my all of my favorite T’s. It’s not moths because they’re not wool, and always in the same place (bottom front). It’s not rubbing against pants buttons, because it occurs on my night-time T’s, only worn with elastic-band pants. Please, someone, come up with the culprit!

    • Rosalyn F Kilcollins says

      I think someone got it right about “the material that they are making the clothes from now days is thinner than it used to be.” I also think it has to do with the way it is knitted because it seems that once a single threat of the knit gets snagged it starts a hole. They seem to be around the area where the corner of the top of pants sticks up above the zipper or buttons. So that might be what causes the snag to start, but I think it is the cheap material and/or knitting technique that is to blame. The pictures I’ve seen posted by others are just like mine and lots of other peoples’. It doesn’t matter if they cost $8 or $80, what country they are made in, what store sells them or what brand they are, most of my knitted shirts get these. I am so sick of it I started taking the shirts back to the stores, but doubt that will help any. So, now I am going to start writing the companies that make them. Maybe they will crack down on the fabric and knitting machine manufacturers if enough people start sending their holey shirts with complaints (and maybe demands for refunds).
      Delete this Post Edit this Post

      • I have at least 20 GAP tees with the same holes..One of the shirts developed holes first day of wear.I do not have this problem with other brands..I am not happy about the huge waste of money

        • Great idea!
          It doesn’t matter which store I buy my pullover shirts, they still get holes in them. Some right away and others last longer before holes happen.

        • I agree with Janie. Mine are from Gap, Uniglo, Lord & Taylor, and even more high-end stores – some occur right away, others a year later. If it was due to the way or quality of material, why do they ALWAYS occur in the exact same area???

    • I get these holes on the top part of my tee shirts. It’s maddening ! I had NEW shirts that i put in my drawer and put them on and within an hour i see “THE DREADED WHOLES” I have paid good money for some of these shirts. I have put iron on patches on the inside of some of the holes. I took all my shirts out of the drawer and wiped it down with ammonia water. I’m resorting to just buying clothes at the thrift store so I’m not spending to much money on a shirt that will just get holes in them. HELP !

    • Yes I’m also wondering
      After reading quite a lot I think it’s the
      Thin material they are made from at the moment
      $10 or &100

      I’ll add I’ve bought some thicker t-shirt from and older woman’s fashion store
      This hasn’t happened to them yet
      So it’s the flimsy fashion material
      I’ll be taking an expensive t-shirt back to a high end fashion store to get an explanation from them
      !!

      • Hi,
        I too was stunned when the holes started appearing in my shirts as well. Always in the same area. No one else in my family has had this happen to their clothing.
        After about three years, I have finally found out that my granite counter tops were the cause of the holes. I spend more time than any other family member in the kitchen. Most of the time when I’m standing in front of the stove or doing dishes, I tend to be touching the edge of the counter top. Ever since I found out, I always wear an apron in the kitchen. I have not had a problem since then – which is now close to 6 months.

    • Lots of suggestions here about beetles, moths and silverfish. I thought this might be the case as I had an old leaky house, but we rebuilt the house, with new carpets, new cupboards, new clothes, new washing machine and still the holes appear!
      It’s always the same type of T-shirt, never suits or shirts (thank goodness) so it does suggest a weakness in the fabric. The only thing we didn’t change is the tumble dryer, which could be a culprit.

      • Ok….I just keep reading these and haven’t commented due to lack of spare time but I can tell you that the fabric is definitely the problem. I bought a dress from Steinmart and when I put it on I noticed a small blurb in the fabric…looked like a tiny bit of lint but when I touched it a hole appeared just like the holes in all our clothes that we are commenting on. My husband has some shirts with them on the lower back (doesn’t tuck them in) so the theory of granite counters and everything else that people are saying is bogus. It’s down right cheap material from over seas. Probably in the manufacturing equipment.

    • I’m pretty sure it’s tiny bugs in the drawers. My hung up shirts don’t get holes, only my dresser shirts. I may have to mothballs or essential oils or herbs or something. But it’d funny, only my pajama shirts, the left arm of then, gets these holes, and their huge! Right arm is fine. Don’t know why that is.

    • The worst culprit for this is my cotton on t-shirts. Every one has them and I bought some last week and one had holes after wearing it once. I thought 2 tshirts for $20 was a bargain now I am thinking I may as well flushed my money down the toilet. I bought an $80 David Lawrence tshirt over a year ago and it is still looking good. The material is great quality. Unforetunately I think they recently went into receivership?

    • Yes, I have the same. New Tee or old Tshirts – all at front near belly button. Very frustrating and no one can give a reason. I do think it must be a washing machine problem (front loaders). I hope the manufacturers can suggest because their technician should consider and help us resolve it. Manufacturers should do a test. I have to keep buying tee shirts!!!

      • I thought it was the front loader washer, as well, but that doesn’t explain why the holes are always in the lower front of the T-shirt. And, if it was the quality of the fabric, again, why are they always in the same location?

    • It’s flying termites was living on drainage pipe lines. On dark time they are coming to bathroom and wash basins area. They only whole on T-shirts and all other things. Better you wash T-shirt and all to use Dettol liquids for better results. I have lost more than 37 branded T-shirts.

    • I read somewhere about eyelash bugs or skin bugs that are not noticeable to the eye but can be seen through a micriscope can this be the problem? How many of you have itchy skin around that area of holes? Yikes ugly to think about Body bugs.

    • Megan Moran says

      I absolutely love Country Road T-shirts but was so frustrated with all the holes appearing in only their brand.. twelve to be exact !! Thought I would google and see if other people have a problem BINGO so will be taking a photo of your T-shirt and will go and complain. I doubt I will get anywhere seeing other complaints about Country Road. Regards Megan Moran

      • Margaret Hughes says

        Megan! I too have holes in same place after 2 wears of three new Country Road t shirts. After reading your post, I am going to take photos and send to C R as I am sick of throwing them away – no holes in anything else in my wardrobe, so I am convinced they are shipped to Australia with moth eggs maybe?

  2. Moths love. Get some moth or lavender balls from Coles

  3. My benchtop is wood, I go in cars maybe three times a year, and the holes are waaaaaaaay above where the button of my pants is. So whatever is causing these mystery holes, it sure as shit isn’t any of those. Though I’d never thought about it in depth before, and now I’m curious as fuck.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I agree with EVERYTHING you say here. Cheap fabric I reckon. It’s BULLSHIT.

      • I thought it was the front loader washer, as well, but that doesn’t explain why the holes are always in the lower front of the T-shirt. And, if it was the quality of the fabric, again, why are they always in the same location?

  4. flyingdrunkenmonkey says

    Yes! I get exactly the same thing! I thought moths at first but it’s always in exactly the same spot!

  5. Annaleis Topham says

    Do you hang them upside down – I had some pegs that would do that 🙂

  6. It’s just cheap fabric. Even though you probably paid $50-100 for that t-shirt, it’s the crap fabric they produce in China and other countries these days. Bring back Australian Made I say!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Agreed! Will do…

      • I have the same problem and am annoyed as hell have been searching for an answer for a couple of years now! If it’s cheap fabric why still always in the exact same spot? And once you get one it’s like they breed! I have tops from $5 to $150 and they all seem to get them some straight away some take ages! I thought maybe front end loader but again why only tops and always the same spot I WANT AN ANSWER humph hahahaha!

        • It’s SO frustrating isn’t it?!

        • This holes on your t shirts have been appearing the last 3 years. I think is definitely from very bad material. I have bought t shirts from lands end, talbot, etc.and they all get the little holes. Lately I have had better luck with L L Bean.

          • I’m dying to know the answer to this mystery. It’s beyond frustrating. I started noticing this when we moved to the Seattle area two years ago. This never happened to my clothes in San Diego. It’s totally bizarre. Is it my LG front loader? I do have quartz countertops. I try to wear an addition in the kitchen but I have gotten holes after one and two washes.

        • I have been thinking that it is the washing machine too and I have a front loader too! It happens on not so expensive shirts and others that are too! Sometimes I have only wore the shirts a couple times and bingo there’s the holes! So frustrating!

          • It is not the front loader as my worst damage was done to a tee shirt I hadn’t washed yet, nor did I wear jeans or similar with it. I wish someone would come up with the answer.

          • I also have this with MOST of my shirts! It is VERY frustrating! I figured out it is most likely rubbing up against the counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom, even though we have granite, which should be smooth enough to cause it NOT to happen! But it seems to have to do with rubbing the zipper against anything solid, either counters or desks. This is such a maddening problem and I wish I had an answer! Someone said to use an apron when cooking, but it happens in the bathroom, too! I wish it would STOP! Nancy

        • Me too! I used to think the problem was that I bought cheap clothing from places like JCPenney’s. So I started shopping at more expensive places like Lands End and Talbots Garnet Hill. Still happens. I only get one where out of most shirts that I buy no matter how much I pay for them. I can put a brand new shirt on on several occasions and look down within an hour or two and see tiny little holes already beginning to appear always in the same spot low front center. Now this is where it gets strange. Open up any catalog and you will see the models most all of them with the shirts tucked in in a way that would cover the tiny holes just in the front just check it out and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Weird. I’m getting pretty damn sick of it. I believe that this is a conspiracy by the manufacturer. The reason people are listing. Here are ridiculous! I’ve been watching this for years now even doing experiments by taking brand new shirts taking photographs before and after the first wash with a front loader. There they are clear as day without the shirt ever being worn!!!?

          • I have been experiencing this problem for years now, very very frustrating, even though I take the shirts back and get my money reimbursed it still doesnt solve the problem which I believe is world wide. We have changed washing machines, washing powders, sprayed the entire house and wardrobes for silverfish, moths, beetles, cockroaches etc to no avail. All my friends have the same problem. Why is it that it only happens in the low front centre? I have rung the Retailers and they just tell me to bring the item back and they will refund because they have no solution as to WHY… What else can one do. I wish someone would go on TV and expose this problem.

  7. Front loader washing machines do this to my tops. Since I got a top loader again, I haven’t had holes.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      That’s interesting…I have a front loader too.

    • I don’t agree, I have a top loader and always get holes in my clothes

      • I have had a top loader and a front loader and have had holes in the same spot of my shirts. Always in the front near the button of the pants. It is SO frustrating! It is always on cotton shirts (both long and short sleeve baby style tees). They are not tight on me. I have thought maybe it was because that it where a kitchen counter top hits if you lean up against it.

        • Ok. .explain this. ..my cotton pjs have 3 holes in the tummy area a little off to the right of center. I have granite counters which are smooth. All 3 are next to each other in a circle pattern. Top load washer or front load. ..I’ve found it doesn’t matter. I don’t wear a belt to bed!

  8. Cara Mowle says

    I think it is a “high rub area” for me. Mine are always at the point of my belly that sticks out most. It also rubs the shopping trolley when I bend over the side to put something in. It rubs the bench when washing up or preparing food….. endless possibilities for me.

  9. Lilyfieldlife says

    it happens on every single tshirt material top of mine, not just cheap fabric.my husband thinks it’s because i absent mindedly pull my tshirt down over my tummy through out the day. if it was just cheap fabric it would happen on his tshirts also and not just in the exact same spot on all my shirts. since he’s said that I do notice that i pull my t-shirt in that particular spot.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      What’s what I don’t get…it only happens to me

      • This didn’t happen years ago. And it’s only my clothing, not the kids or husbands?

        • I have had the same problem for years it’s always in the front of the shirt. I have done research on the problem. I feel it is carpet beatles although I don’t see adult ones or the larve. It is the larve that cause the damage. Your shirt looks like the same exact holes mine have.

  10. Rebecca Simunic says

    I actually saw it happen to me. Belt buckle or jeans button rubbing on caesar stone cuts a hole straight thru!!!

  11. Me too. Very annoying. My theory is from carrying the washing basket.

  12. Happens to me too Beth! After much consideration I have decided that it is definitely the zip on my jeans that craps out my tshirts.
    Now when I get in the car, I make sure that my tshirt isn’t tucked into the lap part of my seat belt (does that make sense?) And I think that this has helped somewhat.
    First world problem I say 😉

  13. Oh my God, I know what you mean.

    I got some $130 ballet flats recently and had to take them back THREE TIMES to get re-soled and when I said it was pretty disappointing – particularly as they appeared to have polished the inside of the shoe with black shoe polish (BIZARRE) – the lady said ‘Well, have you been driving in them?’ and I said ‘Yes…’ and she said ‘Well, that’d be it then. These shoes aren’t made for driving in’.

    I was too mystified to respond further.

    Driving? Shoes? What?

  14. Narelle Anderton says

    This is my life and Im sick of it too! ALL of my bloody t’shirts have these holes, doesn’t matter if its a $5 bargain or a $100 one, it happens to them all. Pissed off about it too as I always look like a hobo! Let me know when you find the culprit and we can deal with it severly.

  15. Me too! I have stone benchtops AND jeans AND a tummy! So it could be ANY one of these things. The other day I chucked a hissy fit when I found them on my favourite Country Road tee that was meant to last me a couple of seasons.

  16. Engracia Findlay says

    OMG, I have just spent the last hour on Ebay trying to find pre-loved versions of my favourite tops which have these holes!! I thought I was the only one, I’ve even had a favourite linen top remade by my seamstress. I think it is the button on my jean, I’ve just realised that it has only happened in the last year when I’ve put on a bit weight & my tummy is a little more rounded!!!

  17. Me too! I went round the ENTIRE house checking surfaces for things it could hank on. Found nothing. Are we getting substandard tees or is there some kind of pixie chewing at our clothing in the night?!

  18. coalvalleyview says

    I reckon it’s Moths Beth if it’s not an obvious getting-caught-on-things situation. We’ve hd this problem, normally with woollens though when suddenly a hole appears when you swore it wasn’t there weeks earleir. You don’t necessarily see the Moths as it’s their larvae that eat through the clothing not the adults – total pain in the neck. If not, maybe carpet beetles? Mel x

  19. Can I just say that I’m ABSOLUTELY SICK OF IT TOO. I’ve tossed up all these possibilities and they always seem to be around me jean area. But my tshirts aren’t cheap, but I’m suspecting that they are, if you know what I mean. Perhaps it’s a mixture of the jeans AND the benchtops?

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Dodgy cheap manufacturing…I reckon anyway!

    • You need to read this,
      I had just bought a t-shirt, I came home and tried it on, then I placed it in my dresser, a week later I put it on and noticed these damn holes, in the same area as my other Tshirts!!!!

      I’m going crazy! I need to try this again!

  20. YES … this has happened to so many of my t shirts and it drives me mad. I just assumed it was cheap fabrics … which disintegrate in the washing machine. But all these theories have my brain ticking over. WE NEED ANSWERS!!!

  21. I wish I knew! I suffer the same problem and think it’s a combination of my jeans and poor quality. They don’t make things to last these days and I’m convinced that it’s simply because if it wears out quickly, the expectation is that we’ll buy another, and another, and another…..

  22. Alanah Hooi says

    This used to happen to me all the time, google silverfish, sadly that is what caused it for us. The good news is that after a lot of work we seem to be on top of the problem. Good luck.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      OK right…what did you do?

      • Alanah Hooi says

        Cleaned every single item of clothing, then made sure I put down scented paper linings as they loved to eat them, once I saw them being eaten I knew we hadn’t beaten it yet. We had lavender balls, pest control regular airing of the unused portions of our closet, it took me close to a year to eradicate them all. I haven’t seen those little holes for such a while now, they are so small and mostly come out at night so it is hard to miss. You might also find them in your bathroom. I swear if I see another silverfish I might implode, those little buggers ate through so many of our shirts and cashmere jumpers, they didn’t seem to care if the were from Target or Country Road.

  23. Thank goodness this doesn’t just happen to me! I have been noticing this for about 2 years now and have racked my brain as to why this happens. In my case I think it may be my belt buckle that I wear with my jeans or shorts, but I’m really not sure if this is the cause. Will follow this one as I’m so curious to hear what other people think.

  24. wow, so many of us with the same problem. I was told it was moths but I also suspected a jag in my washing machine. I still don’t know and it pisses me off!

  25. Ahhhhhhh, I was just moaning to “him indoors” about the same thing. Same here in this house, in exactly the same spot. I was thinking that it may be a mouse, snuggling down in them at night and having a bit of a nibble. We are in the country, by a vineyard so we have loads of the little buggers about………………

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      How does the mouse get in the drawer? Why the one spot? I know you don’t have the answers….and I have SO many questions!

  26. Oh yeah, happens to me too! Same spot. I don’t wear belts, have no benches made of whatever the hell you are talking about. My tummy doesn’t even protrude either, so it’s not that. I think we should get Nikki Parkinson of Styling You to investigate…

  27. Mookie FitzGerald says

    it’s a sad but true tale of too much time spent at the kitchen sink …. sometimes flimsy, sometimes not so flimsy t-shirt gets caught between the belt buckle / the metal button and the hard kitchen surface. The apron is the saviour.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I am going to get mine out more often…good suggestion!

      • I have the exact same problem and its driving me crazy. My theory is the jeans buckle or zip. Has anyone tried a bando? I was thinking of getting one, I used them when pregnant and throught if I could cover the buckle & zip it might work.

  28. Reannon Hope says

    I think we had this conversation on FB last year. I’m pretty sure we got no answers but it made me think benches were to blame but honestly I have no bloody idea! It is dead set infuriating!!!!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      We did indeed! It’s STILL pissing me off.

      • Reannon Hope says

        Me too!

      • I have the same problem and am annoyed as hell have been searching for an answer for a couple of years now! If it’s cheap fabric why still always in the exact same spot? And once you get one it’s like they breed! I have tops from $5 to $150 and they all seem to get them some straight away some take ages! I thought maybe front end loader but again why only tops and always the same spot I WANT AN ANSWER humph hahahaha! I did notice one day I wore a top and washed it the next day to find a hole so I went with the theory front loader I now bad all my tops but it still happens!

  29. silverfish?

  30. HappyandClear says

    This happens to me and I worked out it happens when I pick up the kids and my shirt is dragged past the top of my jeans. Never happens on any of my dresses. Also, they don’t make shirts like they used to. (Omg. That last comment makes me sound like a nana.)

  31. Someone pointed out to me that they could see my bra through some of those holes the other day – and it was a Marcs t-shirt so it wasn’t cheap.

  32. I can’t believe you posted this because I just ordered 3 new t-shirts online last night as I have this exact same problem and it has been utterly baffling. After much consideration I am wondering whether it’s either: a) where the t-shirt rubs against the button of jeans, or, b) silverfish. Hope we can all find some sort of solution! x

  33. I would assume silverfish or moths.. haven’t seen it on any of mine and I drive, have belts and a Caesarstone top..

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      It can’t be! Why do they like just ONE spot? Why on MY tops? WHY TESSA WHY?!

      • I am so happy (in a weird sort of way) that we are all having this problem – as I honestly thought it was just my t-shirts. Also always in the same spot as yours. Yes, I have caesarstone bench tops and a bit of a tummy, but my husband has a bigger tummy and spends a lot of time in the kitchen, and no holes are appearing in his t-shirts. It seems to happen mostly to my white t-shirts – or perhaps they are just easier to see.
        I’m going to try an experiment while wearing a t-shirt and rub my back against the stone bench. Maybe that will give an answer one way or another!

      • i agree why would bugs always eat your ts in the same spot

        • I think it is either the button on my trousers or my quartz kitchen worktop.

        • Hi
          I also found that it was only on my tops at the exact same spot always.
          No one else in my family had the problem with their clothes.
          I finally realized it was my kitchen counters. I have granite counter tops and I tend to stand close to the counter when I’m cooking or washing dishes. I started wearing an apron in the kitchen and have not had any more problems.
          This is a fact. Please try it and see if it makes a difference.

  34. musingsofamartin says

    you already know how I feel about these bloody holes.

    It can’t be silverfish or moths … the holes are always in the same spot! Wouldn’t bugs just nibble anywhere?

  35. Lisa Quarterman says

    I spent months trying to figure the same thing out and eventually worked out that it is leaning into kitchen/bathroom benches. The delicate fabric gets rubbed between the bench and your trousers/skirt especially if you have buttons or zips and gets a hole worn into it. I tested it out one night and after cleaning my teeth in the bathroom had three holes appear in my shirt. I lost dozens of shirts before I figured it!

  36. It’s never happened to me, so I’m afraid I have no idea. Children pulling on your top?? I get greasy stains in the exact same spot from kids coming up and wiping their faces on me.

  37. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I honestly think it is just cheaper fabric ,they didn’t do that in the old days,I don’t think it is just you either it is everyone complaining about sub standard t shirts!

  38. Sarah Brown says

    I have one top with these holes its mot cotton but wool . I figured out I must have gotten it caught in the zipper of my jeans !

  39. I was just pondering this with some school mums the other day, and came to the conclusion that I have too much belly, and it’s wearing the material out. But obviously ladies without too much belly have this problem, so it must be something else.
    x

  40. MotherDownUnder says

    I get these too…hugely annoying…although it does mean I always have a good stash of pretty pj shirts.
    I recently discovered that a dress I bought at the Gap when I was at home as a slash across the front of it. I can only imagine the dress was at the top of the box and when they opened the box with a knife, my dress got damaged. It is heartbreaking really as I have only worn the dress once and it was supposed to be my go to dress for this summer.

  41. Leila Minter says

    Why doesn’t it happen to men’s shirts. My husbands shirts never have this problem? I have heard a theory to add to the list that made me chuckle though. Apparently toxic vapours leave you body via your belly button and weaken the material. Sounds as plausible as any other I suppose.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Ha! I think Rob said something similar to me yesterday and I just rolled my eyes at him.

    • My husband has the same problem.

    • Happens also to my husband’s. And anywhere on his tshirts not just near the pants top. We have well water (goes thru a softening system) and top loader. I’ve made sure to close all zippers before washing a load of shorts and tshirts… to no avail. Cannot find either moths or silverfish in my home (and have quarterly pest control). SOOO frustrating.

  42. MotherDownUnder says

    I have a theory. It must be from when they rub against the inside of the drawer? I bet that we with holes all fold our shirts the same way and keep them in drawers? This is going to keep me up tonight.

  43. I only started getting these holes once I had my daughter 18 months ago – now all my t shirts get them after awhile. I’ve concluded it’s from carrying a toddler around and having her rub my shirt against my jeans.

  44. This happens to quite a few of my son’s t-shirts, he’s 8 years old. I also have a front loader washing machine. But no-one else seems to have the problem. And all his holes are at chest height on him, same general area – which curiously is around the height of the kitchen benchtop. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark it’s doing my head in. And I’m in Ireland so don’t be saying it’s something to do with Australian clothes … :o)

  45. Happens here too, and not just with my clothes, but the kids too, in the same spot! I did wonder if it were the washing machine, but my conclusion lies with cheap, crappy fabrics. How else can we buy $4 shirts for kids now? Something has to give. And I’ve also noted, probably to cover their own arses, that some brands, like cotton on, now have t-shirts, kids T-SHIRTS that are hand wash only. COME ON! These are not pretty sequin ones either. I think it’s a bit of BS really.

  46. Lesley Minter says

    ME TOO! Thought it was synchronised moth eating. Absolutely Bizarre! I don’t have Caesarstone benches, not that I really do the kitchen stuff anyhow. If it was the benches
    then the husband would have it, as he’s the cook. Thinking perhaps the belt buckle, or perhaps the extended tummy…. Lots on Google, so we are not alone…………..
    However very, very, annoying…

  47. Keep Warm (Danielle) says

    I know! This makes me crazy! When I moved to Australia 2 years ago I tried to bring clothes for the weather and that would work with everything. Instead all I brought were holey shirts! Then I had to get a whole new wardrobe!

  48. Yes! This! So annoying.

    Initially I thought it was silverfish or moths or some shit and then I was like, “Hang on, how does the silverfishy moth thing know to eat the holes in exactly the same spot on every top?”

    I drew two conclusions. Silverfishy moths are not that smart. And neither am I…..

  49. This happens to my husbands tshirts all the time. We have put it down to his belt sticking through. He certainly doesn’t spend enough time at the kitchen sink for it to be because of that.

  50. Karin O'Grady says

    I always thought mine where from my front loader washer. So frustrating and always in the same spots – belly or shoulder!

  51. Josie McBride says

    Madness – I had this exact conversation (how exciting..I know).

    I have only encountered this problem since having kids. The front loader washing machine came at the same time as kids. New benchtops have made no difference. The only thing I notice is that it never happens to my dresses. (and the same muffin top belly rubs on the inside of the dress)
    My theory is that it happens in the washing machine when we wash the clothes with a pair of jeans or a denim skirt (anything with a zip).

  52. Meredith Treloar says

    I have had minimal holes in t-shirts since using a bag to wash bras in … I think the hooks on the bras were catching in the wash prior to that.
    I had a friend whose daughter always had holes in the front of her t-shirts … turns out it was where she was opening her Cruiser bottles 😉

  53. michelle rees says

    BLAME it on BANGLADESH!!!
    Thats our theory for the holes, first is was just my shirts, then I realized its because I get cheaper t-shirts than hubby dear, and when he down graded… well holes as well!
    So blame it on outsourcing labour, cheap shirts made in sweat shops…. and well Bangladesh

  54. Emily @ The Beetle Shack says

    ummm I BET i know where this tshirt is from.

    Happens to me all the time. Where the tee rubs on the top of my jeans, or it gets stuck between my muffin top, belt and denim, but whatevz.

  55. Diana Ethell says

    Does anyone know what the light brown/orange small dots you get on white tops is from? I get it on my white washing occasionally and it drives me insane, napisan will not even shift the bugger.

  56. My friends & I all thought we were going mad- holes in exactly the same places on our tshirts. Def the fault of jeans/buttons/belts and too much time at kitchen bench!!

  57. BaDoomTCH! says

    we believe it comes from pulling shirts of the clothesline without removing the clothe pegs properly..well that is what i accused my maid of doing..was i wrong?! hah

  58. OMG…..I just found this feed by googling this exact problem. I damn well pull out another newish ‘country road’ top with those blasted holes in the front I am going to scream!….(actually I already am) I do not know what it is. I did think silverfish but it does not make sense why it is always in the same spot. And as for the button theory and rubbing along the bench?… I don’t know… It never used to happen and the last top (only 4 weeks old) was really thick cotton. I AM STUMPED.

    • Caroline Wyborn says

      I have recently had to throw out a few tops with these holes, strangely always in the same spot. I have come to the conclusion that they are caused by clothes moths as I found two of the buggers in my cupboard yesterday! I don’t think it has anything to do with bad quality fabric because their favourite meal has been my expensive Country Road shirts! Perhaps there are some silverfish too. The greatest mystery to me is why are the holes always in the same spot??? I don’t believe that clothes rubbing against your belt etc can cause that much damage.. I’ve had holes after wearing a shirt only once

      • I don’t understand why mine are the only ones that get them though? Always the expensive country road ones too – they are using cheaper fabrics I tell you! SO annoying!!

      • I agree Cloths Moths. I had this problem for 2 years and it drove me insane. When I recently stayed with my sister she was yelling about a new Country Road dress that she had only worn once that had these tiny holes in it – the same place that some of her shirts had holes. Clean out wardrobe, vacuum carpets and hang moth repellant. Problem goes away.

  59. Cindy Shields says

    There have been a lot of explanations for the tiny holes in t-shirts. The simple fact is that there is a friction between denim and jersey fabric, along with the pointed corner of the waistband that cause the tiny holes.

    I have battle this problem for years and came up with a solution. You can view this garment protector at http://www.etsy.com/listing/181602362/garment-protectors-adhesive-backed?

  60. Marie-Hélène Moreau says

    URGH! I work in a tea store so I’m ALWAYS leaning on a counter! I got a really nice shirt from my boyfriend for christmas and it’s already ruined! My job should pay for all the t-shirts I’ve ruined since I work there. Anyway…I’ve chosen to wear only old ugly t-shirts at work, which makes me look kinda bad…

  61. It’s the friggin’ countertops. I moved to Australia with a ton of t-shirts, some of which I’ve had for years, none of which had any holes in them. I had a front loading washer back home, wore the same belt, etc. It only happens to my and my wife’s t-shirts and both in the same place where they would rub against the counter/bench tops. Our young daughter also has a lot of t-shirts, some of which she brought over with her, and none of hers have any holes in them at all (because she’s not tall enough, yet).

  62. Janice Rodrigues says

    Hello Beth, this problem has plagued me for about 8 years—never before that & not my husbands shirts. I’m collecting them now, no idea why, maybe for proof. It is not counter tops, seat belts, reg. belts, jean tabs, clothing soap, appliances & whatever else I’ve seen people say on this site & FB “Holes in my t shirt” site, or something like that. I started thinking there is a creature living in my belly button, yeah, I’m losing it! I’ve thought about calling my local TV station, or finding a Forensic Entomologist! It is definitely some kind of bug eating holes & sometimes there is a very light, whitish smear around the holes. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how a bug would know to eat only around the belly button area (a scent attracts them?) although there are many times when holes are also off to the side—but never in the back! It makes me sound nuts when I try to explain it. I live in San Diego. I’ve tried putting my tops in zipper hanging bags & sprinkling bay leaves all around. I’ve sprinkled powdered roach killer, that contains Boric Acid, to no avail (and drives my husband crazy) About 6 months ago a sister-in-law finally experienced it too. I usually buy my tops at T.J.Maxx–purchasing an adorable top for $80 at Nordstrom’s to end up with holes within no time is extremely foolish (I love the brand “Free People”, for instance, & so do the critters). My new tactic is buying thread that matches the top & sew the little holes in as much inconspicuous way as possible—I have quite the collection of thread now 🙂

    • Isn’t it the weirdest thing? I still am not convinced it’s a bug though…how come it’s only MY shirts? And how come all in the same place? Good luck with your new sewing skills!

      • Janice Rodrigues says

        Beth,
        I wanted to post a photo for you, but it wouldn’t work. I had mentioned I’m sewing the holes in my shirts—well today I pulled one out of the closet that I had recently sewn & haven’t worn yet—and right out of the closet, new holes. Bugs.

        • Thanks so much for the update…there you go!

        • I’m still going with my beveled quartz benchtop. I just ordered two t-shirts and, not thinking, washed some dishes after wearing one of them for the first time. The one I wore now has one small hole near the waist (wear my waist would rub against the counter). I’ve since picked up an apron that I now wear. The t-shirt with the one hole it still has just one hole. The other t-shirt that I got in the same package has no holes in it.

          The reason the bugs theory makes no sense to me is because I don’t think bugs would only eat the same spot on each t-shirt and they wouldn’t avoid the shirts of people not tall enough to wash dishes. If the bugs liked cotton they would eat it wherever it was.

          • I think I’m with you Jim..I can’t understand why a bug would eat them in the same spot, each time?!

    • Janice Rodrigues says

      Hello, I posted here before & wanted to share an email I just received from a professor of Entomology, UC Davis…I’m still on a quest to find answers because the professor mentioned termites as a maybe & as I said before I’ve pulled a shirt out of the closet with tag still on only to find new holes (a whitish smear accompanies it)….and we have termites. I am going to continue to send emails to any & all Entomology departments I locate! I suppose I’m being stubborn, but I have a some loose flowing type of tops too that have been hit with holes & just don’t see the rubbing connection when worn only a few times–I resist this explanation!
      Here’s the Professor:

      Lynn Kimsey

      11:58 AM (4 minutes ago)

      to me
      Dear Ms. Rodrigues,
      I wish there were a simple explanation for this but its a couple of things coming together. I have more ruined cotton shirts because of these stupid holes. It started a few years ago. There are no insects that eat cotton. Its indigestible except maybe to termites and they wouldn’t just leave small holes. What’s happening is that companies that produce fabric and clothing have changed the kinds of cotton they use and the weave/knit. In addition, many add synthetic threads to make the fabric stretchier. This is true of pants as well. The combination of the sharp edge of the pants button flap, the shirt fabric and hard surfaces like kitchen counters literally cuts these little holes thru the fabric.

      Solutions. I wish. I’ve started wearing belts and that has stopped most of the holes. Also wearing an apron in the kitchen should help too.

      Sincerely,
      Lynn Kimsey
      Professor of Entomology

  63. Even I am facing the same problem since years – same type of holes like you. And that happens to Tshirts only( maybe cuz of their materials different than shirt). I get these holes at random places. Since I found these holes, I always check my Tshirt before washing and came to conclusion that this happens while washing only. I thought that the zip of pants would be the reason – not while wearing but while washing. I use to keep all clothes together for washing and there is a chance that tshirt’s cloth gets tangled in pant’s zip. Now I am keeping shirts and Tshirts separate. I haven’t seen any holes but its not too long. Need to wait for atleast month before giving final conclusion.

  64. It’s from the kitchen counter. If you wear a bib apron while you cook, it solves the problem. Has driven me nuts for years.

  65. Just discovered the 7 years of international debate about my problem…crickey
    I was recently considering whether the zip of a hoody cardigan – the kind of zip that can be zipped up from the bottom too – its got quite a sharp little bit on the inside when its zipped up … so I’m gonna not wear that for a while and see if that helps

  66. I just read a brilliant answer to this and thought I’d share. ZIPPERS. The commenter said to zip up your jeans before you wash them with all your shirts. Now that makes sense to me!

  67. ITS THE CLEANING SPRAY YOU USE ON YOUR COUNTERS!! I had always thought this “holes in front of t-shirts” was an internet hoax until it started happening to me. I used to handwash dishes and used the soapy sponge for the counter. Then I got a dishwasher and started using spray cleaner for counters. The srpay mist gets on the front of shirts. Some cleaners have bleach in them which everyone knows eats through fabric. If you dont rinse counters leaning against them will pick up cleanser too. This also explains why some report holes in the shoulders (from spaying shower stall). And why most husbands dont get the holes. And why teenage girls often do but not little kids. Its usually not dressy clothes affected. So do a test….spray a thin t-shirt with some “Clorox with bleach” brand or similar and report back with results.

    • no no no no. Who uses that stuff? I talked to a few women in Denmark about this problem with tshirt holes – we have it here, but we definiely do not use bleach, (spray?) not on coutertops atleast.

      • I have had several tops ruined over the last couple of months. I share a wardrobe with my husband and his clothes are fine. The wardrobe has been cleaned out, everything washed, moth balls, insect repellents, orange smelly things, cloves etc etc. I bought 3 news tops last week and wore two out, left them in the laundry to be washed, then found holes across the front just like the other shirts! Can’t be seat belt – I’ve had the same car for 7 years, same kitchen for 6 years, same jeans for at least two years. This is driving me insane! I’m starting to think there is an alien inside me.

  68. So glad to read this site! Since I moved (from a wood bench to caesar stone) these holes have been driving me nutso. So many lovely tops repaired and holed, cheap and expensive (feels lovely quality – not just x’y). I also have a tummy where I never used to. All of my tops are currently drying as I try to get rid of moths – note cause I was convinced, but because I had to do something – even though them all being in the same spot was niggling the hell out of me. The caesar stone bench top theory rings true for me. Thinking its lime to start sewing up some aprons!

  69. I can give most of you a answer to your hole problems. Let me start out back years ago. There was what everyone call the Boll Weevil eating cotton crops. Coton clothing. So they altered the DNA in cotton so the Boll Weevil wouldn’t eat it. Then as time went on. We got these people wanting organic this and that. With this being done. We have lots of farms that have changed to unaltered cotton seeds. Guess what happened. The rise of the Boll Weevil is coming back. That is why your favorite shirt has three or more holes in it. These Weevils are not choosie. They will eat a five dollar shirt, or a hundred and fifty. To them it is just food. These little critters love coming out at night. They are fun o rid from your house. Because they tend to be under things or behind things.

    • So the Boll Weevil, same as Moth’s and Silverfish enjoy eating cotton shirts in the exact same location? Does not make sense. I am wearing a shirt that I wore a few days ago with different pants, pants that I do not usually wear or haven’t in awhile. This shirt is loose fitting and I am beginning to think the problem is the pants in combination with the seat belt of my car. I have only have had this shirt for 1 month and have yet to wear it with these particular pants, and now holes. And I have had other shirts ……… and the same issue. I thought it had come to a halt, but now holes again. So annoying!

  70. I must admit I haven’t read all the posts but I think I have an answer that no one has mentioned. I remember getting a small quarter inch hole on a t shirt I bought in a sale. The funny thing was that it was under the collar on the left side and I knew that I hadn’t scraped it or rubbed it on a belt or any of the other ideas that have come up. Then I remembered that the sale price ticket was pinned in that place. There wasn’t a hole there for many months but I think the pin had damaged the fibres and about twenty or more washes later the hole developed. This is just one t-shirt and one hole but if the shirt is damaged in the shop by a label but only shows up a lot later it might explain other peoples holes. Who knows?

  71. Hi.
    Having worked for a clothing manufacturer. They can be caused by the washing powder. It is to course for the fabrics, especially cotton and merino.
    Using plant based liquid washing powder should help.

  72. Those holes are the bane of my existence – yes, first world problem I know. I used to think it was just my Country Road tshirts that did it but I now live in the US and tshirts I’ve bought over here have done it too. I was in J Crew today and overhead a group of 3 girls talking about this exact thing. See, it’s a worldwide problem!

  73. Oh Beth, this has been annoying me a bit. I have lost 3 expensive t-shirts to these little holes (same place). I’m baffled! Although after reading all the comments I suspect it’s jean button and benchtop (and my post-baby belly).I just bought a heap of $10 t-shirts from cotton on. I will not buy CR or Mesop tees until it’s solved…

  74. Tshirt vampires

  75. I thought it was silverfish until I caught myself getting dressed and when doing my fly up caught my top in the zipper!!!! Found the suspect – ME!! Very annoyed but much more careful now when getting dressed and those annoying holes have not appeared in any more tops… Mystery solved

  76. I had the same thing and I think its your washing machine! The fabric gets caught in the gaps in the drum of the machine and must cause the hole while its agitating! I googled it and it suggests putting a pair of stockings or a towel around the drum to see if it snags and then file it down if you can…

  77. But how does that explain the ones that used to appear in baby clothes, Marty’s expensive woollen suits, the sleeves of my shirts.
    I’m still thinking cheap arse fabrics…

  78. I’m begining to think it’s cockroaches feeding on food stains from the kitchen bench and grubby little hands grabbing at me! They get to my tops when they are waiting to be laundered.

  79. OMG – same here – only noticed since having kids (thought it was pregnant belly, then rounder non-pregnant belly. I pondered the button/top of zip on jeans/pants rubbing – but who knows. I get pissed when happens with new tops.

  80. Through much trial & error I can definitely blame it on stone bench tops, or the heights your bench top!!

    • That’s great you have worked it out – I need to remember to get that apron on!

    • This has been happening to my clothes for last couple of years . Only bought a front loader recently so can rule that out as a cause . Yesterday I wore a brand new cotton top , never been washed … was fine when I put it on , and later in the night noticed those awful little holes right in the front again …ARGH …. was wearing jeans all day , I do have Caesar stone bench tops (although very smooth straight edges) and was preparing food in kitchen . I guess it’s the t shirts only as you always tend to wear a tshirt with jeans . I’m blaming combination of the cotton weave , jeans and bench tops as I have found a new place to hang all my new clothes when I get them so the silverfish can’t find them …ha ha

  81. Well we Moms have been debating the culprit of these holes for years over here in Muscat, Oman so I am amazed to see that this is a global issue. Not just the front of t-shirts they also seem to appear in the same place in underpants! What is going on here folks?

  82. I saw this post on Facebook and had to dive in. My wife and I have been puzzled over this issue for the last two years. We both get the problem but it is relatively new. It is always in the same spot (front of a t-shirt) near the belt buckle and always two to four very precise holes. I don’t think it is to do with our washing machine as I would suspect the holes would be in different locations. (We also have a top loader). Also I don’t think it is bugs as it is too precise across both my wife and my t-shirts. It always occurs on softer t-shirts but I have never seen this on work shirts (which I tuck in). Based on everything above I am concluding it is to do with either bench tops, belts or seat belts. Thanks for the great post!

  83. Please I just want to say thank you to all you ladies for posting this. I really was beginning to think I was losing my mind. What I know for sure, it is NOT insects because they are always in the same place. I do not think it is what you are calling “benches” I am American and I think we say countertops here. I don’t lean on them, ever! I tuck my tee in the front always so it is not rubbing on the button. I thought it may be the washer, but again the constant placement makes no sense. My only one thought is, I am self conscience about my “twins belly” “muffin top” and so I tug a bit on the front of my tees. I still don’t think this is the answer but I am throwing it out there as well. I just know I am nearly going crazy. $$$ spent at JCrew for nothing. Today I went to work, no holes came home 3 holes. I was even wearing a sweater! Off to pour a very large glass of wine!

  84. I also wanted to throw out there, this one additional tidbit. I am on my laptop often, and it sits on my lap. I do occasionally close my laptop on my tees/tanks. Maybe the heat or radiation emitted are also a factor?

    • This is what I am wondering..
      My mac has some sharp edges on the egde near the center bottom.

      • This is what my theory is..The sharp edges on my laptop are right where the holes appear. I never remember getting these type holes before laptops were a thing.
        I am going to test my theory by getting 2 cheap Walmart tops. I am going to wear one only while on the laptop. The other I am going to wear except when on the laptop.
        The other thing I wonder about is if the holes appear where I use my shirt to clean my glasses.

  85. For me it was definitely Caesarstone benchtops where the underside edge was not polished correctly. If you have these benchtops, get the edge re-polished and hopefully your hole problem goes away like it did for everyone in my house. Don’t forget to check you workplace too!

  86. I’ve had this same problem for years now.

    It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one suffering from the holey tummy.

    I’ve simply come to this conclusion: cotton processing is done differently now than it was many years ago. The chemicals and dyes used are abrasive and weakening and the cloth is woven with other, weaker, synthetic fibres, and then manufactured poorly with substandard measures in third world countries where there is but one standard: produce as much as possible. Quality comes second to quantity.

    So basically those fifty dollar tees are honestly no better quality than those five dollar tees.

    Then, because the tummy area is a HIGH friction spot (we don’t realise how many times a day we rub against countertops, desktops, seatbelts, grocery baskets, belt buckles, the buttons and zippers from our pants, the rigid/hard corner top of the button placket, carrying around children/purses/grocery bags/etc., our own constant pulling it down, etc., etc., etc.,) in addition to harsher detergents with even more chemicals in them and washing them on cycles too rough for them…

    …we end up with holey tees.

    What are supposed to be sturdy cotton tees, aren’t anymore. We buy the pretty, flowing, fitted, decorated, designed, FLAWED tees and the voilá! Holes.

    The reason why we don’t see it happen too often in men’s shirts, is because men tend to buy the basic, 100% cotton shirts and they’re worn to relax in so they’re not rubbing against things as often as we do in our day to day.

    The only way I’ve found, to combat the holey tummy tees, is to be more aware of rubbing and switching to a gentle detergent (I use one made specifically to wash baby clothes) and I wash my favourite tees separate from my other laundry on the gentle cycle.

    They still end up with holey tummy because you can’t help processing and manufacturing, BUT it takes significantly longer for holey tummy to make itself known.

    Hope this helps.

  87. I found that the chain and charm that I wear, I keep it tucked in, was rubbing and causing holes when I sit. Today I found a hole on the BACK of my tshirt and I’ve noticed them there on other shirts. Something strange is going on.

  88. The holes in my t-shirts are tiny, round and show up in various spots not necessarily where friction on objects other than body occurs.
    I have a front loader washer and dryer and have repeatedly spent time feeling around for snag spots. Since it only seems to be occurring on my t-shirts, I believe it is bugs in the dresser.
    Or, if it is happening in the washer of dryer, then I suspect that it is those little plastic tag leashes that come on every new clothing item purchased. T-shirts are soft, so I believe the plastic is stiff enough to puncture.

  89. I have the same darn problem. I have noticed this happening from clothes I buy from the Gap. But it has also happens in shirts I buy from other stores. I think it is a combination of low quality fabric and the washing machine. Perhaps a conspiracy between the washing machine manufactures and clothing manufactures to get all of us to “buy” more shirts. I think about spring-tails too or moths, carpet beetles, etc. but I notice the holes seem to be in the same places. With the Gap t-shirt holes tend to be around the bottom of the shirt in other t-shirt the holes are at the top in the back.

  90. So glad I just found this website
    Here goes…..
    Live in Vancouver BC Canada
    Bought a T-shirt this week
    Yesterday put it in the top-loading washer
    Then in the dryer for literally 5 minutes
    Hung it over the arm of the couch overnight to air dry
    Put it on this morning
    Presto…..
    Full of holes on right, lower side
    So….was washed in biodegradable laundry liquid detergent from the health food store
    Was not even worn
    Seems like no matter what country we live in.. it is happening to women’s tops everywhere
    I think I will just buy shirts, make them short sleeved and see what happens
    It’s disgusting that T-shirts that look trendy and stylish are made so crappy!!

  91. This has started happening to me in the last couple of years, after putting on weight. I’m CERTAIN it’s because my belly now makes the top of my jeans roll outward slightly so the stiff corner of the denim above the button hole rubs on my shirts. Also t-shirts are not as good quality as they used to be. I’ve had these tiny holes start appearing after only a few weeks on some new shirts!!

  92. The holes are always middle front waistband level therefore it must be something that occurs when the garment is being worn. I’ve noticed that it’s lightweight cotton only, none of my sport shirts or thicker t shirts have this. I like the suggestion that it’s a combination of belts and stone work tops. I cook a lot and make many cups of tea, I have holes in heaps of both expensive and cheap t shirts so it makes sense to me.

    • I agree – I have been SO frustrated over the past year with the amount of t-shirts I’ve had to replace – I put it down to a new belt initially, but have started wearing my jeans again as the weather has gone cooler, without a belt, and hey presto, my new t-shirt that I have worn for 3 hours has a hole in it, right over the waistband where the button is!! Another $25 down the drain. After reading the posts, I do believe that it is from leaning against the stone bench top in the kitchen – we have only been in this house for 11 months and it didn’t happen before.. I am going to start wearing an apron every time I wash up/prepare food and see how I go.

  93. I have been having this problem for the past few years. Seems to hae started happening after we took a trip to usa and we went to the outlets in vegas. Bought quite a few tommy hilfiger cotton tshirts. Hubby did to but none of his clothes have been eaten. Mine have all the same little holes you are all talking about. some of the tshirts i had not even got around to wearing and when i went to get it out of the wardrobe there they were. We have done all the lavender, cedar, bay leaves. We have bombed our wardrobe. We dont have carpet in the house. We do have a front loader but i wash hubbys clothes in the same washer and he doesnt have a problem. I even moved all my clothes from one wardrobe to another to see if it was something in our main wardrobe that survived the numerous bombing of sprays. I dont know what the answer is all i know is it doesnt matter if the cotton tshirts are expensive or cheap they still get eaten in the same spot. This problem has got rather expensive and i dont want to look like a hobo. Unlike hubby im used to having my clothes for years on end. Whatever is eating my tshirts its only the cotton ones. It hasnt touched any wool, cashmere or other fabrics. Please help if anyone has any other ideas. ive run out of ideas!

    • I have similar situation as yours Kay. I’m still puzzled why only my clothes and not my hubby’s clothes. It must be some little creature that’s eating my clothes on the same spot. I haven’t tried transferring my clothes to a different wardrobe. But what i will try is to wash all the clothes before i transferred it. Just to make sure that there is none of those creatures get transferred. I just realised that my hubby’s clothes are all in drawer while mine is exposed in the walk in wardrobe. Most probably that is the main reason the little fella can access my clothes because it is so open.

  94. I have also had these little tiny holes showing up on my shirts. It is ALWAYS the same place – front bottom of shirt. At first I thought it was the faulty fabric. After reading all the posts about this issue, I am starting to think it is the granite “rejuvenator” we use on our granite. I do not wear jeans a lot so don’t have the holes caused by metal on my jeans. I wear a lot of capris and yoga pants. The holes are only in the shirts that I wear. We have granite in our kitchen and in our bathroom. I also thought it might be the detergent and it still might be as maybe the granite rejuvenator mixes with the detergent and there is a chemical reaction. And, there are so many people with the same problem. There has to be a reason for so many of us experiencing the same issue.

  95. These holes are showing up more in recent years and always right around my belly button/ belt buckle area..

    Bugs, washing machine and spray do not make sense because they appear in only one spot.

    I have a new theory..My laptop (mac) has sharp points on the edge right in the middle near the mouse area..

    I often sit with this area of my laptop wedged up against my belly…I am wondering if
    the edge of the laptop against a belt buckle could be the cause..

  96. Started putting 6-7 tops in a mesh bag which I then put in the washing machine. Then I do not put the tops in the dryer. No more holes.

  97. Pretty sure the holes are caused by leaning over kitchen benches wearing jeans as the button on the jeans causes a pressure point against the bench. In my case I make maybe 3 coffees a day and lean across the bench to do steaming of milk and extracting of ground coffee in my machine. I have ruined new t shirts within minutes of putting them on. I am also a bit ” rounder”,than I used to be !

  98. Probably Chinese low quality goodies like everything coming from that hole

  99. These are holes caused by insects. Has absolutely nothing to do with washing machines, fabric quality, buttons, countertops etc. I am having the same problem myself and it is driving me crazy. It’s either moths or carpet beetles, the latter I think. They are often in the front, bottom of shirts because the insect is attracted to food, sweat etc. The front, bottom of a shirt is where you are most likely to have dropped some food, or wiped your hands etc.

    • I’ve got to the point I’m just going to get a pest control guy in to spray the entire house. Definitely it’s not due to washing machine because a few of my brand new never washed or worn have had it happen to.

  100. or due to Silverfish.

  101. Hi there,
    I have the same problem, and its only me in my house that has this problem.
    Its in exactly the same place all the time (front of t-shirt, just below belly button). I am so frustrated. I don’t believe it to be fish moths or any insects because like another poster said – it has to be a very intelligent fish moth. Its not the seat belt or granite top either.
    I wish there was some explanation to this.

    • It’s definitely granite bench tops. I can’t stress enough that after we had our edges re-polished, the problem with holes on everyone’s shirts went away. Give it a try and see.

  102. I know this is an older post and I’m coming in late but I know the answer (but you’re not gonna like it)…
    It’s the combination of fine fabrics (technology has changed over the last several years to create MANY more really fine-weave knits in all price ranges) and the way women (predominantly) stand at kitchen or bathroom benches.
    I started noticing this belly-holes problem a few years ago when I got hooked on some lovely Australian made soft merino jumpers (which blows the cheap material theory) which I just lived in. Beautifully made, machine washable, 240gsm, soft as butter Then one by one they developed these infuriating holes – always around the same area and always starting off as almost microscopic but then multiplying and growing larger with more wear.
    I then noticed similar holes in fine weave tees, (both cheap and expensive), always in the same area. Never in regular, heavier weight fabrics though.
    More detective work led me to start noticing how this area alone could receive the kind of wear and tear to produce this problem and I worked out it’s the way I stand at a bench (or table or counter). I ALWAYS lean my weight against it with my hips/belly resting against it. Preparing food, brushing teeth, making tea etc. etc. And I’m pretty sure a lot of other women do too. I’m not very tall and it’s pretty much spot on the level where I lean most against the bench, so might be interesting to check at what height it is for you too. I suspect that the fellas who’ve said that their t-shirts do the same are ones who spend a bit of time leaning against a bench too, and probably wear the softer, finer weave tees, and I’ll be interested to hear whether those whose partners DON’T have the problem either don’t cook much, don’t lean against the counter if they do cook (and blokes do tend not to lean with their hips against the bench), or mostly wear heavier weight/ thicker weave tees.
    Sorry it only solves the mystery and not the problem, but I’m trying the apron-wearing theory to see if it helps, plus trying to be more aware of how I slouch against the bench… might have to channel my mum… I can still hear her telling me “stand up straight, shoulders back, tummy in!”
    I also get a bit more wear out of tops that show the first sign of holes by using a lightweight iron-on interfacing on the inside to prevent them getting larger. Hope this helps!

    • I think you are right…When I started wearing a belt with low waisted jeans it was the worst..
      I think the metal belt bucket just made the fabric rub that much worse against the counter.
      And I know I lean into counters when I am cooking and washing dishes…

  103. Hi,
    I have dealing with the same problem for year, and I am glad I am not the only one and now I finally can talk about these mysterious holes.
    I have holes on all my T- shirts, my cashmere sweaters (I did not wash my 6 cashmere sweaters that have holes in same area). I don’t buy expensive sweaters any more !
    I always thought it had something to do with my acid problem (gastric reflux), but didn’t want to talk about it, just in case people would think I was crazy !!
    I used to have a business and my employees and I had the same uniforms and only my T-shirts had holes. My employees used to ask me why I had holes, I didn’t know what to answer, I was embarrassed and just throw one each month.

    All these holes are exactly in the same spot and it has nothing to do with cheap quality, washer, detergent etc. IT’S IN THE SAME SPOT ON ALL MY T-SHIRTS AND SWEATERS, IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY BODY !!

    Sorry, my english is not that good, I speak french.

    • Hello, I think it has to do with the counters that we lean up to. I do a lot of cooking and have granite counters in my kitchen and bath. I think these little holes in the fabric shirts are a result of leaning into the stone counters. It is the only explanation that makes sense. I have thrown many shirts out due to the holes but I am not embarrassed. I think there are many people with this problem.

  104. I have just read this long thread with great interest. I too share the problem. So, what do we all have in common, and what are the variables or differences in our daily lives? Like others my clothes are the only ones that have been damaged. The damage appears whether or not my clothes are hung or stored in drawers or on cedar wardrobe shelves (I just can’t believe insects are smart enough to attack the same area on only my clothes!) I have scrubbed shelve and sprayed clothes with lavender spray, hung insect repellents and put cedar cubes and sachets throughout the wardrobe. There is no damage to sheets stored in the adjacent wardrobe. I know fold my shirts differently, according to the KoniMari approach, but the holes continue in the same spot. My knit dresses and slacks are not damaged. I am retired (no children to lift and carry; I live only with my husband and I am not overweight . So for mothers and curvy-figured ladies, don’t blame yourselves. For the record, I moved to Australia from the US when I retired 4 years ago and the holes have hit clothes I have purchased here and in the US. The holes appear in both cotton and synthetic tops, and recently appeared in heavy weight cotton pullover that I often wear. Why don’t the holes appear on our shoulders where we typically carry our handbags and where the seatbelt might also rub? I don’t think the holes have appeared in shirts that I typically wear under other tops. (Hmmmm…)

    My husband wears t shirts with jeans and a belt, but his clothes are not damaged. Our clothes are washed together in a front-loading machine, and we use detergent that is hypo-allergenic for sensitive skin. We never use a dryer and we just never pull clothes off the line. We tend to hand our t shirts and tops on hangers on the clothes line.

    My current conclusion: We have stone bench tops. Although my husband does the washing up, I probably spend more time standing and leaning against the bench and sink. My husband is also much taller than I so the edge of the bench hits him at a very different place than where it hits me. There may be friction on my belt and the button of my jeans, And I do perch my laptop on my tummy, resting on the top of my belt, probably exactly where the holes appear. My husband never uses the laptop like this. I don’t think the holes appeared until I got an iPad and laptop–I do admit I can spend a lot of time with the laptop perched on my waist resting on my knees.) My remedy: I am going to start wearing a bib apron and I will get and use a laptop pillow. I do need to test my theory and remedy, but right now, this is the only answer that makes sense to me!

    I too have resorted to sewing and patching. I have used Fray Check, a fabric ‘glue’ designed to keep raw edged from fraying, and usually dries without a mark. (Test it on the inside hem first.) I have cut off the bottom of some tops and hemmed them on the sewing machine using a walking foot on the knits. I have also tried ironing on light interfacing and darning the hole–it usually doesn’t look great.

    Good luck all. I do hope someone finds the answer.

    • I solved the same problem by putting all
      t-shirts in the mesh bags with zippers that you can buy at the dollar stores and then putting the bag in the washing machine.
      I then drape the t-shirts over the back of the sofa and chairs to dry. I have had no more holes doing this.
      See if it works for you!!

    • I am convinced it is my new kitchen worktop as I am sure his problem started when I had a new kitchen.

  105. Diana Heramia says

    It’s the zipper of your jeans. I started putting tape on the little flap of the zipper handle.

  106. droidcrasher says

    Funny how NO ONE seems to care WHAT BRAND DETERGENT you all use.
    Just in case, there is a CORRELATION!
    As for me, whatever makes the holes…They seem to ONLY like my RED….T-Shirts!
    And I use Arm and Hammer Detergent.

    • I honk it is my new quartz worktop as I have had a new ktchen

    • Another warm season and more holes. For me it is usually certain fabrics. The sturdy pure cotton T shirts do not get holes. It is only the more sheer fabrics that are made from ?? that get holes. I think it is a connection to perhaps our granite cleaner for our counters and the fabric. My husband does not have this happen to his t shirts but none of his are made from the more sheer fabric.

  107. Hello, I am sorry I am the person who just posted and forgot to mention the detergent. I think that I “forgot” because I am almost convinced it is the granite (stone) countertops in our home causing the little holes near the belly button area of the body. We have remodeled a kitchen and added a master suite so have fairly new granite countertops and the holes seem to have started appearing when we put these countertops in. Like the other people posting on this thread, I lean against these counters more then my husband as I do most of the cooking and probably a little more of the cleaning in the bathroom where the 2nd countertop is located. I am older and there are only 2 of us living here. I do have grandchildren but do not lift them so that is not the issue. Our detergent is a Shaklee product but since the holes in the T-shirts are ONLY near the belly button area of the body, I do not think it is the Shaklee detergent. We both use the same seat belt in our Subaru car and he does not get holes in his T-shirts but I am still considering any and all situations that might cause these holes. I also use a lap top frequently but do not lean it up against my body so it is not my lap top. We use a granote cleaner called BAYES which says it has water, glycol, ether, polymer and isopropanol, fragrance and acid yellow dye. (I plan to purchase and then wear a folded over apron with ALL new T-shirts to see if I get any holes after I do this.) My latest T-shirt with the tiny holes in belly button area (I do not wear a belt so no belt buckle and rarely jeans) says it is 100% cotton but it seems to have a ltitle stretch or give to it. It is fairly sheer and was purchased where we live in California and was made by Bass. As usual, I will probably toss the shirt as last spring/summer I tossed out about 10 T-shirts within 3 months.. Like most of you, this is a mystery and very strange. I have never had anything like this happen before. And, if it is detergent, why are the tiny holes only in the front near the belly button area of the body and not all over the shirt? I just don’t get it. If you figure it out please add to this blog.

    • I agree. Its the granite counter tops.
      Ever since I started wearing an apron in the kitchen, I do not have a problem.

  108. I use Lickety Klip, which clips over the button on jeans so the friction is cut way down. I’ve used these for about a year and they work pretty well. No holes yet. You can see wear from the clip, tho. But still, no holes.

  109. I’m not convinced its weak fabric,snags and rubbing of the jeans. What’s crazy about it is… that I just bought a Cotton tank top on vacation and brought it home,wore it one time and was were yoga shorts with it, at home, and I didn’t use my car. The next time I went to wear it and I had the same hole you see in the front of shirts, but I had the hole in the back of the tank a little lower then the tag.

    • Kay Burrows says

      I have had the holes appear in shirts i have not even worn. bought them and put them in the wardrobe and when i have gone to wear the shirt holes were there so not convinced its jeans or rubbing have to say.

  110. Clothes nowdays meant to be disposable. Cheap fabric meant to do this by corporations

  111. seem to be caused by car seat belts pushing and rubbing tops against jeans belt buckle. nearly every top and jumper i have is soon damaged with several tiny holes, which look awful.. always in same area around the jean belt buckle. i thought is was as issue with tight VW seat belts but, alas, i now drive a BMW and the problem is the exactly the same!

  112. I have only had this happen to t shirts starting about 3 years ago. i am finding them in 100% of my t shirts. I suspect some change in how shirts are shipped in mass from the manufacturer. Perhaps they are binding them in bales and compressing them with a device that punctures the shirts in the same place.
    There are always 1-3 holes. Always in the same place . Never noticed until the 3-4 washing. Always start a as pinholes.
    Quality of shirts differ. Manufacturer is usually in china.

  113. Too many are thinking illogically here; without any testing.
    I’m here to debunk some myths from semi-controlled group testing.
    6 month time testing; all the same merino wool sweater; control group is new and sealed.
    All shirts inspected thoroughly, in front of strong light source, before storing.
    Be aware that store fittings still carry nano/micro bacteria.
    These shirts are merino wool dry clean only; none were dry cleaned or washed.

    a. worn sweater folded — 4 holes just above waist; 2 holes nearby underarm
    b. worn sweater sealed — no damage
    c. new sweater folded — 1 large hole at front collar; 2 holes upper chest, one large.
    d. new sweater sealed — no damage

    MYTH RELATION:
    bleach: sweaters never saw soap, water, bleach, or dryer
    belt rubbing etc: never worn sweater still has holes; furthermore, hole placement varies.
    thin or cheap material: un-worn still has holes; thick sweaters tested; expensive merino wool

    HYPOTHESIS:
    Sealed sweaters developed no holes; suggesting outside influence is to blame whether it is (1) oxidation regarding pH, or (2) micro/nano insects.

    (1) Both unsealed sweaters developed holes; while the sealed has none. Low pH bacteria could be culprit depending on the pH of fibers versus secreted fluid. Oxidation is a broad topic here.

    (2) There is higher bacteria secreted onto worn non-sealed sweater vs non-sealed new; hence why a micro insect may have nested near’er to the belly button (yeast, bacteria, etc); This also suggests why the new sweater still has holes but at varied placement; there isn’t, yet, enough bacteria/food source accumulated for insect preference near bacteria building sites.

  114. Mary Jarrett says

    T shirts are tubed knitted material. If the holes are appearing in the same spot I would expect that it is a machinery problem. when making the tube. Shorter fibers are now used more often and when the knit is made the shorter fibers will not connect correctly to the other ones and leave fibers loose. Any stress will realease the shorter ones not tied down and create a hole. So given the knit has the short fibers in it, and when the tube is made a stress is created in the same place the holes would be in the same place. If the t shirt is of a heavier material the fibers are longer and don’t contain as many short fibers, though they are there. As the fiber weakens and looses the short unconnected fibers then the hole will appear. Stress could be anything from chemical to rubbing etc. But when you do nothing and the holes suddenly appear in the same place I can only say the fibers were so damaged from packing that once you took out the shirt, shook it folded it etc the holes appeared. If the fabric is all cotton, the short fibers would be there and the dye could also start to weaken the fabric before the tubing would be done. Again I would think it would a machinery problem weakening the fabirc to bring out the shorter fibers. Different cottons are labeled by the amount of longer fibers vs shorter fibers. The shorter fiber is softer than the longer one as well

    • Love your scientific approach Mary, but why to the holes always appear in the same part of the fabric? It happened to a A$70 American Vintage t-shirt i had and also a long bed t-shirt. The bed t-shirt was never against bench tops, or worn with jeans, belts or with a seat belt. What do you suggest be done about this? Send all the items back to the manufacturer? s

  115. I have been having this problem for about 3-4 yrs. now & have thrown out about 30 tops due to holes in the front near the belly button. Most of the tops are a mixture of poly & cotton. I washed & disinfected my closet & still they appear. I checked the labels as to where they are manufactured & all are made out of this country which I believe is the problem. All the theories about seat belts, buttons on jeans etc. causing the problem are all unexceptable. I truly believe its the fabric made in other countries.
    I have tried everything & if this keeps up my wardrobe will be depleted.

  116. i just bought a tommy bahama a 50 dollar t-shirt. my wife and i share the same closet, she never gets holes .my tommy bahamas always do. their made in china . thats the only thing they have in common

  117. I have a front loading washer and wash both my tees and hubby’s tees together and my tees have the holes but not his. And I don’t buy any of the theories mentioned. I’m curious. How many of you use an iPad? This is the only thing that my husband and I don’t routinely share. I usually hold it around the belly button region and have holes in both new and old clothing. I’m convinced: IT’S THE iPAD!!

  118. This is crazy but I’m so glad to hear it’s not just me. We’re a family of four and only my Tshirts suffer from the appearance of these dastardly holes. We lived in the Caribbean until 2 years ago and I had the problem there too. I’m thinking it could be leaning into counters. Not just in the kitchen but also when leaning over washing your face, leaning in to put on mascara etc. I don’t think it’s bugs as we had the same problem in the Caribbean and in Canada and the holes are always at the front, never the back and never on the sleeves. They do look ,more like munching holes than wearing away of the fabric, though….. so mysterious and awfully annoying, especially when it happens to a favorite Tee.

  119. This is in response to who ever said it’s from the button on your jeans or pants. I don’t wear my pants backwards so it can’t be that. AND I do wear my pants normal with buttons in front and I get holes in the back of my shirts also and not at the belt line. Also get holes in my pajamas and I never wear a belt with those.

  120. OMG – Really! You guys! Its MICE!
    A new tshirt you put in a drawer and hours later has them is NOT a fabric issue. I had same issue with one new tshirt. I had also just discovered a mouse. It happened overnite when I left the tshirt on the floor. I picked it up to wash the next day and there were like twenty of these holes. I had sprayed the shirt with a spot remover…..I believe my mouse must have liked the scent or taste. lol

    • Intelligent mouse. Knows to pick at the same spot all the time.

      It’s granite counter tops. Try wearing an apron in the kitchen and see if you still have the same problem.

  121. I also have this problem. It did not happen until I moved into my new home. Granite and marble counters? Wearing more and more stretch jeans, shorts and pants, which causes me to tug at them in front. I also wear a lanyard which has a key hanging. The key was newly cut and may have been problem.

  122. It’s carpet beetle. The larvae are hard to see with the eye, and they live in hard to find places like underneath your carpet or your baseboards. Also, you don’t need carpet to have carpet beetle as they live pretty much all over your house. It’s really really hard to get rid of.

  123. I get these holes from my washing machine. That is the bottom line and it is a fact! It’s been a time consuming 1.5 year ordeal to figure this out. These holes started showing up, and I started throwing away shirts and buying more. We were really busy, and I didn’t give it much thought. I finally told my husband I thought it was ridiculous that I’d wear a shirt once, and it would come out of the washing machine with these holes in it. I don’t dry my tee-shirt in the dryer. I let them air dry on a rack, so I knew the dryer wasn’t the issue. We had recently purchased a New Speed Queen top load washing machine. Model number AWNE82SP113W01. American made. Built to last 25 years. Blah,blah,blah…..The metal tub had rough spots where the seam was welded together. Found this fact online that other people were complaining about the same issue. I took a pair of panty hose to catch the areas in the metal tub that were pulling. Speed Queen sent out a new tub to replace the old one. When the repair man took the old tub out, he said that the inside drain holes were large and really rough . The new tub’s metal seam line was much better, but the drain holes were the same size and were still very rough. I’m sure the drain holes have been engineered to be large for the water to drain, but they are much larger than other washing machine drain holes. I’m thinking, this may not be that much better. If during the spin cycle the fabric is going through the holes, this problem will not be solved.
    In the meantime, I’d been taking my tee-shirt and putting them in a laundry bags that had no holes in them and washing my tee-shirts in that type of laundry bag. If the tee-shirts were in the mesh like laundry bags, they still would come out of the machine with holes. I bought a cheap Wal-Mart tee-shirt and kept throwing it in the wash and washing it over and over. It seemed to come out ok. It was 100% cotton with a tight weave. The fabric I’m having trouble with is the thin slinky kind of rayon/cotton fabric. Then one day by mistake, one of these shirts, that I’d been putting in the laundry bags, got put in the machine with my queen sheets. Sure enough, out it came with the holes. The Speed Queen washer does not have a high RPM spin speed. Sometimes after the load stops, there is still a little water in the tub. Especially, if it’s set on the delicate cycle. A few of my husbands tee-shirts have gotten these holes, but I haven’t even chanced putting his good tee-shirts in this machines without putting them in a bag to wash. If a garment comes out of the washing machine not clean, I just will have to hand wash it. This machine was right at $1000.00. Yes, it puts holes in my clothes. Why, I don’t have a clue. Doesn’t matter how much I pay for the shirt, if its a certain material and it doesn’t go in the laundry bag before going into the machine, it’s going to come out with holes in the shirt. As a consumer, I don’t have a clue what to do about it. It seems these appliances are not built like the use to be. The EPA is concerned with saving water. Are they not concerned with how many of these products are ending up in the landfills?

  124. For several years I had this problem. I didn’t know if it was button on trousers or new kitchen worktop as holes were always in the same place. I now wear trousers without a zip or button. I only wear elastic waistband and so far so good no holes in T shirts

  125. well I did not get an answer to this problem…..I have kept my T shirts in dresser drawers in Birch. ..Ive kept my T shirts hanging on closet drawer..I have kept T shirts closed in plastic bins, lids closed tight…and these holes are still there, on the bottom, on the sides of the shirt, on the shoulders..As well I have some cottom pj bottoms that look like swiss cheese…so go figure..I think it is space aliens doing it then sitting on a mountain above us watching us all go nuts…

    • It’s mice. Without a doubt. If you leave any clothes on the floor overnight they will be all over it.
      This suddenly started happening to me on different t shirts and within weeks I found mice. Once the poison got put down no more holes at all in anything.
      They nibble fabric to build their nests with.
      If you look carefully around your home you’ll find tiny tiny mice droppings.

  126. Wankle Right says

    It’s the perspiration that leaks from ones belly button.

  127. Ok guys. Here you go. Like you for years I have had something eating my tops always in the same spot. After trying multiple spray solutions and believing that it was clothes moths because one of the things I did was get Trapro moth traps and did see evidence of a tan sect which appeared to be a type of moth. I’ll waste no more time and get down to what you need to do. Buy the cedar blocks to hang throughout your clothes closets. Then purchase thru Amazon, Colton’s Natural Cedar Spray. I used that and also purchased Cedarcide Original which you purchase directly from the company because it should be the Original. Spray the blocks with the spray. I did it a few times a week. These are safe for people and pets. This is for indoor use. Both of these actually worked!!! Hallelujah! I had to let you know because If I didn’t throw at least 20 tops out, I didn’t throw 1. So good luck. I’m sure you will be pleased. I just had to let you all know. I too was at my wits end. Thank you Colton’s and Cedarcide. I’m no longer afraid to buy new tops

  128. Just curious how many of you have MacBook laptops? I am the only person in my household that uses a MacBook and the only one with holes in the front of my shirt. It is always the same spot. I thought it was our countertops but then we moved, and I still got holes in the same exact spot. It doesn’t matter the shirt material or quality, the holes appear.

    My conclusion is the sharp corners in the center of my MacBook snag on my shirt when I use my laptop while sitting with it against my body. I didn’t have this issue before I purchased my MacBook. It’s the only constant and the most logical explanation.

    • I do not have a Mac Book. I live in a house with granite and think it is perhaps the granite somehow putting holes in my t shirts. I cannot even tell you how many shirts I have that have tiny holes in them in the same place. (Lower front of shirt)

      Crazy!

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