geenski

Starting Member
Does anyone else have this problem where their shirts rip right below the elbow. It's happened to at least 8 of my shirts, I don't know if it's the cleaners, the age of the shirts, the quality of the shirts or what? Most the shirts are Calvin Klein, Claiborne, Kenneth cole.
 

newz

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
i'd say check the areas. if all are the same then its likly something with cleaners. or layoff the forearms at the gym!
 

Cruiser

Connoisseur
Obviously the area under the elbow receives some of the hardest wear that your shirt will receive since most of us tend to spend a fair amount of time putting our elbows on the desk or table. In addition this area of the shirt is constantly flexing as you bend your arm. This results in the material wearing thinner more quickly in this area and it will finally reach the point that flexing the elbow will cause it to tear.

Hold your shirt up to the light and look through the fabric. If the area around the tear on the elbow does not appear significantly thinner than the other parts of the shirt, I guess I don't know why your shirts are ripping at that location.

Cruiser
 

geenski

Starting Member
Yeah, Cruiser I think this is in fact the case, the elbows do seem to be getting worn in first. But the fact that they're ripping, is that because these shirts are cheap quality; would a pricier shirt last longer? Could it also be that the cleaners I use compound the problem?
Thanks in advance.
 

cvac

Senior Member
If your shirts are made of thin translucent cloth and for whatever reason are tight around the area where they rip, that could lead them to wearing out faster. It is also my understanding that the heavy starch that many cleaners use to press shirts will also make them wear out more quickly.

Possible ways to mitigate the problem:

1. Buy lots of shirts so you don't wear each one very often

2. Get some shirts made of thicker cloth

3. Lauder and press your shirts at home or find a cleaners that doesn't use heavy starch

4. Make sure your shirts are not too tight around the area where the ripping occurs.
 
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M6Classic

Super Member
It often takes many years for my dress shirts to go to the rag bin, but they seem to tear beneath the elbow before the collars and cuffs fray. Many men I know have observed the same for the wardrobe they wear to the office. I believe it is a result of sitting in an arm chair and at a desk.

Buzz
 

fp1

New Member
Do you use a mouse on your computer all day while resting your elbow area on your desk?

I wore through a BB merino wool v neck that way in about a year and a half.
 

&Son

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I too have fallen prey to desk elbow on my clothing. Luckily I have a good weaver who can fix the pieces I really want to keep.
 

Akajack

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
tight cuffs or a large watch that keeps the cuff from pulling back can cause this to happen earlier than expected by putting extra tension on the cloth when your arm is bent.
 

fruityoaty

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
You can try lowering the arm rests of your chair until your elbows just barely touch when your arm is bent at 90 degrees. This should provide support without putting so much weight on the lower arm.
 

a tailor

Honors Member
the desk elbow is to blame. when the cloth gets worn thin enoughthe elbow will poke through. i have seen jacket elbows do the same.
 
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Brooksfan

Super Member
Don't know how old they are but back in the day when I wore a white button-down every day to work, I'd buy them a dozen at a time. After two or three years of laundry cleaning, it would seem that one day I'd reach up and put my hands behind my head in a meeting, and hear a subtle ripping sound. Sometimes one elbow, sometimes both. Next day, same thing with another shirt. It was time to buy new shirts. Now that I wash and iron them myself, and don't use starch, it doesn't happen any more. Could be age, could be quality, could be the cleaners.
 

cglex

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Your sleeves are too short and perhaps the shirt is too tight. I had a similar problem years ago with a long gone custom shirt shop in my younger, trimmer days. The sleeves were simply not long enough and the shirt not loose enough, so the sleeves bound on the elbow and wore out quickly.
 

ericcartman

Starting Member
tight cuffs or a large watch that keeps the cuff from pulling back can cause this to happen earlier than expected by putting extra tension on the cloth when your arm is bent.
good theory but I wear a large watch on the left (which actually stops the cuff reaching the wrist) - and my tears are all on the right. I think the most likely cause for most people is leaning the elbow on tables and desks
 

ericcartman

Starting Member
the desk elbow is to blame. when the cloth gets worn thin enoughthe elbow will poke through. i have seen jacket elbows do the same.
I think this explanation makes the most sense. And the comparison to jacket elbows is useful- I have worn out two shirt elbows and one jacket elbow- and they were all on the right side. It must be that I have a habit of leaning that side on the table more.
 
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