Does your favourite Lulu item have an Owie? In this post I’m going to try to give you some tips & trick for repairing damaged Lululemon items. I offer you these tips for whether you’re trying to maintain a piece in your own collection, or preparing to sell a piece that you’d like to improve before you sell it in order for it fetch the highest price.
Stains are by far the most common issue I encounter in my personal collection. My Aquamarine Pace Setter skirt get stained every time I wear it. It drives me nuts! But, it has no stains on it right now.
Before you begin, you may want to check for color-fastness. Lululemon has had some issues with fabric bleeding in the past, which is why I ALWAYS wash my bright Lulu separately regardless of the number of wears it has received.
First thing I would try is a baby wipe, it removes deodorant stains fairly well, but you can try this approach for any light stain.
Plain old dirt is pretty easy to remove. I’ve has great results with plain old hand soap in my bathroom sink. If that doesn’t work try rubbing alcohol. This works especially well for non-washable items like gym bags. Soak a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol, and apply it to the stain.
TRY HAIRSPRAY. This actually works well for ink stains.
If it’s food, you might want to try club soda.
For the tough stains, or just to make sure something comes out the first time I wash it, I use OxyClean.
Of course, if none of these suggestions work, there’s always the dry cleaners. Mine loves me.
Rips & Tears
If your item has a rip in it, and you intend to keep it, by all means, try to sew it yourself if you are so inclined. However, if you intend to sell it, I would recommend that you have it professionally repaired.
In Lululemon’s Quality Stand, they specifically refer to the fact that you should be able to expect 5 years out of their clothes. I’ve heard of all sorts of legitimate and not-so-legitimate issues being solved in-store, or online by the GEC (Not familiar with the GEC? Read this post about the The Vernacular of Lululemon Addicts). For example, I know of a few cases where Scuba Hoodies that have been worn a lot, and loved, then “damaged out” (the term & process by which Lululemon essentially writes off an item and issues a gift card, often for retail value) after customers have gone into the store saying that their item has not lasted 5 years. Other times, they will address your specific complaint and offer you a repair. For example, I recently purchased a Free To Be tank top and the built-in bra had ripped seams. It was repaired and a week later, I brought it home. I have heard of other people bringing in their older Scuba hoodies, the zippers having broken and Lululemon offering to repair their zipper. If you item has ripped along a seam, I suggest that you bring it in and ask that it be repaired. If they refuse, refer to their Quality Stand and suggest that they damage it out instead. I am sure that they will repair it for you then 🙂
If you are not inclined to sew it yourself and it has ripped along a seam, regardless of whether you intend to sell or not, I will also encourage you to have it repaired by Lululemon. Lululemon uses a specific type of stitch, which is seldom available at traditional dry cleaners. In order to uniformly sew your Lululemon clothes, your drycleaner would need a sewing machine capable of a three-thread cover-stitch, or a serger with the same capability. (Check out the 600s class of stitch here for a better idea. These types of stitches are most often used for dance and swimwear.) These machines are quite expensive and are therefore generally not available at the dry cleaners.
Holes are difficult to fix, but it can be done. Twice, I have had a hole in a pair of pants. Both times I was able to repair it. The way that I do this, without it being offensively obvious, is by using as much of the thread, and as little of the fabric as possible while sewing the hole shut. It also helps tremendously if the hole is close to a seam. I’ve fixed one such hole and another time the hole was in the knee. I’m mostly referring to very small holes, but you can apply this technique to larger holes as well, it’s just much less likely to work. ALWAYS use a color of thread that matches the color of your garment. If you don’t, what I’m suggesting will not work. I have repaired my own items so well, using this method that I defy you to find where the holes used to be.
Pilling is annoying. It is easily one of the most under-reported flaws in the Lululemon after-market and one of the most indicative on condition and the amount of use the item has received. I have returned a few items that were reportedly in “excellent” condition, only to have them arrive with an excessive (embarrassing) amount of pilling. It’s tough to capture pilling in pictures, but I do try to be as honest as possible. So, when I list my item, I always include a few close-ups of the fabric, whether it is damaged/ pilled or not. This increases buyer confidence, increasing my chances of a sale and a positive transaction. That said, there are ways to reduce pilling on fabrics, after the fact. You can purchase a Fabric Defuzzer.* (Canadian friends, click here.) This is a Fabric Depiller. It is your friend. It does an amazing job at removing pilling and I’ve seen so many before and after photos from friends, that I know it doesn’t only work when I do it. Taking the time to remove pilling from your item will definitely increase its resale value. *caution* Don’t push too hard and make sure the fabric is flat, or risk putting a hole in your item!
I had a chance to de-pill and got decent photos of it, so I wanted to share them with you. Using a fabric depiller, I de-pilled a Cool Racerback I purchased recently, from a Facebook group member.
These “Before & After” photos are of both of the armpits of this Cool Racerback tank I purchased recently. It had overall pilling, but was especially pilled in both armpits. Thankfully, I had my trusty depiller, and was able to remove most of the pilling.
I would try investing in a lint roller too, they’re cheap and effective at removing dog hair as well as little fibres that are often attracted to Lululemon clothing.
Fading is a difficult issue to deal with. I hate that some of the Lululemon items has problems with color-fastness. I have had my own Paris Pink experience with bleeding. After the dye washes out, it looks faded and old 😦 I have since started with Prevention, rather than trying to fix faded garments afterwards, but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t! I know plenty of people who have re-dyed their old Lululemon jackets, shirts, pants, you name it. There are plenty of dyes to work with, but I’ve heard/ seen success stories with Rit Dye*. Don’t forget to let people know that an article has been hand-dyed by you if you ever decide to sell it!
Believe it or not this has happened. People spill wax on their items. Maybe you have. That’s why you’re going to take a paper bag and place it on top of the wax on the article of clothing and use an iron on it so that the wax sticks to the paper bag. This should work.
You can call GEC and ask for a new drawstring. (Although, I’ve heard mixed results. Some people say that the GEC offers you a white or black one and other people say that the GEC refuses to help them, saying that it’s a use issue and not a quality issue.) I’ve also seen people take an old drawstring from something they no longer wear and thread it through their newer item.
Missing or Broken Aglets
Aglets are the small metal pieces on the ends of the drawstring. Lululemon’s usually say”Lululemon Athletica” on them. I have encountered items with missing aglets in the past and take the aglets from a drawstring I wear on the inside of my Still shorts using craft/ jewelry pliers and reattached them where they were needed on a garment where the only option is to wear the drawstring on the outside, like a hoodie. Some of Lululemon’s bottoms have holes on the inside of the waistband so you can choose to wear the drawstring on the inside or the outside of the garment simply by threading the drawstring one way or the other.
Peeling Logo: Has the logo on your pants begun to peel? Or on your favorite shirt? It happens. You can ask Lululemon to mail you a new Logo, or you can try re-ironing the current one you have to fix it. But it’s just a simple iron-on logo, so if it’s peeling, email Lulu’s customer service & ask them to mail you a new one 🙂
Broken Zipper: Personally, I think emailing the GEC is the best course of action to take for a broken zipper. If it’s a newer item, they might offer a replacement or to fix it, and if it’s a much older item, they might still offer to repair it, but they also might say that it’s a wear issue and not a ‘quality’ issue, so they could choose not to help you. A dry cleaner might be able to help you, or a seamstress. I had two zippers break on my Stride jackets because I was not careful when zipping them up, so my seamstress had to remove, then replace the zippers. It was a $20 repair, both times, but my Lulu is worth it.
Depending on the fabric & the severity of the pull, you may just be able to turn the garment inside out & pull the string back through. Try that. If that doesn’t work, try emailing the GEC. They might give you a new one, they might not. Honestly, the material that the Swiftlies are made out of & of course anything knit, is bound to get a pull in it at one point. I seriously consider a swiftly purchase every time I make one because of the pulling issue. I know it’s 100% my fault if my Swiftlies get a pull because my nail got caught on them or if my cat decides to be extra “playful” that day, so I don’t bother trying to get a refund, but if you think it’s a quality issue, you might want to try the GEC.
I hope this article has helped you care for or improve the condition of your item. Happy selling!