How to Replace a Broken Underwire

by Mimi Bullock ; Updated September 28, 2017

You should not wear your underwire 24 hours a day -- give your bra and breasts a rest.

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Depending on your bust size and activity level, your bra can bear a heavy burden. Occasionally, a bra's inner support, called an underwire, snaps or breaks. This can result in painful pinching of the breast tissue, skin discomfort and a lack of breast support. Temporarily repairing the snapped wire is a quick fix, but for longer wear, you should replace the broken support. You don't need a seamstress to make this repair; you can do it yourself with a few household supplies. Save money on your lingerie budget by repairing broken underwire rather than tossing out an expensive bra.

Look at the bra to find the break. Search for the underwire poking through the end of the cup. Pull the underwire out with your fingers or use needle-nosed pliers to remove a stubborn support. If you cannot see the wire poking out but feel the break with your fingers, make a small cut or slit at the end nearest the break using a razor tip or sharp scissors. Don't cut through the whole bra, just make a cut into the inner fabric to access the wire. Remove the broken wire.

Determine which wire size you need for your bra. Underwires come in 4 to 6 inch wires. It's better to choose a wire that may be too large than one that is too small. You can trim down an underwire that's a bit big. You can purchase underwires at sewing or craft shops or find them online at bra making stores.

Slide the new underwire into the slit you created. Ease the wire into place with your fingers. If the wire is too large for the cup, remove the wire and snip away the excess with wire cutters. Dab the cut end of the wire with an epoxy glue. Allow it to dry, and then slide it into the bra.

Sew the closure with upholstery thread and a needle. You may need a large needle to accommodate the thread and push through the thick fabric. Weave the thread over the top of the hole several times to reinforce the sewing. Finish the sewing with a tight knot and trim away the extra thread.

Tips

  • For a fast fix, you can use a temporary repair kit to reinforce the break area until you can get home to repair it.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.