The “mending is better than ending”course at Jika Jika Community House is coming along well. This week I got the opportunity to pass on the practice of darning. My Grandfather showed me how to darn as he was the darner and button sewer in his family. It looks complicated but it isn’t. One of the students made the comment”this is easy.””It is easy”I replied “and isn’t it interesting how easy something is when we know how to do it?”
Choice of thread is important with darning. I prefer ordinary sewing cotton over wool as I believe it is more comfortable for the wearer. I try to match and use the same colored thread.
We started with a small knitted square of wool with a hole in it. We discussed the principles of weaving and I demonstrated on my new mini whiteboard this very simple process. We used large eyed needles and basic spools of contrasting cotton to monitor our progress. We wove in and out from left to right and then wove in and out from top to bottom. The results were amazing and my students made perfect samplers very quickly We discussed the two bag principle and how we were only going to mend something if we loved it . If it were torn and we didn’t love it we were going to give it to charity. There it would either be bought by someone who chose to mend it or it might be bagged up and sold as cloths if it were beyond repair.
Just the finish one hopes for.
We discussed the mindset associated with mending and I encouraged people to feel empowered rather than impoverished. Yes mending does save money but there is more to it than that. You get to keep (for longer) a garment or item you love, you save time and you help our beautiful planet. Wow! All that from a small spool of thread.