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10 fantastic different types of mending clothes

Mending is the art and skill of repairing or restoring damaged or worn-out items, especially clothing and textiles. Mending can help you save money, extend the life of your belongings, and express your creativity and personality. There are different types of mending techniques that you can use depending on the type of material, the size and location of the damage, and the desired appearance of the repair.

Different types of mending are:

Sewing: This is the most common method for mending clothes. Sewing can be done by hand or by using a sewing machine. You can sew and mend rips, tears, or holes in the fabric. The techniques for mending clothes vary based on what you are trying to repair. There are various stitches that you can use, such as running stitch, backstitch, slipstitch. Mending can be invisible, meaning sew it up like new, or it can be visible mending like the Japanese technique mentioned below.

Sewing classes London | Sewing workshop london | learn to use your sewing machine croydon | learn to mend croydon | different types of mending
Sewing a button: Mending a trouser – Mending clothes workshop – 3 types of mending

Patching: This technique involves using a separate piece of fabric to cover a hole or tear. The patch is put on to the garment to cover the damaged area and strengthen the fabric. Patching can be done by sewing, gluing, ironing, or using adhesive tape. Patching can be visible or invisible, depending on whether you want to match or contrast the patch with the original fabric.

  • Invisible patching: When the patching needs to be invisible, the patch needs to be on the inside of the fabric. Match the colour of the patch fabric as close to the garment as possible. If the patch is being sewn on, make sure to use thread matches the colour of the fabric. If there are holes in knit fabrics like T-shirts, which have sprung tiny holes, use lightweight fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the T-Shirt and iron. Follow instructions on the packaging.
fusible interfacing | types of mending
  • Visible patching: Visible patching is similar to above where an iron on patch or fusible interfacing is used to mend a rip. This is a good way to mend when the garment has lining and inside of the garment isn’t accessible.

Darning: This is a technique used to repair holes in knit fabrics. The hole is darned by weaving yarn in and out of the stitches around the hole. Darning is often used to repair socks, sweaters, and other knitwear. Darning can be done by hand or by machine, and you may need a darning mushroom or egg to support the fabric while you work.

Sashiko: Sashiko is a mending style that originated in Japan. It involves using white cotton thread to stitch geometric patterns over indigo-dyed fabric. The simplicity of the contrasting colours and geometric designs enhances the beauty of the finished article. Sashiko was traditionally used to repair or reinforce worn-out clothing, especially workwear. Sashiko has become popular and is now used to show off your creativity and embellish / personalize your clothing.

Fusing: This technique involves using an adhesive material, such as iron-on patches, to repair holes or tears. You can usually buy these patches and iron them on. If the patch isn’t an exact match in colour and texture, these patches can be applied on the inside of the garment. You can use this technique on not just clothing, but also bags and shoes. This is similar to the patching techniques mentioned above.

Bonding: This technique involves using a bonding agent such as fabric glue or seam sealer to repair rips, tears, or holes in the fabric.

Applique: This technique involves attaching a decorative piece of fabric to a garment to cover a hole or tear.

Crocheting: Crocheting is a type of mending that involves using a hook and yarn to create loops and stitches. Crocheting can be used to repair holes, tears, or frays in fabric, or to add decorative elements, such as flowers, borders, or appliques.

Felting: Felting is a type of mending that involves using wool fibres and hot water to create a dense and durable fabric. Felting can be used to repair holes or worn areas in woollen items, such as sweaters, coats, or socks.

These are just some examples of the different types of mending that you can do at home. Even though there are different types of mending you can do, you need to choose the right one for the repair at hand.

At isifiso, we host and run sewing and mending workshops to help you get started and become confident when it comes to repairing clothes. Check out what we offer and register your interest here: Sewing workshops in London

Our sustainable fashion workshops

Mending is not only a practical skill but also a fun and rewarding hobby that can make your items more unique and sustainable. Happy mending! ?

Further foray into different types of mending & history:

A stitch in time: 300 years of visible mending | National Museums Scotland Blog (nms.ac.uk)

Kintsugi – Wikipedia

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