Using Darning to fix your clothes

Darning can fix holes on knitted clothing, like wool jumpers, and woven fabrics, like a cotton shirt or tshirt. It can be used on knitted textiles as a way to stop the hole from getting bigger whilst also creating a new woven piece of fabric to fill the space.

When finding a yarn for your item of clothing, it’s best to work with a similar thickness to the yarn used in the clothing. The colour and material are up to you, try out visible darns in contrasting colours, or invisible darns with matching yarn.

Darning can take a bit of practice. The more you do, the better the results are. 

Starting with thicker yarns on chunkier clothing with a big needle is a good way to begin. With practice you can use the technique with finer yarns for a smoother finish.

Darning Clothes

Working on the back of the fabric, place the hole over the top of a darning mushroom, hard plastic ball or even an orange if nothing else to hand! Keep the fabric secure by holding it in place with your hand.

If the hole is in a flat area of the clothing, put a book between the fabric, so it keeps its shape, but stops you accidentally sewing two sides together. An embroidery hoop also works well.

Begin your first row of stitching about 1 cm away from the hole. Start with two stitches on the same spot to secure your yarn (do this when you reach the end of a piece of yarn as well), then sew along the side of the hole creating at least two rows next to each other. 

Leave a small loop at the end of each line to allow room for the yarn to shrink when you first wash it. When you reach the hole, jump over it to the opposite side to create one long stitch. Continue across the hole until it is filled, then stitch two more rows into the fabric to secure. 

Start to stitch horizontally across the hole, complete two more rows into the fabric above the hole. Once you reach the hole, weave under and over the yarns going in the other direction. On your next row, go under and over the opposite yarns. Continue like this until the hole is filled in, keep the rows close for a tight darn. Finish with two more rows of stitching into the fabric below the hole. 

Darning also works well to mend holes in trainer shoe material

For more inspiration and see other mends:


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