Using Patching & visible mending to repair your clothes
Patching is one of the simplest ways to mend your clothes. It can be used on worn down areas that might appear in between your trouser legs, ripped knees on jeans or on a torn shirt.
This guide shows you a simple form of patching inspired by the Japanese art of ‘Boro’.
Boro and Sashiko
Boro is the craft of repairing and reworking textiles through patching and stitching. Traditionally, Sashiko, a running stitch, would be used to bind the ripped fabric together.
Classic Sashiko and Boro uses Indigo-dyed fabric as a base with a white cotton thread running through it.
Modern versions of the technique use the same stitching and layering, but with different colours of fabrics and threads.
Choose your fabric patch over to cover the area. It can be placed over or under the hole depending on the result. Put a patch under so the rip is still visible or place the patch placed on top so the hole is hidden under.
Use fabric or safety pins to secure edges and keep the patch flat. Instead of pins, you can use stick glue to temporarily secure the patch in place while you sew it in place. The glue will wash away.
Thread your needle with a length of thread about 30-40cm long, either add a knot at the opposite end to the needle or do two short stitches over each other to secure the thread to patch.
Bring your needle up from the reverse of the fabric, going over the edge of the patch with your first stitch. Bring the needle in and out of the fabric creating a line of stitches.
Carry on making these lines of straight stitches, known as a running stitch, over the whole area of the patch. You can stitch your rows close together or leave bigger gaps between each one. You can draw a grid so the stitches are consistent or it can be done by eye. It doesn’t have to be straight, circles and ovals work well.
Before you reach the end of your length of thread, you can do two small stitches over each other to secure the thread and trim close to fabric or tie a knot at the back of the fabric to secure the thread.
For a guide with photos, go to Knee patching which is one of the most popular mends that appears at our sessions.