Posts Tagged ‘mending’

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If we are going to create a Slow Fashion future, it’s not going to look like any fashion trend of the past. It will embrace circularity and invention. Yet it will heed the limits of nonrenewable resources and recognize when we’ve used enough. Or too much. It will look to upcycle, recycle, reuse whenever possible. It will be low-waste and zero-waste. It will prioritize carbon-neutral to carbon-beneficial. Circularity will become the new norm – designers and makers will conceive of garments with the intention of using materials again.

Katrina Rodabaugh – artist and author.

This quote is from the introduction of Ms. Rodabaugh’s recent book, Make Thrift Mend: Stitch, Patch, Darn, Plant-Dye & Love Your Wardrobe (Abrams).

Book review tomorrow – come back to ODFL and read all about Make Thrift Mend.

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These are so cozy warm, they are my go-to winter gloves and that’s why there’s a big hole. But I’m going to make that hole into something interesting.

We all have them: favorite clothes that we want to last longer. Some might have holes, others have lost their shape and some might just feel a little out of date. Darning and patching of clothes is problem solving that involves a creative challenge. To mend can become a fun and interesting craft project at the same time as old clothes are being salvaged, maybe with a new attitude or other qualities that give them a new role in the wardrobe.

Katarina Brieditis

We produce more clothes than we need, we buy more clothes than we need and we throw away more clothes than we have to. It doesn’t have to be that way. By giving our existing clothes some time and love we can continue wearing them rather than throwing them away. The pile of clothes that need mending gets a new value, it’s no longer a chore and a task, but an exciting crafts project where you can add a personal touch to garments. The most sustainable clothes in your wardrobe is the one that is already there.

Katarina Evans

These quotes are from a Q&A about “why we mend” with Selvedge magazine, August 2021. The two Katrinias are textile designers from Sweden: www.brieditis-evans.se/en-GB/about.

The practice of mending has been getting a lot of media attention lately. There are articles, books, videos, workshops all about how to mend and the new approach – visible mending. The August 2021 issue of Selvedge is completely dedicated to the craft of mending.

Mending of course has a long history. It used to be that fabric was all hand woven and therefore of great value. People didn’t have an array of clothing hanging in their closets so taking good care of what they did have was essential. In more recent history, such as The Depression of the 1930s and WWII, clothing was expensive and not all that easy to find even if one did have the money. Women remade suits, hemmed dresses, and darned many a pair of stockings and socks. But then in the 1950s manufacturing increased, inexpensive manmade fabrics hit the market, and the price of clothing decreased. Soon we were a throwaway society and no one had any idea how to darn a sock.

Today we are facing climate change and the fact that the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to the destruction of our planet. People, even fashionable ones, are rethinking their closets and figuring out that a little mending is what’s truly fashionable.

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Not all vintage needs to be professionally cleaned. Many articles can be hand washed, and some can even go in the washing machine, although I almost never use a drier for my vintage. Hand-washable vintage includes simple cotton or linen dresses, skirts, and blouses; woolen sweaters (even cashmere); and knitwear that is unlined. Because vintage lingerie was made to be easily laundered at home, most is hand-washable, even silks and rayon.

Melody Fortier, a vintage clothing dealer and author of The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping: Insider Tips, Helpful Hints, Hip Shops (Quirk Books, 2009).

I have a confession – I love to hand wash. I like the hands-on cleaning, the smell of Woolite, and I particularly like hanging the clothing outside in the sun and fresh air. At the end of each season, I pile up the staples: sweaters, blouses, scarves, etc. and put them in my mending/washing cotton bag. I do any needed mending first and then off to the laundry room sink I go for some meditative hand washing.

As much as I enjoy this domestic task, it is now a luxury because we here in California are in the midst of a serious drought. Year after year since around 2010 we have had little to no rain. A ridge of high pressure just off the coast is to blame. It sits there sometimes for weeks blocking all the rain storms that we should get. It’s depressing.

It takes a lot of water to hand wash, so I fill up the tub less than half full and wash only what absolutely cannot go in the machine. To help keep my vintage (and all my clothing) fresh after a day of wear, I hang it in the bathroom or laundry room and air it out for a day or two. Often I’ll open a window and let the air circulate.

It never hurts to take good care of our clothing.

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