Visible mending is a decorative way to fix up an item. Instead of trying to make your mend as invisible as possible, the idea is to make it part of the garment's design.
Visual mending is not a single technique: it's more of a mindset. If you've got an item you love, it deserves to be mended, and if you're going to put that love into stitches, why not show them off?
That being said, there are some specific techniques that are popular with visible menders. Let's take a look!
Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery that is used to both decorate and reinforce fabric. In visible mending, sashiko is often used to cover up holes with patches or to reinforce thinning fabric. This technique uses a variation on the running stitch.
Some resources on sashiko:
SashiCo on YouTube: sashiko livestreams and information on the cultural aspect of sashiko.
Written tutorial by Upcycle Stitches.
Free sashiko templates by TheSpruceCrafts.
Fixing jeans with sashiko by Soluna Collective.
Regular embroidery is also a popular technique to accentuate your mends. Check out my embroidery 101 post to learn how to get started. You can embroider patches, or use embroidery to hide or accentuate any stitches you've made to fix holes. Embroidery's also a great way to cover up stains.
There are many ways to add patches to a garment. My tutorial on patches is a good place to start if you want to make custom-shaped patches to sew on top of your fabric. You can also sew your patch on the inside of your garment and have it peek out from beneath the hole you're trying to fix. Fun ideas for this are lace or superheroes.
Darning is a technique used to repair holes in fabric by using running stitches to weave extra fabric over the hole as to fill it up again. While traditionally darning is done in an invisible way by using the same colour of thread as your fabric, you can also use contrasting colours to accentuate your fix. Check out this written tutorial on darning by TheSpruceCrafts.
Visible mending is a creative way to fix up your clothes and give them some personality at the same time.
You should be proud of the fact that you took the time and learned the necessary skills needed to mend your clothes! Show off what you did!
A fun side effect of wearing these obvious mends is that people will notice them. They'll remember your fixes the next time they're faced with a hole in their wardrobe, and it will make them more likely to try it for themselves.
These are just a few ways to visibly mend your garments. Want more inspiration? Check out Pinterest or r/Visiblemending on Reddit.
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