Artful Clothing Repairs: Woven Holes And Tears


We've become so used to the accessibility of cheap replaceable clothing that we forget that for centuries, torn or damaged clothes were repaired before they made their way to the trash heap. Textile recycling is still in its infancy and most of our discarded clothing ends up in land fills and incinerators. An easy way to curb the unnecessary waste is to get into the habit of repairing holes and rips in otherwise perfectly good clothes. 

Obviously, a torn seam or sleeve can't be repaired to look like it's brand new, which is why embracing the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi is key to clothing repairs. Celebrate the beauty of imperfection by using fabrics and threads that complement your garment. Follow the steps below for an artful way to patch up rips and holes in your woven garments. 



HOW TO PATCH A HOLE:

Patching a hole or tear in a garment is easy; it only requires a few supplies and basic hand sewing skills. You will first need woven fabric scraps to use as patches; these can be from another too worn to repair garment, an old bed sheet or curtain, or any similarly weighted textile as the garment you are fixing. You will also need a pair of fabric shears, durable thread, straight pins, an iron, and a hand sewing needle. 


Step 1: Press and steam the garment and patch with a iron making sure to eliminate any future shrinking.  

Step 1: Press and steam the garment and patch with a iron making sure to eliminate any future shrinking.  

STEP 2: Fold under the raw edges and pin to a fabric patch that is at least 1" bigger than the opening in all directions. 

STEP 2: Fold under the raw edges and pin to a fabric patch that is at least 1" bigger than the opening in all directions. 

STEP 3: Stitch all around the opening going through the backside of the garment and then back through the patch.

STEP 3: Stitch all around the opening going through the backside of the garment and then back through the patch.

STEP 4: Trim the fabric patch to your desired shape. Make sure to conceal the raw edges of the tear.

STEP 4: Trim the fabric patch to your desired shape. Make sure to conceal the raw edges of the tear.

STEP 5: Stitch all around the edge of the patch going through the patch fabric and then the garment. 

STEP 5: Stitch all around the edge of the patch going through the patch fabric and then the garment. 

STEP 6: Press the area with an iron to set the stitches and enjoy your newly repaired garment.

STEP 6: Press the area with an iron to set the stitches and enjoy your newly repaired garment.