My grandmother used to tell me proudly how she mastered the skill of darning to the point that nobody could tell where the hole had been. She had knitted a dark orange sweater for my father to wear in college. One day one elbow got a hole in it. They weren’t rich, yarn was expensive so she sat herself to darn, as she had done for years. She had some orange yarn left. With her whole heart and love she mended the hole. A smile came on her face when she showed it to my father. It was perfect again.
This was the time when mending was done out of necessity! Wasting clothes was not heard of! Clothes were worn, mended, handed down. When too worn out, the fabric that was still usable was cut out and saved for later use. NO VISIBLE MENDING, INVISIBLE MENDING was the goal!
That was the time where Dolly Parton refers to in her song 'Coat of many colors.'https://youtu.be/h7I_9MMcWvk
Fast forward to 2022. We arrived at the opposite of the handle. People buy clothes, they wear them only a few times, some even got never worn. The art of mending is long forgotten in many households.
Then came the ‘visible mending’ movement. Read about background, meaning and pioneers Vivienne Wetswood and Kate Sekules https://theconversation.com/visible-mending-punks-not-dead-just-patching-itself-up-91226, https://visiblemending.com/
When I discovered this movement, I was quickly on board!
Socks are especially vulnerable to holes. It takes time to mend them. My mother told me that when she was young, the evenings were spend darning socks while chatting with her siblings. Here also ‘the old stories and traditions were passed on’. Isn’t this a better way to pass the evening than sitting before a screen, each in his or her corner with headphones on and without conversation?
Today socks still get holes that are in need of darning. My evenings are again spend darning, mending or doing embroidery. The socks, sweaters and woven clothes now get a visible mend. They tell a message and I am as proud as my grandmother was when she saw her finished work! INVISIBLE MENDING HAS BECOME VISIBLE MENDING