cover image Darning: Repair Make Mend

Darning: Repair Make Mend

Hikaru Noguchi, trans. from the Japanese by Camille White. Quick Thorn, $29.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-912-48015-9

Knit designer Noguchi presents a helpful guide to darning aimed at environmentally conscious consumers who lack the know-how to repair worn-out clothing. She starts by describing the importance of this technique in the era before fast fashion, then introduces important supplies, such as darning mushrooms (so called for their bulbous appearance) and sticks (required for mending gloves and socks), and various threads. Twelve darning techniques are covered, from the most basic seed stitching over an area of fabric, to the more elaborate triangular darns and applique. Noguchi doesn’t show how to hide stitch fixes, and instead emphasizes an aesthetic of leaving mends obvious, in order to celebrate the darner’s handiwork. Some of these darning solutions are beautiful in their own right, such as the beaded, appliquéd rounds that mend tears at the back of a delicate dress, and the “spiral tambourine darn” using Japanese paper yarn on a straw hat. A few fixes look a little awkward, but for the most part, Noguchi’s tips are on point. With the onset of the slow clothing movement, Noguchi’s clearly explained and gently encouraging manual will find an enthusiastic readership. (Apr.)