Mending: Tedious but Necessary

So far 2016 is off to a great (sarcastic) start! My hands have been resisting knitting. The pinky that broke last Fall is still acting up. I didn’t post directly about this stress fracture. But perhaps I should add it to the list of future posts so others can learn of the dangers of knitting. My thumbs are both arthritic, which I hate even writing because I’m only 25 and I feel like I shouldn’t have ‘arthritic’ joints. My thumbs not wanting to bend excessively has made spinning a challenge to say the least….it hasn’t been happening. Flip got sick 😦 But is now better! And I’m habitually sticking my knitting bag in my work bag out each and everyday. One day my hands won’t stiffen up after one row- but that’s one row less down the line! Sliver lining, right?

This hasn’t meant a complete stop in my crafting. It has just shifted in focus. I’ve been doing some machine sewing and mending. The machine sewing focuses on wedding decorations and around the house cloth paper products. I’m planning a page on this site dedicated to my sewing projects but I sew like Amelia Bedeila and it tends to increase my alcohol consumption so I limit how much I do. Needless to say it is not my favorite craft- but it is insanely practical! And its always good to know how to work a sewing machine.

This post is actually not about any of my issues with sewing. It is about repairing holes in fabrics. Specifically, a loom woven coverlet.

How do I know this is loom woven? Well, it has a tag that says so but I also went to a lecture on historic loom weaving (put on by the Triangle Weavers Guild). If I paid attention like I think I did, this coverlet -featured in the pictures- below is a Jacquard style. This means that something extra fancy happened when it was woven. (…I’m saving up for a weaving class….Then I might know what exactly that fancy stuff that happens is.)

What little I do know, I actually learned from Kids Weaving: Projects for Kids of All Ages. This book is awesome. If even has instructions on how to build your own PVC pipe loom!!! It taught me what exactly the warp and weft were…both key words in weaving that I wrote down during the lecture but didn’t quite understand.

Warp = the threads that run up and down

Weft = the threads that run left and right (weft rhymes with left!)

The terms aren’t that important when it comes to mending fabrics- any fabric really. What is important is how these two different types of threads run at 90 degree angles. The patterning in the coverlet really shows this and is why I choose it for examples.

Threads run at 90* to each other.
Threads run at 90* to each other.

You can see the perpendicular lines very clearly in the more-solid orange leaf design. You can also see how that is continued throughout the piece of fabric. When you mend, you need to essentially recreate the fabric maintaining the perpendicular nature of the fabric.

Now before the gallery begins- a NOTE OF CAUTION… learn from my mistake. I began mending with a brown colored thread. I did this on purpose because I wanted to see what I was doing really well. I forgot to pay attention to the fiber blend of said thread. It is a polyester blend…the coverlet is cotton. I then switched to a 100% cotton thread in the correct colors. This seems wise. However, I now have to mend every hole before I can wash the coverlet because I need those fresh cotton threads to shrink uniformly. Why is this a problem? Well, because my helpers happens to be a fairly smelly dog who loves this blanket.

My helper!!!!
My helper!!!!

If I had foreseen the issue, I wouldn’t have allowed Mr. Findow to use it as a dog bed in the studio for the last few weeks. ….which by the way it should be noted that it was a dog that created these holes in the first place. This was a mint condition fancy-loom-happenings coverlet I purchased for $10 at a thrift store! Then, its beauty caused it to be chosen for a couch cover, which then resulted in holes as dogs adjusted it to suit their needs.   I believe in mending over kicking dogs off of the couch though and so begins….

Mending: A sampling of technique

 

I am planning a video on how I’m handling the two different colors for the larger and more difficult tears. It’ll be my first tutorial! 🙂

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