Woven material which has been torn may be repaired by weaving back the broken threads. In fine damask where a small hole has been torn the entire pattern may be woven back, but in most instances a plain darn is adequate for the purpose. Where there is a worn place or a slit rather than a hole a plain running darn will suffice. The repairing thread should reproduce the original as nearly as possible. The raveled warp threads of the same material give the most satisfactory results. Wool may be threaded by waxing it or by twisting a cotton thread in with it. If wool raveling cannot be obtained, silk (one shade darker) may be split into thirds and one-third used for the work. Silk, however, catches the light and shows more than the raveling of the material. Whatever threads are broken should be replaced as closely as is needed to hold the material well together. A few rows of stitches are often enough to hold a slit together in wool materials where the strain is not great, but in cottons and linens a close mass of replaced threads is necessary to sustain the strain of laundering. If threads are severed in one direction only, such as warp threads, those alone need to be replaced. If both warp and woof threads are broken both must be reinserted. The work is done on the wrong side of the cloth as far as possible. A running stitch is made back and forth over the tear, leaving a little loop each time the direction is changed. The distance beyond the tear covered by the darn depends on the strength needed. In new material a few stitches on either side of the break are enough. It may be necessary, however, to strengthen weak threads by carrying the darn some distance beyond the tear. In some materials, such as damask, when the edge of the slit is reached the thread should go over on one side and under on the other, alternating this in succeeding lines (see Fine-Drawing). In cloth it is well to bury the stitches in the material. The work must be carefully done so that the darn will be flat and the edges will be neatly joined together and not frayed. The stitch should show little on the right side. In a hedge tear (two sides of a square) both warp and woof threads must be inserted at the corner where the two breaks join. This will make a square warp and woof darn at the corner. (Fig. 33.) In a diagonal tear (Fig. 34), the same condition usually must be met, i. e., warp and woof threads are to be inserted. The warp threads are put in first as far beyond the slit as need be, the woof threads need not be so numerous as the warp, but should be sufficient to keep the slit from stretching in that direction. At times one line of repairing threads can be omitted or this class of tear can be darned diagonally across the material, but at right angles with the cut. A hole which is too large for ordinary darning may need repair. It is often better to place a piece of the same material underneath and darn down the raw edges on it than it is to hem or overhand a patch on the garment. The piece placed at the back must exactly match the original. It should be so placed that the right side of it as well as the warp, woof and ply (if it has any) should match the surface. This piece may be carefully run on to the body of the garment with an irregular running-stitch showing as little as possible on the face. Warp raveling of the material may be used for the darning which is done on the right side, the raw edges should be overcast. The ragged edges should be cleared from the hole. The loops must be taken under the surface and the stitches must not extend across the patch if the darn can be made strong without it. A human hair can be used for darning with excellent results.

Fig. 33.   Darning of a Hedge Tear.

Fig. 33. - Darning of a Hedge Tear.

Fig. 34. Darning of a Diag onal Tear.

Fig. 34.-Darning of a Diag-onal Tear.


Take a piece of colored cashmere, 4x4 inches. Four holes are to be cut in it. One can be placed in each corner. (1) A slit across the warp threads. This may be darned on the wrong side with warp ravelings of white muslin to clearly indicate the stitches. They should show as little as possible on the right side. A running darn is to be used. It is to be placed back and forth along the warp as these threads are severed. When the edge of the slit is reached let the alternating rows of stitches go under and over the edge. (See Rule for Darning Woven Material.) (2) A diagonal severing of warp and woof threads is to be repaired. (Fig. 34.) Work on the wrong side of the material. Replace the warp threads first, then the woof with the alternating running stitch according to the rule. Use warp ravelings of cashmere. (3) A hedge tear. Half of this tear is along the woof, the other half is along the warp. Use warp ravelings of cashmere or split silk one shade darker than the material. Work on the wrong side of the cashmere. Replace first the warp threads and then the woof with the alternating running-stitch, making a square darn at the point where both the warp and woof threads are severed. (Fig. 33). (4) A worn place too large for ordinary darning. Cut a small hole in the material; place a piece of it at the back and repair according to rule.


The darning of fine material, whether in stockinet or woven cloth, requires judgment, patience and control of the hand. It is, however, possible through lessons in weaving and coarse sweater darning to give a good preparation for it. In early primary grades the lessons in weaving (see Weaving) should be connected with ideas of repairing. Knitting also should be contrasted with weaving as a means of constructing material. A toy used by children for knitting horse lines will serve to make clear the difference between the construction of knitted and woven material. It is only a spool with four pins in one end arranged at equal distances around the hole. If a larger spool is used and more pins are added a little form like a golf stocking can be made easily by the children. The repairing stockinet by a warp and woof darn may be discussed and by the third school year coarse sweater material may be darned. Steps such as these make a foundation for the presentation of the subject in a later grade.

With classes that are not expert in hand work, with younger children, or with poor varieties of stockinet, a running darn in and out of the material may be used in place of the more difficult variety where the loops of the knitting are caught wiith each stitch.

It is well for classes to have experience beyond merely practicing darning. Let them bring from home stockings, knitted underwear or woven garments, and repair them in the class or let them make small parts of garments such as sleeves, skirts, waists, drawers, etc., and darn them in various ways. This will give them experience in the judgment of ways and means of repairing which cannot be obtained from a practice piece cut from new material. The schools fail often to make the lessons in darning practical, through omitting the discussion of the problems which are met in the home. The teacher must have these points considered. Lessons in patching can well be given at the same time as the two methods of repair are almost inseparable.

Where a large hole is worn in a stocking or in knitted underwear a piece may be set under and patched down with the herring-bone stitch. (See Flannel Patch.) Care must be taken that each loop of the stockinet is caught or the ladders will stretch into a hole.

A review of weaving or the presentation of darning to an older class who know nothing of the principle of it should follow an outline of thought such as the following. The following is given as a suggestion for organizing discussion and for developing thought. The standpoint is of a class who have had a preparation for the subject in early grades. A part of the outline can accompany each one of a series of lessons or the teacher can set different subjects from it for the class to think over and discuss.