This section is from the book "Clothing And Health. An Elementary Textbook Of Home Making", by Helen Kinne. Also available from Amazon: Clothing And Health.
What threads of the cloth are torn, in a square tear? in a straight tear? How can we replace these threads and prevent the article from tearing further ?
There is always a collection of garments needing repairs in any home where there are boys and girls.
What a help it will be to mother to have some one who can darn some of the tears. Mrs. Alden was very glad that Florence was learning to darn, for she has so many things to patch and darn for her family. How many different kinds of tears have been brought to-day?
Fig. 98. - These tears run in different directions. Which kind of a tear will you have to darn in your dress ?
Yes, here is a straight tear on this napkin; yes, two straight tears. Who can tell which threads have been torn in this first tear? Find the selvedge; the tear runs across the selvedge. In the second straight tear, the tear runs up and down with the selvedge, or warp. Which threads have been torn? Here is a garment with a square corner tear. John Alden tore his overalls climbing over the barbed wire fence. In this tear which threads have been torn? So we see that in some tears, the warp is torn; in others, the filling threads; and in others, like the square tear, both warp and filling threads. Now darning means putting back the threads which have been worn or torn away. Miss James told her class it is very useful to keep some black and white wash net in the mending basket. A little piece basted under the worn or torn place to be darned is a great help; for it reenforces the weak place and makes it last longer. It is put on the wrong side of the article to be darned. The picture (Fig. 98) shows two straight tears: a slanting one, and also a square corner tear. Everyone knows how to make the running stitch. Darning is fine running. Begin without a knot and a little beyond the tear for strength. Fill in the missing thread with rows of stitches close together. The stitches should extend far enough each side of the tear to take in the worn part also. In turning at the end of each row, leave a tiny loop. Why? Do not leave a very large one, but simply one large enough to allow for stretching and pulling in washing. In passing over the threads at the torn place, try to make the stitches hold down the threads. In finishing extend the rows beyond the tear as at the beginning. Either a warp or woof straight tear is mended in this way. A square tear is a combination of the two. At the corner there will then be both warp and filling threads and a double darn like a weave. Can you see from the picture how this will look? The thread should match as nearly as possible. Sometimes horsehair or human hair makes a good darning thread when one does not wish the darn to show, or split silk thread or No. 150 cotton. Ravelings of the same cloth are sometimes used. The size of the needle will depend on the fineness of the cloth to be darned. No. 8 is right for ordinary darning.
Where can you use this darn? Is it the same as stocking darn? Next lesson every one is to bring from home a stocking, white, brown, or black. Can you mend one at school to surprise mother or father or brother? The Pleasant Valley girls did. Mr. Allen said Marjorie darned his socks so well that he couldn't even feel the darn when he walked!
1. Show mother how you can mend a straight tear by mending one for her at home. Perhaps there is a straight tear in her dress, or in a towel or napkin.
2. Why is it worth while to mend it ?