Dress Darning - Straight Tear.

In darning, the parts of a fabric that are torn or separated should be united by inserting new threads in a manner as nearly like weaving as possible. Quality, texture, and color should be considered in selecting materials with which to darn colored or figured fabrics. Examine the groundwork of the material and match the predominating shade.

In fine linen, the darning should be done before sending it to the laundry.

If the material is much strained, it may be well first to draw the edges together with basting stitches, which should be taken out after the darn is completed, or to baste a piece of material under the torn place and darn the edges of the tear down on it.

Materials. - The materials required in a darning lesson are: Needles, "sharps" or fine embroidery needles; scissors; cashmere challis or some similar material to be darned; tape measure.

This table shows the threads that should be used in ordinary darning:

(Ravelings of the material (warp Silk Filoselle.)

Linen floss

For darning linen fabrics......          or

Flourishing thread.

  Cotton thread corresponding in

For darning cotton fabrics.....        thickness with finest thread in the fabric.

  Hair For darning alpaca or mohair.. or

  Fine silk.

In all darning, a needle should be selected which will carry the thread easily. This thread is usually soft (that is, not twisted as tightly as ordinary thread) ; consequently there is a tendency to form a lump in the eye of the needle (if too fine), which has to be dragged in and out of the stuff, injuring not only the material, but also the thread or silk used in darning.

Your materials being ready, proceed as follows:

1. Baste an outline around the tear, beginning one-fourth of an inch above and continuing it the same distance below. (Illustration No. 58.) If the material is dragged or strained, it may be necessary to extend the outline and hold the material in shape with running stitches before beginning to darn.

See Illustration No. 59.


ILL. 58. - Basting Defining Length and Width of Darn.

material, according to the fabric and part of the garment torn.

Angular Dress Darn.

In cases where the tear is much raveled, put a piece of material under the tear and darn the garment down on it.

Cut the piece larger than the tear. Be careful to match the grain of the cloth as well as the figures and stripes in the material.

Draw the tear into place and baste the right side of the piece to the wrong side of the garment; match it exactly.

If the hole is large, darn the sides of the tear separately, weaving the ravelings in as you come to them.

After the darn is finished, tack the piece lightly to the garment on the wrong side, or cut it off.

Materials. — Materials required: Same as for dress darning. See preceding lesson.

The process is made easy by the help of the illustration (No. 61).

1.   Outline darn by basting.

2.   While drawing the needle and thread through the material, hold the two edges of the tear firmly over the first finger of the left hand to prevent it from fraying.

3.   Begin at the angle marked 1 and make a row of running stitches out to 2.

4.   Make a second row back to 1.

5.  Make a third row out to 3.

6.   Make a fourth row back to 1.

7.   Continue so doing until the triangle thus formed is completely filled, finally bringing the needle back to 1.

8.  Next make a row of stitches out to 4.


ILL. 61.—Corner of Angular Dress Darn.

9.   Make the following row back to 1.

10.  Make a row to 2.

11.   Then a row back to 1.

12.   Continue until this triangle has been filled. See Illustration 'No. 61.

13.   After completing the corner, finish the darn in the same manner as in the lesson on the straight tear.

14.  Dampen very slightly and press on the wrong side.

Strengthening Darn.

This darn consists merely of several rows of running stitches running with the warp of the material, and is used to strengthen weak places where a hole has not actually been worn. It may be of almost any geometrical shape, that of a diamond being the most desirable, as in this shape the strain will not come on one line of weaving. See Illustration No. 62.


ILL. 62. - Strengthening Darn.

Bias Darn.

A bias darn is used in mending a cut or tear running across either the warp or woof.

Materials. — The materials required for the lesson are the same as those for the straight darn.

1.   Outline the length and width of the darn, following the line of the tear.

2.   Use short threads and begin without a knot.

3.   Begin darning at A, running the line of darning diagonally across the warp of the material. See Illustration No. 63.

4.    Continue as in directions given for straight tear.

Stocking - Web Darn.

This darn is used on linen where an actual hole has been worn in the material.

The bias and stocking-web darn are frequently used on table linens to repair holes made by the careless use of a knife.

In this darn, the loops left along the edge are sometimes cut.

Materials. — The materials required are: Needles,

"sharps" or fine embroidery needles; scissors; linen floss, and a piece of table linen requiring mending.


ILL. 63. - Darning a Bias Tear.

1.   Trim off all loose or frayed edges.

2.  Begin as far outside the hole as is necessary to strengthen the fabric.

3.   Insert the threads representing the warp.

4.   Allow a loop to extend at each row of darning.

5.   Finish by weaving in the threads representing the woof. See Illustration No. 64.

Mistakes Likely to be Made in Darning.

1.   The darn not extended far enough to cover worn place.

2.   The thread at the sides drawn instead of leaving a loop.

3.   The work not flat when finished.

4.   Carelessness in matching material for darning.


ILL. 64. - Stocking-Web Darn. 100

Stocking Darning.

Stocking darning is used to repair a hole in any fabric woven with the loop or stocking stitch. From its similarity to weaving, it is sometimes called hand weaving.

The stocking should be darned on the right side of the foot and the wrong side of the leg.

The size of the darn depends on the size of the hole and on the condition of the fabric around the hole.

The shape may be either a square on its sides, a square on its diagonals, or rounded to conform to the shape of the hole.

A darn in the shape of a square on its diagonals, or made to conform to the shape of the hole, is preferred because in this way the strain is evenly distributed, each new thread of darning coming on a new line of weaving.

Always darn holes as soon as they appear.

A strengthening darn (stitches running lengthwise) is extremely useful for strengthening the toe and heel of the stocking; this should be put in as soon as the stocking shows signs of wear.

Laces, especially those with a groundwork or foundation of bobbinet, are frequently mended by darning; in fact, many real laces are made by outlining or darning a pattern on some meshed material.

Darning would not be considered such a task if it were looked upon as lace-making, which it is in a humble way.

Materials.—The materials required are: A stocking which the pupil should bring from home; a darning needle No. 6 (a medium number) ; darning cotton (must be selected to suit the stocking in both color and quality).

Then proceed this way:

1.   Select a small hole as the one to be darned.

2.   Hold the left hand up, curving the first finger and thumb in the shape of the letter C. See Illustration No. 65.


ILL. 65. - Position of the Left Hand in Stocking Darning.

3.  Rest hands and try it again, repeating the exercise until you can hold the fingers in position comfortably.

4.   Draw the stocking over the left hand, with the hand in this position.

5.   See that the weave representing the warp of the stocking runs parallel with the arm.

6.   Hold the stocking firmly, but not stretched, over the left hand, with the hole in the centre of the formed C.


ILL. 66. - First Part of the Dam, Showing the Outline.

7.   Gather all extra fullness into the palm of the hand.

8.   Outline the size and shape of the darn by basting with uneven basting one-half inch outside the hole. The darn is frequently made the shape of the hole instead of a square on its diagonals. See Illustration No. 66.

9.  Begin at 1, pointing the needle from you, and make two small running stitches.

10.  Leave a half inch of thread; do not use a knot or backstitch.

11.  With the needle pointing towards you, make the next row of stitches, taking up the threads of the stocking that were passed over in the preceding row.

12.   So continue each row, letting the outline of basting stitches define the termination of each row, being careful to leave the thread loose at each end to form a loop to allow for shrinkage and elasticity of weave.

13.  When the hole is reached, take the stitches over one edge and under the opposite edge, reversing this when coming back on next row of darning.

14.   Continue making each row a little longer until 2 and 3 are reached. (See Illustration No. 66.) Then decrease in the same proportion to 4.

Filling in the Darn.

1. Begin weaving at No. 5 and pass the needle under the first stitch and over the second, under the third and over the fourth, and so on. In returning, pass over the threads taken up before and under the threads left down.


ILL. 67. - Weaving the Darn (the Shape of Darn a Square on its Diagonals).


ILL. 68. - Weaving the Darn (Round in Shape).

2.   Keep each row of darning as close as possible to the preceding one. See Illustrations Nos. 67 and 68.

3.   In mending a large hole, smooth out the rough edges, then take a line needle and thread and overcast the edges, bringing them as near as possible to the proper position. Darn in the regular way.

Threading the Needle.

1.   To thread a darning or zephyr needle, hold the needle between the thumb and first finger of the left hand.

2.   Fold a loop of the thread over the end of the needle.

3.   Withdraw the needle and pass the eye of the needle over the loop of the darning cotton.

Kid Glove Mending.

Materials. — The materials required are: Glover's needles, or No. 11 or 12 "betweens"; fine cotton is preferred to silk; be careful to have the cotton match the glove in color.

1.   If the rent is very large and a piece of kid can be obtained to match, place the patch of kid on the wrong side of the glove with the right side of the patch to the wrong side of the glove.

2.   Hem the glove on the right side to the patch.

3.   Trim off all surplus kid on the wrong side.

4.   If the hole is small, or kid cannot be matched, make a buttonhole stitch around the edge of the hole. (See page 121 for buttonhole stitch.) Do not pull the thread up tightly, or you will break the edge of the kid.

5.   Work a second row of buttonhole stitches through the purl edge of the first.

6.   Continue working row after row until the hole is completely filled up.

7.   Mend the seams when ripped with very fine over-seaming stitches.