The good old-fashioned plan of always buying an extra half-yard of material to allow for accidents is quite worth its trifling additional expense, and is to be recommended. It is a wise precaution for those who would have their clothes well mended and wish to insure in some measure against the damage wrought by possible tears.
If woollen stuff is patched with its own material the patch should be darned in position with threads unravelled, as above, from a spare piece of the stuff. The patch will then be almost invisible
Woollen garments of all kinds may, as a rule, be mended successfully with a patch of the same material. The best way of placing the patch so that it may be invisible is to darn it in position with threads which have been unravelled from a raw edge. To do this, a straight cut of some length should be made across a spare piece of the cloth, and the strands drawn with a large pin. If there is more than one colour in the texture, some threads of each should be taken, and care will be required to pull them gently, that they may be long enough for the purpose of putting through the needle. The next thing to consider is the cutting of the patch. In order that this may be taken from exactly the right portion of the material, it is better, first of all, to arrange the whole piece of mending stuff under the hole, placed, if possible, so that every thread and portion of the pattern corresponds. It can then be pinned or tacked, and the spare material cut away outside the space marked by the threads. The jagged edges may also be cut off, and the border of the tear can then be darned down to the patch. The different coloured threads should be used in their right places, and the weft and warp of the material copied as closely as possible in the stitches. On the wrong side, the edge of the patch may be cut close to the darn, and drawn down into the material with a woollen thread run in to keep it from fraying. The patch should be clamped and pressed at the back, and ironed under a damp cloth on the front surface.
A patch which has been successfully darned in position with threads of the same material
For plain material of one colour, a successful darn may sometimes be managed with wool of exactly the same shade. To make a foundation for this, and to get the stitches perfectly regular, a piece of canvas may be tacked under the hole. This must be coarse or fine, according to the texture of material, and the substance of the wool will require to be chosen for the same reason.
A piece of canvas should be cut out that will overlap the extreme edges of the mend. This must be tacked in place on the wrong side of the material, so that the lines of the canvas run exactly parallel with those of the of the weaving weaving. The raw edges of the tear are cut away to form an exact square. The wool should then be darned across and across, backwards and forwards, a stitch or two being caught into the material on either side.
For darning plain material of one colour, tack a piece of canvas under the tear, so that its lines run exactly parallel with those
When the canvas has been tacked into position, the raw edges of the tear must be cut away to form an exact square
When the whole patch is filled, turn the work sideways, and run the wool in rows from the top to the bottom and back again, until the white of the foundation is entirely concealed. If the material is rough and hairy, the top of the wool stitches may be just clipped over with a pair of scissors, and brushed with the fingers to make it match the other surface.
With materials of certain grains, a regular wool-work cross-stitch will be the least visible means of mending. The patch should be put in place in the manner described, and the cross-stitch worked backwards and
The wool is darned across and across, backwards and forwards. stitch or two being caught into the material on either side
When the whole patch is filled, turn the work sideways and run the wool in rows from the top to the bottom and back again until the whole foundation is concealed forwards, the edge of the material being caught just under the last stitch of every row. The wool should be drawn in and out rather loosely, so that the stitches may not be too clearly defined. The spare canvas at the background will, of course, be cut away close up to the darn, and run into the material round the edge with a strand of wool.
Mixture wools are sometimes useful for darning tweeds or materials in which more than one shade is introduced.
This method of mending is very useful for places which have worn thin, and on the discovery of a weak spot of this kind, it is wise to strengthen it with a wool-work patch, provided, of course, that there is no like material to be used for the purpose. In this case the patch would require to be darned with wool and prepared before sewing it in place. The surface of it might be slightly moistened with some gum solution before fixing it, and the surface of the material firmly pressed on to it with some heavy weight. It can then be sewn down at the edge on the wrong side after the usual method.
With materials of certain grains a regular wool-work cross-stitch w: be the least visible means of mending, the canvas pat h being put in from behind as before described
Such a plan answers well when dealing with boys' clothes, which usually receive particularly rough treatment, and if it is put into practice directly the garment shows signs of wear, will save much troublesome work afterwards.
When a skirt is being lengthened, or if it has worn out at the bottom, it is sometimes worth while to work a long strip of canvas with just one or two rows of cross-stitch; this can be neatly placed so that it fills in the thin worn line, the spare canvas, of course, being turned up into the hem. Any place where the worn part is specially obvious can be darned down with wool.
Another form of cross-stitch for darning a rent or thin place in woollen materials
It is, of course, most difficult of all to treat tears on surfaces which are smooth and without any very definite grain or pattern. Articles made of such materials are not easy to repair neatly, and can only be mended on the lines of "making the best of a bad job."
Mending when carried out on these lines needs to be done very carefully. The tacking of the canvas or underlying material must be accurate, and the cotton must not be drawn so tightly as to pucker the work.
A good rule, too, is always to use cotton of a contrasting colour to the material for tacking, and, when the repair is complete, to cut the threads away, never to pull them.
Careful pressing of the mend with a warm iron should also be remembered. This is usually done on the wrong side, but as in some cases it may be found better to press on the right side, a thin piece of cotton stuff - an old handkerchief serves the purpose admirably - should be placed over the portion to be pressed.