Repair | The Hand-Darn

Hand Darning 1

In the last episode the backside patch was featured. This time Narita-san will be demonstrating a completely hand-stitched repair. The hand-darn is the strongest and most time consuming of the repairs I will be featuring.

Start off with good sturdy thread. In this case we used indigo-dyed hemp. The darn repair can be used in knit repairs, especially socks and sweaters. If your jeans get a premature blowout then this is the repair you will want to use, as it can be blended with unfaded fabric easier. I surrendered by self-dyed kakishibu canvas hat for this repair.
Hand Darning 2

A big thick needle will take care of the heavy thread and make weaving it through much easier. Just look at the difference between a standard sewing needle and this darning needle.

Hand Darning (1)

As a note, darning can be done by hand, but so much of the beauty which is part of a hand-darn is lost in the machine. The hand-darn is a beautiful repair, and with enough practice and patience you can make your repairs really special.

First start with a knot on one end of your thread it pull it tight.

Hand Darning 4

The first stitch should be small right next to where the thread came out from the knot hole. The second stitch should come out about 2 or 3 mm from the actual hole (in the example there is no hole). Then bring the thread over the hole and push the needle through the front side about 2 or 3 mm from the hole. Then make another small stitch almost right next to the hole the thread came through. From here you will do the same thing to cover the hole with weft stitches.

Hand Darning 5

Take your time on these and try to get them to line up neatly.

Hand Darning 6

If the hole is not circular don’t worry you can shape the darn as it goes along.

Hand Darning 7

Once you get to the other end of the whole you will push the needle through to the back one more time. Now you will start to weave the warp threads in.

Hand Darning 8

Over under over under, again and again. Remember to push the needle through and back to the front after you finish each row.

Hand Darning 9

Really take your time here and tap the threads into place so it is all neat and tight.

Hand Darning 10

At the end make sure to squeeze the last weave in tight. This will ensure a solid and secure repair.

Hand Darning 11 Hand Darning

Use an embroidery knot to finish the stitch on the reverse-side of the fabric.

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