Friday, 12 March 2010

How to darn holes

Official UK government advice on darning, issue by the Board of Trade in the 1940s. Wish today's government would spend tax-payer's money on useful leaflets like this, rather than bailing out banks, and bringing Western-style democracy to the Middle East.

Do not wait for holes to develop. It is better to darn as soon as garments wear thin. Imitate, as well as possible, the texture of the fabric being darned. When darning a big hole, tack a piece of net at the back and darn across it, and this will give extra support for the stitches. A tear should be tacked round on to a piece of paper, to hold the edges in position.

Darning a hole:

First clear the loops of fluff and broken ends of threads from knitted garments or clip away ragged edges from machine knit fabrics. Always use a darning ball under large holes.

1. Make the darn the shape of the hole.
2. Darn up and down the hole first; work on the wrong side.
3. Choose mending as fine as the material of the garment.
4. Begin a good distance away from the hole in order to reinforce the thin parts round the hole.
5. Space the rows of darning the width of a strand of mending apart.
6. Pick up the backs of the loops only unless the material is very fine.
7. Leave loops at the ends of each row and darn so that stitches alternate with spaces between stitches in the previous rows.
8. Pick up the edge of the hole in one row then go over the edge of the hole in the next row. If you have cleared the edges of the hole you will find this will be easy and will make a neater mend on the right side of the garment.
9. Continue the darn over the thin place beyond the hole.

Darning over the first rows of darning:

1. Darn over the hole only and about two stitches of darning beyond.
2. Leave loops at the end of each row, and only pick up on the needle the darning stitches.
3. Pick up the alternate strands of mending in first row.
4. In alternate rows, pick up the strands of mending you passed over in the previous row.

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