Our Denim Repair Day with Traid
To support our mantra, “Wear Me, Love Me, Mend Me, Pass Me On” (it’s on our new garment care labels if you haven’t seen it before), we’re always looking for ways to extend the life of our clothes.
So when my favourite boyfriend jeans finally ripped at the knee last month, I thought I’d speak with our denim repair expert friends at Traid. They run this fab Denim Repair workshop so I arranged for them to come to the office and show the team how to fix our rips and holes – if preferred, in a very visible way. Steph had actually ripped her denim skirt that very morning, so the timing was totally perfect.
The lovely Lyla and Sarah, who both work in Traid’s Education Team, ran the workshop. They kicked things off with an intro to the kind of work they do – like teaching the lost art of needlecraft at schools. Sarah then opened her big vintage suitcase and out fell a huge pile of denim scraps of all shapes, sizes, tones and thicknesses. As well as a huge pile of lovely coloured embroidery threads for us to choose from.
We had all brought something in to work on and quickly went around and explained what we wanted to fix. We then chatted through ideas of how to mend our denim – patching, sewing etc.
Most of us decided to patch (although not on the outside) so we picked a weight of denim from the scraps that was similar to our jeans and cut it a bit larger than needed (a top tip from the girls). We then turned our jeans inside out and ironed a layer of interfacing between the patch and jeans to reinforce the area.
The next step was to sew on the outside, which really helps the mend stay for longer and this is where we learnt all about new, creative ways to stitch. Two of them were Sashiko and Boro, both beautifully decorative and transform the stitches into a feature.
I hope you can see the day unfold through the pictures; we had a lot of fun! The key thing I learned was that it was really, really simple to make the jeans that I was about to give to charity totally wearable again. In fact, I had them on the very next day. It was also therapeutic to sit and sew for an hour – I’m definitely going to try this again at home.