22 December 17: To darn or not to darn?

In the summer of 2016, wandering through the streets of beautiful Bordeaux, I found a shop full of incredible fabrics and yarns (top left) and a woman sat in the midst of it, sewing.

It reminded me of when I was a child and my mum would mend our clothes rather than throw them away (hands up who knows how to darn socks? Not me, I’m afraid…). These days, this type of reusing is, apparently, rare and a third of our clothing ends up in landfill, whether it’s because it no longer fits or we don’t know how to mend it.

Coming from a house of diminutive folk, as well as fixing, much of my mum’s sewing was shortening clothes to length (the sewing box was rammed with strips of fabric severed from our various trousers – put side by side, enough to cover a small county).

Do many of us even own sewing boxes anymore? And when was the last time you actually fixed an item of clothing?

Martha, The Colour File x


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