Enjoy 10% off your first order →
Free UK delivery over £75
🌻 We have paused for summer holidays 🌻 Orders placed between 21st July - 2nd August will be shipped on 3d of August 🌻

3 surprisingly satisfying mending methods

by Polina K
dyeing with avocado skins by zuahaza

Did you know that every second, one truck of textile waste is either chucked into a landfill or burnt? In a world of fast fashion and cheap replacements, it’s become easier than ever to throw your clothes away. But, this shouldn’t be the case! Unless we want our planet to drown in our old socks and t-shirts, we need to start looking for alternatives to ditching our garments.

One method to keep clothes from the landfill and create a more sustainable wardrobe is mending. At Good Fabric, we love to get creative with mending pieces that might need some extra TLC, coming up with creative solutions and having plenty of fun in the process! To inspire you to give your old clothes a new lease of life, here are three of our favourite, super satisfying mending methods.

Darning Your Knitwear and Fixing Worn Out Socks

For knitwear and socks that have seen better days, you can try darning to bring them back to life. Darning is an embroidery technique that’s been used for centuries, and it’s ideal for bolstering worn out areas of fabric or even repairing full-blown holes. It’s usually done by hand and works by adding new threads into the gaps that have been created over time, using a long-running darning stitch to patch them up.

If you’re thinking of trying your hand at darning, there are plenty of wonderful tools out there that can help! We love this reclaimed cashmere yarn from Second Cashmere which adds a touch of sustainable luxury to your mending adventures.

nd cashmere darning yarn

Scanfil Wool mending yarns are another option that darning enthusiasts frequently use, which could be slightly sturdier and more fitting in socks that see a lot of heavy-duty wear.

We also have to mention darning mushrooms – one of the cutest tools a sewist can own! Whilst not essential, who can resist adding one of these to their collection? It also makes darning a bit easier and less fiddly, which is great for beginners.

darning mushroom

Darning is a pretty straightforward technique. However, it can also be really creative and lots of fun. If you want to become a darning expert and learn all about the different stitch methods and techniques to up your game, here’s a fantastic book by Hikaru NoguchiDarning: Repair Make Mend (Craft and Family Activities)

hikaru noguchi book about darning

Get Creative With the Japanese Art of Sashiko

A less commonly known method of mending your clothing is Sashiko, a Japanese art form that blends function with creativity to repair your clothes in a truly unique way. Directly translated, it actually means little stabs, though it’s a lot more beautiful than that makes it sound!

sashiko mending method

The technique involves using a small patch made from sustainable fabrics to cover a hole, placing it on the reverse so that the edges of the patch are only visible if the clothing is inside out. Thread is then used not only to attach the patch but also to create beautiful patterns across this little square. Traditionally, blue indigo fabric and white thread are used to create freehand patterns, but you can adjust the colours to suit your wardrobe. 

Sashiko not only mends: it creates. What was once a flaw now becomes beautiful, transforming clothing and making something entirely new. It’s almost tempting to cut a little hole in our jeans just to try it out!

For inspiration when undertaking your own Sashiko patterns, Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More by Katrina Rodabaugh is a beautiful book that’s full of wonderful ideas. There are also plenty of patterns if you don’t want to freestyle your designs available from Japan Centre (you can also buy yarns and full kits here!).

mending matters book

Bring Life Back to Dull Colours

One of the biggest problems with old clothing (aside from holes, of course) is the dulling of colours. With every wash and wear, more dye leaks out of your fabric and, overtime, clothes that were once vibrant and full of life can look a little lacklustre. Fortunately, not all hope is lost.

Dyeing clothes is super simple and a mending method that anyone can try. You don’t have to be a professional sewist to dye a t-shirt! Dylon Dye is so simple that you literally just add it to your washing machine and the spin cycle does the rest. When you take out your garment, it should be full of bright colour and totally transformed.

dylon dye

The most common item of clothing we use dye for is black jeans. If you’ve ever owned black jeans, you’ll know just how fast they fade from jet black to somewhere more in the region of a washed-out grey. But, rather than throwing out a perfectly good pair of jeans, we use black dye to reinvigorate them. 

It’s not just jeans, either. Any item of clothing that’s lost its colour can be brought back to life. Or, you could even try changing the colour of clothing that you’ve fallen out of love with, creating a new piece that fits perfectly with your wardrobe. 

Dyeing can also be an art form in its own right. You can use completely natural products, like avocado stones and skins, to change the colour of your clothing – the result here being a warm shade of pink. Take a peek at this tutorial for dyeing with avocados by Zuahaza, or brew up your own concoctions like an eccentric scientist and see what colours you can create! 

dyeing with avocado skins by zuahaza

Stay Sustainable With Good Fabric

At Good Fabric, we’re lovers of sustainable haberdashery and all things sewing. From indie sewing patterns to eco fabric and tons of informative blogs, we have everything you need to make your creations sustainable! Take a peek at our fabric range to start your journey with us.

by Polina K

Pin me for later ↓

good fabric blog about mending methods

Loved this blog?

Save it for a rainy day or share it with your sewing bezzie…

More great blogs and 10% off sustainable fabric

Join the mailing list for sewing blogs, fabric drops, promotions and a juicy 10% off your first Good Fabric order.

More like this

Dive into another sewing blog from Good Fabric

Good Fabric,
great offers

Like 10% off your first order

Subscribe to the Good Fabric mailing list for more sewing blogs, just-dropped sustainable fabrics, juicy promotions and 10% off your next order.


10% off your first order

Sign up to the Good Fabric mailing list and we’ll send you proper good stuff, like:

Let's talk cookies

We use cookies to manage your Good Fabric experience, track visits so we can keep making improvements, and show ads on third-party websites like Facebook. Find out more →