It may be a radical idea, but you don’t always need to hide your mending. Your stitching can be admired. Students and faculty members recently participated in “Radical Acts of Repair,” a workshop featuring noted textile artist Celia Pym remotely from London. It explored darning and the art of textile repair.
Round patched darning techniques with pieced knitwear. Moths take notice!
The workshop, supported by the college’s Sustainability Grant, was led by Fashion Design professors Tom Scott and Amy Sperber. Pym gave detailed demonstrations and also discussed several projects she’s created in her London studio.
“Celia spoke inspiringly about the individuals and stories behind the garments that she’s mended,” said Prof. Scott. “Her work focuses on bringing a new chapter into a garment’s life by repairing it with visible mending techniques that are celebrated, rather than hidden.”
Detail of a student’s woven darn technique as the weft is being completed.
Each participant brought an accessory or item of clothing to work on. They received guidance from Pym on repairing their well-loved, well-worn items. No previous darning experience was necessary.
Fourth-year Knitwear student Jennifer Ho practicing the darning techniques on a sweater she brought to the workshop.
Student practicing the woven darn technique with waste yarns collected from the Knitting Machine Lab.
Fourth-year Sportswear student Amari Harper, starting the weft threads on her woven darn mending.
Student notes from artist talk and darning demonstration given by Pym, and student example of woven darn technique using yarns collected by Prof. Scott.
Fourth-year Knitwear student Anna Lindsey darning the back of a sweater.
Group shot of Radical Repair participants with Pym in her London studio.
To learn more about the School of Art and Design’s Fashion Design major, visit Fashion Design at FIT.
To learn more about FIT’s Sustainability Grants go to: FIT Sustainability projects.