The Growing Trend Of Visible Mending

The best and most sustainable clothes are those that are bought sparingly, chosen exceptionally well and made to last as long as possible.

These ideas, most famously codified by fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood can be applied as readily to formal and ceremonial wear as it can be to hospitality uniforms and casual clothes.

Choosing well-made clothes made from high-quality materials means that they will last longer and are often easier to repair, and more people are stitching and patching clothes back together rather than having them go to waste in a landfill.

To that end, there is a fascinating growing trend in visible mending, where people sewing their clothes back together do not try to hide the fact they have been repaired but instead use these patches and stitches as an opportunity for expression.

This typically manifests itself in the use of bright threads, cross-stitch art, colorful patches, messages and materials that are deliberately designed to draw attention to the repair.

The motivations for visible mending can vary based on economics, art, and personal beliefs.

For some it is a matter of practicality; certain softer and more fragile materials simply cannot be repaired without it being conspicuous, and a beautiful, obvious stitch is better than one that tries to hide itself and fails.

For others these embellishments are one of many methods to help reduce the use of raw materials, along with using more natural fibres that are easier to recycle, reducing water use and buying fewer but more high-quality garments.

Unlike the creation of artificially distressed clothes, which create a uniform look with the pretensions of unique authenticity, a visibly mended item of clothing is one that will be cherished and kept for years to come.

Finally, there are those that practice visible mending as a practical, unpretentious form of art, where every flaw and blemish is a meaningful yet beautiful scar.

March 24, 2022 — Jacob Blakey