As I was wandering through Anthropologie I noticed an "instant old" visibly mended garment. A couple of racks away, there was another. And then another. So, the trend has trickled down to mall shops.
I first became enamored with the art of mending when I saw Neil Young's jeans back in the '70s. At the time I knew nothing about Japanese boro mending, but once I saw it I was immediately hooked. The bag below, available on Etsy sums up just about everything I love - a mix of fabric types, some sashiko stitching and patching on top of patching.
And now, it's modern to mend. Tom of Holland has created a business of it, offering bespoke mending services and classes and workshops, mostly in Europe. He's even come up with a new name for the process, visible mending. His website and facebook pages are filled with great images and info. Take some time and visit.
I was working on some new pillows and used scraps of dyed cotton that I stitched onto indigo linen as a decorative embellishment. In the case of the pillow below it was done to hide some odd spots that popped up after I'd dyed the linen. I didn't want to waste the linen, so I did a bit of artful mending.
Although it's a new piece it has the appearance of wear and fading as a result of the indigo process. To my mind it really captured the feeling of an old Japanese boro piece, but it looks great in a modern room.
I was so happy with the way the pillow turned out that I was inspired to put a patch on an old favorite sweater I'd managed to wipe out with a large grease stain right in the middle of the front.
The sweater was a drab brown color, so I tossed it in the indigo vat for a could dips to give it blue overtones. Then I grabbed a little scrap of shibori dyed cotton and stitched it on using a simple running stitch. On my pillows I've been leaving some of the patches unstitched, but after a few washes I'll need to add some more stitches to this one to keep the edges from curling.