WHEN a darn will repair, it is the best means to employ, providing that the surrounding material is quite sound. When the damage is too extensive, the torn piece must be cut away, and a new piece of material put in its place.
It is like putting now wine into old bottles for a noodlowoman to mend or patch a garment, worn out by constant washing, with material that is imshrunk and has not been repeatedly washed.
When darning a hole, cut the edges straight and keep the hues vertical and horizontal. Pick up three or four of the warp and woof threads of the material in the needle each time it is taken over a hole. The lines should also be extended to the right and left of the hole, so that the material all round it is well supported. Always use a long needle, and stretch the work flat over a smooth darning block, or a stout piece of paper or oilcloth.
To make a darned patch
When a hemmed patch is likely to spoil the appearance of a garment, it is possible to darn in a patch. For this purpose, choose a piece of the same material three times as large as the patch required, and draw out threads all round in both directions until a square is left that exactly matches the size of the hole, previously cut square, for all ragged threads must be taken away. Tack this new piece in position on the wrong side of the garment.
How to darn in the patch, – The loose onds left each side of the patch have now . to be darned in and out of the material as invisibly as possible. As they are too short to be threaded into the eyo of a needle, the best plan is to use a fine needle with a length of cotton threaded double in the eye of the needle, making a loop at the knot end. Insert the needle from the edge of the patch, and in a line with the thread to be drawn in, pass the needle in and out of the weave, and draw it through with the thread from the patch picked up in the loop.
If the needle is taken far enough there will be very little to cut away, but the extreme end must come out to free the loop of the cotton in the needle. This method of disposing of the loose threads must be carried out all round the patch, and it will be quite secure. If a little care is exercised when the first stitches are made, the cut edge of the hole will be easily hidden.
If the tear is perfectly straight, as if it had been cut with the blade of a knife, the edges can be drawn together and the darn will be very quickly done. There are, unhappily, irregular rents to deal with in invisible darning, and the task will be more time-taking and eye-straining. Nevertheless, some workers find invisible darning very fascinating, and it can be done on most materials.
Very fine needles and human hair, red or white, must be used. These colours are stronger than most other shades of hair, and hair is much finer than any cotton or silk.
First draw the two edges together as closely as possible, and tack across the rent a foundation of stiff paper to hold the material firmly, if desired. Some workers prefer to work without a foundation and to hold the material over the fingers of the left hand. Always use cotton for tacking.
Thread a long, fine needle with a hair from the root end, and tie it in the eye to prevent it from slipping out. Commence a quarter of an inch at least from the edge of the tear, and pass the point of the needle inside the nap of the material without letting the needle be seen, either on the right side or the wrong side. Bring the needle back again very close to