Visual Mending is an act of rebellion against Fast Fashion and throw away culture. It is an expression of defiance against an endless cycle of “buy, wear, throw out, repeat”. 

Mending is metaphorical and concrete, creative and sustainable. It’s easy to start, fun and offers endless possibilities to transform of your wardrobe while sending a strong message. 

The language of Mending is easy to learn. Let’s start with vocabulary.


Learn a few stitches. If mending was a language, stitches would be its vocabulary. You can get away with one or two, but 5 is ideal, they make you look like an embroidery artist! The essential five are: running stitch, back stitch, blanket stitch, chain stitch and the super pretty herringbone stitch. The art is in how to combine them and then add more stitches when you become more and more fluent.


Now you create the relationships between the fabric and the stitches by learning how to hold your garment, where to place the stitch, which stitches go together etc. This creates your writing and leads to your story.

There are a few useful principles to understand the physics of material and tools, but there are few rules and many reveal themselves while you experiment.

 Which brings us to rule number 1.

Rule # 1: Experiment, experiment, experiment. Find your own “stitch voice” and then experiment some more.

Rule # 2: Be nice to yourself. Take pauses. Don’t look up menders who have been mending since they were 10 years old after learning the skill from their mother and grandmother. 

Rule # 3: Share your stitches and celebrate! You will notice that your hands will be too busy to snack much, but now is the moment for a toast. And if you can, look for a group of menders and join forces. Mending is so much fun, when skills and stories are shared.

If you are in Ithaca NY, join our biweekly Make Mends Meet at The Soil Factory