Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Flint-effect

By nature, I am not a mender at heart. But Kathleen Loomis’ repeated reports on hermending, and my son’s pant-knees-straining-activities have impressed and led me to do some of the usual mending such as ironing and stitching patches onto a pair of Jeans. 
Two of the most interesting and inspiring books that I read last year have also contributed to this development, but in a different. India Flint’s „Second Skin“ and „Eco Color“ were so rewarding to read, that I can only recommend anybody who is interested in textiles, dyeing and anything to do with fabric and who doesn’t own them yet to put these titles on your Christmas wishing list. Judith Mundwiler, too, has reported on her inspiration from India Flint in a blog entry hereUnfortunately, I was not able to go to Scotland and participate in the workshops India Flint has just been teaching there. But my fascination with her processes of dyeing with natural materials had already led me to begin a collection of protein by freezing any residue from rinsing milk bottles, cream bottles and yoghurt containers in a plastic bottle. I had been planning to do some experimenting this summer, and the reservoir had become substantial enough. Unfortunately, my son managed to not completely close the freezer door when he took out ice-cream a couple of months ago, which ruined a large part of the contents of the freezer, including my protein. So as long as the remainders in the freezer haven’t been depleted in total and the freezer de-thawed to put it back into good working condition, I am not starting on a new collection, and the experiments have to wait until next summer, I am afraid. 
In any case, the effects and results of dyeing that India shows on her blog and in the books speak to me much more than collecting onion skins for weeks and weeks on end. We’ll see how I like this kind of natural dyeing.
But to get back to the original topic, India’s books have changed my mending habits. Not that I usually have a whole lot of things that need mending in my own wardrobe. But I have decided to take those chances in a more daring approach. I won’t do the mending-so-you-don’t-see-that-it-has-been-mended anymore. Instead, I will use this as a pep-up. And I have recently completed my first two tasks. The first was a summer top that had started fraying at the seams. I covered those spots with fabric remnants from my scrap box.
Fraying edges were...

covered up in the back...

and in the front.

When I was wearing the mended top for the first time, my husband looked at me a little skewed and asked in a certain kind of voice whether this was intentional or not. Apart from that, none of the other people around said a word. And there were quite a few around.
The second item was a light jacket that could also be worn as a blouse which had a hole that I don’t quite remember how it got in there. If I recall correctly, the piece got caught in my bike brakes or something, there is a large stain on the front, too.

A rip on the upper part of a sleeve.

This hole has been covered in a creative manner. 

As this was completed only a few days ago, I haven’t yet worn it in public, so haven’t received any comments either. Not even my husband has seen it yet... And I still have to decide what to do with the stain on the front, right now it is being covered by a decorative pin.
India Flint herself mentioned on her blog that one of her books that is currently out of print is being offered on that large book-seller’s pages for an outrageous price. If you don’t want to or can’t spend that much money, she also told us that a reprint is in preparation. So that Christmas wish of yours might still be fulfilled...


  1. A very creative way to mend, and I think the results look great. I have both of India's book and they are certainly worth buying.

  2. Thanks, Maggi. I have been wearing both mended pieces now, and realized that they have become matching pieces of an ensemble simply because I used the same fabric for the patches. And I feel good wearing them like that, so if there should be comments - which I doubt there will, because nobody has said anything derisive about it yet - I can actually say 'this is how I wanted it to be'.