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invisble mending how-to?

Lonna | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi, All!  I’m new to your forum and I hope someone out there can help me.  My husband has a straight, neat 1″ tear on the back of a wool sports coat so now it’s up to me to mend it!  I’d like to do an invisible mend but I’m not sure exactly how to go about it.  I’ve searched the internet but can’t seem to find instructions.  Can anyone direct me?  Many thanks!


  1. kayl | | #1

    This is just a slit, not frayed out, correct? If so, try "stoting" --

    and try it on a scrap of similar fabric first. In the directions below, I'm going to assume your tear is vertical.

    Get some silk thread that exactly matches the garment, and about a

    #10 between needle (very short and slender). Thread the needle and

    make a tiny knot in one end of the thread, then insert the needle

    into a cross thread about 1/4" back from the tear, and across the tear, and back out again on the right side about 1/4" farther on from the tear. That's your first stitch. You're keeping the silk thread

    inside the yarn of the fabric.

    Second stitch: insert the needle back in at precisely the point it

    came out. Angle the needle so it crosses the tear again, and comes out in a thread about 1/4" from the slit, and one thread down from the

    starting point. Carefully adjust the tension so the two sides of the slit just meet, but don't pucker.

    Third stitch: insert the needle back in where it came out, and stitch

    over to the other side of the slit, again about 1/4" to the other

    side of the slit. Adjust tension.

    Keep going like this until the tear is completely closed, then tie

    off from the back.

    When you're doing this, the stitches should be of slightly different

    lengths, so the ends of the stitches don't form a ridge on each

    side of the tear. Sometimes it's best to stot lightly the length of

    the tear, then go back and do it again. In any case, you'll need

    to press and brush the area.

    Hard part is finding matching silk thread. With luck, the lining

    is silk, and you can steal from it, but I usually wind up unraveling

    scrap silk to get the matching thread. I've also used single strands

    of hair, but that's even crazier to sew with than raveled-out silk

    scraps. <g>

    I have two books of invisible reweaving methods (Fabricon and

    Frenway), and the Frenway one is one I've actually tried myself,

    as you can use ordinary betweens with it, at least on some fabrics.

    I'm a patient person, but I was about ready to scream after doing

    more than a couple of inches. <g> Stoting is about all I have

    patience for.

    Good luck!

    1. sewhat | | #2

      Wow, I am impressed with your knowledge!  I have had similar tears to repair, and my usual method is to take a little piece of fusible interfacing cut in a circle and bond that with my iron on the backside of the rip, making sure all the threads in the rip are lined up and not sticking out.  Then I coat the entire ripped area from the front very carefully with Fray-Check, dabbing it in as I go.   Usually works pretty good, but I am sure your method is absolutely the right way to fix a tear.  I will remember that next time I have to fix something that I really care about.

      Happy Sewing.

    2. eauinaz | | #3

      what is stotting?

      1. kayl | | #6

        That's the mending method of sewing together individual threads that

        I described in my first post.


    3. MargaretAnn | | #4

      I was very interested to read your post, as I have tried to do something like that without any direction and was not quite satisfied with the result.  As you say, silk thread is hard to find.  Does anyone know of a good web source?  Joann, my only local sewing store, does not carry it any longer.


      1. kayl | | #5

        I buy most of my silk thread either locally at Fabric Depot in Portland, OR, or from Things Japanese, when I go to the Sew Expo in Puyallup. But

        I actually find that unraveling a lightweight habutai silk gives great

        stuff for stoting.

        Paying attention to the tension as you pull the edges together is also quite important.


        1. MargaretAnn | | #7

          But Kay, I live in Ohio, and the only sewing store that might have Habatai is and hour and a half away!  Is there a web source for silk threads and fabric that I can trust?


          1. kayl | | #8

            Fabric Depot is at http://www.fabricdepot.com -- I understand they're

            quite satisfactory -- they carry Gutermann silk threads as well as

            some silk yard goods. Things Japanese (Tire silk) is at http://www.silkthings.com. Silk Road Fabrics in Austin, TX (http://www.srfabrics.com), Thai Silks (http://www.thaisilks.com, Baer

            Fabrics (http://www.baerfabrics.com), Supersilk (http://www.supersilk.com, and Waechter's Silks (http://www.fabricsandbuttons.com) are some other reputable places with

            nice silks.


          2. MargaretAnn | | #9

            Dear Kay

            Thank you.  That should keep me happy for a while.  I appreciate the help.


    4. Lonna | | #10

      Many, many thanks, Kay!  I shall give it a try.

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