Due: Thursday, October 8

mending (verb)

  1. repair (something that is broken or damaged).
  2. return to health; heal.
  3. improve (an unpleasant situation, especially a disagreement).

Mending is a powerful way to reclaim and heal an object (or relationship) that might otherwise be discarded or set aside. Mending is also resourceful and can be very personal.  As a tradition, mending is learned and applied less often as new objects and articles of clothing are more easily attained.  In our fast-paced lives, where we have to weigh what is worth spending time upon, mending can seem to take more time than it is worth. Today, only objects that have great economic or emotional value are ones that are most typically mended. This assignment asks you to engage with mending and to consider it an act that actually adds value (personal or otherwise) to a textile object.

For this assignment, you are to mend one (or more) textiles or articles of clothing so that the mended area creates a new visual impact. Choose a textile item or article of clothing that could be improved upon through mending. Mend your textile piece in a way that brings a new visual element to the textile. This can be subtle, bold, delicate, strong, highly visible, almost invisible, and more. It can bring a new design into the textile or slightly alter the design already there.  It could tell a narrative through the design. We will learn three useful ways of mending: darning, patching, and embroidery/stitches. You are welcome to apply these techniques or others you have discovered. (If you are changing the size of an article of clothing, please talk with Olivia individually about how to approach this)

Common reparative mending: holes, tears, seams falling apart, tattered edges, stains, or other damaged areas. Other kinds of additive mends: adding a pocket, adding a stitched design, changing the length of an item, changing the width of an item, or some other change to an article that is otherwise whole.

A few questions to consider:

  • What makes this textile important to you?
  • If it’s not important to you, how could your mending attention improve your textile and add interest?
  • What is your emotional relationship to the textile? Could this be expressed through your use of mending stitches or patches?
  • Is there a history to the textile that you are preserving? How does that affect how you want to mend this item?

Optional additional ready relating to the theme of mending:

Mending Resources

Embroidery Resources

Embroidery Stitches Handout

How to Submit:

Create a blog post on this WordPress site to document your Mending project.

  1. Categorize your post with this WordPress category: Mending
  2. Write a brief paragraph outlining your explorations: intended effects, surprises, discoveries, challenges, successes.
  3. Embed clear, quality images of your mending in the blog post.


Points for this project will be divided amongst the following criteria:

EXPERIMENTATION/ RISK-TAKING/ INVENTIVENESS: The maker’s willingness to take risks (in composition, formal choices, materials, ideas, and content) is evident. Also important is the maker’s openness to new ideas, chance occurrences, and feedback throughout the creative process.

EXECUTION: Decisions about materials used and the manner in which the work is constructed, fabricated, and composed are deliberate. The maker’s choices indicate an awareness of how formal issues, materials and processes contribute to the interpretation or experience of the work.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation well represents the works. It is clear, focused, and without extra elements that distract from experiencing the work. It includes both written reflection and photographic or video elements. Photographs are large enough for us to easily view the works.