5 Simple Techniques

Visible mending is mending you can see, like sewing a patch on your jeans to embroidering a flower over a tear. Here’s everything you need to know about visible mending and how to do it yourself.

What Is Visible Mending?

Visible mending is a form of repair, usually on textile items like clothing or bedsheets, that is deliberately left visible (compared to invisible mending). The goals of this practice are to repair the item, but also to enhance its beauty.


Perhaps the most common method of visible mending, embroidery is used to  decoratively cover up a hole or tear with stitches and patterns. You can use colorful threads to create a beautiful pattern or display (like a flower or butterfly) over a tear or hole.

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Visible darning is when you repair holes or worn areas with decorative, colorful stitching. A simple darning stitch by hand usually means you use a running  stitch along the grain of the fabric and stitch a ‘weaving’ style  technique to fill in the gaps.

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Patches are a fun way to dress up a jacket or bag and they can also be used to cover a hole or rip. There are so many different ones to choose from. You can choose from iron on, ones you sew yourself, felt, or even self-adhesive that adhere like a sticker.

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Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique that uses only running stitches to create patterns, typically geometric in design. You can use it to mend and reinforce fabric. It’s most popularly used on denim, like denim jackets and jeans.

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Boro mending is another Japanese technique that involves patching and stitching together worn-out fabrics, creating intricate layers. Boro is the result of repetitive Sashiko stitching to make clothes last longer.

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