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05/08/2012 / thriftomancer

Restoring arthropods with sashiko

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an avid hunter of the wild garage sale. One of my finds from years ago was this linen tea towel with its full compliment of winged insects and holes.

The towel before

Pink’s not usually my cup of tea, but this particular pink thing had bugs crawling all over it and thus balanced out.

Up until now I’ve just been using it as-is, thinking that the holes wouldn’t widen if treated gently. For the most part I was correct, but then I decided to stop being lazy and just patch everything instead. There were only a few holes so it would be easy. My hand stitching has improved a lot since when I originally got the towel too, so the chances of me marring it with ugly stitches, my original reason for not fixing it, were reduced.

For patches I used scraps of undyed linen large enough to cover the holes and the surrounding fabric, to reinforce it against fraying further, plus a little extra for a hem allowance. I folded over the raw edges of each patch and pressed them down, them basted them in place and started stitching freehand with perle cotton. Forty minutes later, ’twas done.

Patch #3

If I wanted, I could have followed any one of the specific sashiko patterns out there to make this fix, but I decided irregularity would be best. After all, retro butterflies and dragonflies don’t exactly scream geometric precision, do they?

Patch #2

The littlest patch

In the end I don’t know how much I actually improved the towel. The appearance hasn’t changed that much and it seemed to be holding its own well for this long so whether I extended its longevity any with these repairs is a mystery, but I enjoyed working on it and maybe that’s what matters.

Repaired towel - front

Repaired towel - back

However it turns out, this towel is, as it was before, ready to sop up any tea I may slop.


One Comment

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  1. Ria / May 11 2012 8:44 am

    I think the patches of sashiko stitching really give the towel a touch of personality. I like it!

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