Visible Mending: Embracing Radical Embroidery

Embroidery is our favourite way of mending. As well as immediately creating a unique piece of clothing, it's good for the planet and good for your health. What's not to like? This week's blog will be exploring all about needlecraft and its growing popularity.

Visible Mending

Visible mending is a term that we use absolutely loads here at Lana and it means exactly what you'd expect, repairing something in a way that you can see. For a lot of clothes, a hole in the material can see them instantly relegated to the charity shop or worse still, the bin. However, maybe we should choose to see a hole as an opportunity to be creative.


The ancient art of Kitsugi, actually adds value to broken items. In Japan, when treasured pottery gets broken, the cracks are fixed with gold, creating beautiful surface patterns. These patterns serve as a reminder of the item's history and the memories that it has been part of. So why not with clothes?


Funnily enough we can turn to Japan again to look at the art of Sashiko embroidery. This skill is very popular with beginners, because it is so simple to learn. Clothes are patched and sewn with thick string and a simple running stitch. The traditional colours used in this technique were always indigo and blue, but now the thick unstranded thread, is available in any colour you can imagine.

Of course, for the more proficient the sky is the limit! From a dainty ribbon rose, to a palm sized masterpiece, whatever the hole, embroidery can cover it. Whilst the thought of eradicating the fast fashion market is probably a little unrealistic, small acts like embroidery, rally quietly against it, in more ways than one. Of course, mending clothes ends the throwaway fashion mentality, but more than that it offers people a way of wearing something totally unique. The homogenised high street just can't offer personalisation in the same way that small brands and consumers themselves can.

Slow it Down

The last huge benefit to embroidery is, perhaps surprisingly, the good it can do for your mental well being. In an age where adults spend around 9 hours a day online, a chance to put down your phone, turn away from a screen and concentrate on something enjoyable and productive is a rare and wonderful thing. Embroidery encourages us to slow down in the same way that meditation does - just in a way that's much more accessible to those who are prone to fiddling!

If any of this has made you feel like you might want to give embroidery a try then get in touch with us! We're currently gathering interest to see if workshops are something we should hold this summer. Whether you fancy a workshop or not, before you throw away your next 'holey' garment, remember the immortal words of Vivienne Westwood,

“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”