June 3, 2023 | Source: NPR | by Ravenna Koenig
When Arounna Khounnoraj was growing up, her family didn’t have much money, and her mother, a seamstress, made and mended Khounnoraj’s clothes. “I remember when she would mend the clothes, she would make them very invisible because there was this association with shame, with wearing clothes that had holes and things [that] were mended,” she says. “Kids would tease you because they would be like, ‘You can’t afford a new pair of jeans.'”
Today, Khounnoraj, a Canadian fiber artist, mends her own clothes. But not in the way her mother did. Instead of trying to hide the repairs, she fixes in a style known as “visible mending,” where you use noticeable threads, fabrics and decorative techniques to show off your mend.
Visible mending is having a moment. A flurry of “how-to” books have been published in the last five years (including one by Khounnoraj), and social media has become a hub for sharing mending ideas that emphasize artistic flair and self-expression.