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How to darn clothes by hand with a darning mushroom | Darning instructions for beginners

In this blog you can learn step by step how to darn a hole in your clothes. We will explain how to use a darning egg or darning mushroom. You will learn what materials you’ll need and how to use them.

Which materials do you need to darn your clothes?

2. Mending thread

Universal mending thread is always a good option. These threads are specicially developed for mending and typically stronger then other yarns and can be washed at higher temperatures. If you like you can also use other threads. In that case it is best to use a thread that’s as close as possible to the type of material used to create the clothes.

3. Needle. The type of needle depends on your project

For knitwear like sweaters and socks we like to use blunt darning needles.

For very open woven knitwear we like to use our jumbo darning needles.

We like to use our short Sashiko needles when darning a tight woven cloth. They are strong enough to deal with thicker fabrics and come with a big enough eye for the darning threads.

4. Scissors

A pair of embroidery scissors is always handy for cutting your yarn.

How to use a darning mushroom

Step 1

how to use a darning mushroom step 1

Put the darning mushroom under the hole in your fabric.

Step 2

Stretch the fabric around the darning mushroom with a piece of elastics.

Step 3

how to use a darning mushroom step 3

Create horizontal lines of stitches over your hole. Insert the needle about 1.5 cm (~1/2″) before the hole begins and stitch to 1.5 cm (~1/2″)  beyond the hole.

Step 4

Then repeat this stitch going in the opposite direction. Make sure that you stitch 1.5 cm (~1/2″) beyond the edges of the hole on both sides to ensure that the hole is well covered. You have now set up the ‘warp threads’ of your mending project.

Secure the end of your thread on the edge of your warp threads.

Step 5

how to use a darning mushroom step 5

Create a grid by adding vertical lines. Weave the thread or yarn through the horizontal stitches. Insert your needle under the first stitch. Then, weave the thread or yarn over the next stitch. Keep going to the end of the row.

Step 6

how to use a darning mushroom step 6

With your fingers, push the thread to the edge of your warp threads (the vertical threads). You can also use the needle to push the threads.

Step 7

Weave back in the opposite direction. Don’t pull too tight as this may cause your warp threads to move inwards.

Step 8

how to use a darning mushroom step 8

Keep weaving back and forward until you have filled all the space of your warp threads.

Our sample mend is a bit open woven. If you prefer a more dense repair you can add more threads.

Visible mending tips to darn stitch as a pro

  • Do not pull on the thread or yarn to tighten the stitches. Doing this will cause puckering.
  • Try to create the same weave tightness as the garment you are darning. For example, if you are darning a loose knit, then the stitches will need to be somewhat spaced out. If you are darning a tight knit, then the stitches will need to be tight.
  • Darn your clothes with a thread that is close to the materials used to make your garment. So a woolen sock is best fixed with wool, and a cotton shirt is best fixed with cotton thread.

Frequently asked questions about darning

What makes a Speedweave darning loom quicker than a mending mushroom?2023-02-19T21:18:18+01:00

What makes a Speedweave darning loom quicker than a mending mushroom?

A Speedweave darning loom gives a similar result than a mending mushroom. But the Speed weaver loom works much quicker as it comes with handy metal hooks. The hooks move your threads up and down making it easier to guide your needle through the vertical threads.

With a classic mending mushroom or darning egg you have to move your needle up and down through the vertical lines. But with the Speedweave darning loom the hooks help to move half of the threads up and the other half down.

Read our blog for more information about darning with a Speedweave darning loom

Do you need a special needle for darning?2022-12-04T21:31:08+01:00

Do you need a special needle for darning?

The type of needle you’ll need depends on the mending project. It is handy to use a special needle for darning.

For mending knitted sweaters or socks, you can best use darning needles with a bended blunt tip. Jumbo needles for projects with thicker yarn, and regular darning needles for projects with a regular thickness.

If you are mending a tighter knitted or woven project you will prefer to use sharp ended Sashiko needles.

What is better a darning egg or darning mushroom?2022-12-04T21:32:10+01:00

What is better a darning egg or darning mushroom?

Our darning mushroom is better for most darning projects than a darning egg. The broad curvature of the surface is not so abruptly as with a typical egg. It fits just right inside a sock.

Why use a darning mushroom or egg?2022-12-04T21:30:23+01:00

Why use a darning mushroom or egg?

Darning eggs and mushrooms help to stretch your fabric. Especially when you’re darning a hole in a knitted fabric or other fabric with stretch (like in your socks, sweater or stretching jeans) a darning mushroom is superhandy. When you use a darning mushroom your fabric will stay evenly stretched while mending. It prevents the final mend to distort and helps to get an evenly woven piece.

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