D is for Darning


Darning is a sewing technique used to repair holes or worn areas on fabric.  It can also be done on knitted and crocheted things too.  Usually, it is done by hand, but can also be done by machine.

Darning consists of anchoring the thread in the fabric on the edge of the hole and carrying it across the gap. It is then anchored on the other side, usually with a running stitch or two.  This is a simple over-and-under weaving of the threads.

Belgian darning,  which is fine darning attempts to make the repair as invisible and neat as possible. Often the hole is cut into a square or the darning blends into the fabric.The use of fancy weaves, such as twills, chevrons, etc., is achieved by skipping threads in regular patterns.

Invisible darning is the epitome of this attempt at restoring the fabric to its original integrity. Threads from the original weaving are unraveled from a hem or seam and used to effect the repair. Invisible darning is appropriate for extremely expensive fabrics and items of apparel.

In machine darning, lines of machine running stitch are run back and forth across the hole, then the fabric is rotated and more lines run at right angles. This is a fast way to darn, but it cannot match the effects of fine darning

I learned to darn when I was quite young.  I still have the darning egg that was my grandmother’s.  It has proven to be very handy in repairing sweaters, hats, and scarfs for the kids over the years.



Pattern Darning




Using a darning egg.




Sweater Darning




My Darning Egg



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