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Darning: a Complete Guide to Learn How to Darn Clothes With Hand and Machine Stitches (2024)

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what is darning in sewingDarning is a simple way to repair holes and tears in your clothes. In this guide, you’ll learn how to darn by hand and machine, with step-by-step instructions and photos.

Darning by hand

To darn by hand, you will need:

  • A needle
  • Thread that matches the color of your fabric
  • A piece of scrap fabric
  • A thimble (optional)
  1. Place the hole or tear in the center of the scrap fabric.
  2. Thread the needle with a double strand of thread.
  3. Bring the needle up through the fabric, just below the hole or tear.
  4. Go down through the hole or tear, and then back up through the scrap fabric.
  5. Continue to work in this manner, filling in the hole or tear with stitches.
  6. When you are finished, knot the thread and trim the excess.

Darning by machine

To darn by machine, you will need:

  • A sewing machine
  • A needle
  • Thread that matches the color of your fabric
  • A piece of scrap fabric
  1. Place the hole or tear in the center of the scrap fabric.
  2. Thread the needle with a double strand of thread.
  3. Set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch.
  4. Place the scrap fabric under the presser foot and start sewing.
  5. Continue to sew until the hole or tear is filled in.
  6. When you are finished, knot the thread and trim the excess.

Key Takeaways

  • Darning is a sewing technique used to repair holes or tears in fabric.
  • Darning uses a needle and thread to create a new patch of fabric over the damaged area.
  • Darning can be done by hand or with a sewing machine.
  • Darning can be used to repair a variety of fabrics, including cotton, wool, and denim.

What is Darning?

What is Darning
Darning is a technique for repairing holes in knitted or woven fabrics. It involves stitching new yarn into the fabric to create a patch that’s indistinguishable from the original fabric.

Darning is a traditional skill that has been around for centuries, and it’s still used today to repair damaged clothing.

Tools and Materials for Darning

Tools and Materials for Darning
To darn a hole, you’ll need 2 things:

  • The right tools:
    • A darning needle
    • Darning thread
    • A mending mushroom, darning egg, or darning gourd
  • The right materials:
    • A piece of fabric that matches the fabric you’re darning

How to Darn a Hole With Hand Darning Stitch

How to Darn a Hole With Hand Darning Stitch
With the darning needle and thread, start by weaving the thread through the hole in the fabric in a criss-cross pattern.

Once you have woven across the hole, continue to weave back and forth until you have filled in the entire area of damage. Make sure to pull each stitch tightly so that it blends seamlessly with surrounding fabric.

  • Use different types of darning needles depending on your needs – curved or straight.
  • Consider using a darning mushroom or egg to hold your fabric taut while you work.
  • If hand stitching isn’t an option, try using a sewing machine with zigzag stitches for quick repairs.

By following these steps and utilizing proper tools such as different types of darning needles, mushrooms or eggs, as well as knowing when to use hand-stitched techniques versus machine stitching can help ensure successful results when repairing holes in clothes through darns.

How to Darn a Hole With Machine Darning Stitch

How to Darn a Hole With Machine Darning Stitch
Now that you’ve learned how to darn a hole with a hand darning stitch, let’s explore how to achieve the same repair using a sewing machine. Machine darning can be faster and more efficient than hand darning, especially for larger or multiple holes.

Here are the steps to darn a hole with machine darning stitch:

  • Set your sewing machine to the appropriate settings: Adjust the speed and tension based on your fabric type and thread choice.
  • Select the correct needle: Choose a needle suitable for your fabric type.
  • Positioning: Place your garment under the presser foot of the sewing machine, ensuring that you start stitching just outside of where you want to mend.
  • Straight tear darning stitch: Use this stitch setting on your sewing machine as it closely mimics hand-darned stitches.

By following these instructions, you’ll be able to effectively repair holes in clothing using an efficient and precise method with your trusty sewing machine.

Straight Tear Darning Stitch

Straight Tear Darning Stitch
After learning how to darn a hole with a machine darning stitch, you can move on to the straight tear darning stitch.

This stitch uses a running stitch to prevent the unraveling of the fabric and creates a patch that lays flatter than a sewn in place patch.

Diagonal Darning Stitch

Diagonal Darning Stitch
To transition from the straight tear darning stitch, you can now learn how to use the diagonal darning stitch for repairing holes in your clothes. This stitch is a bit more difficult than the straight tear darning stitch, but it’s also more durable and less likely to show visible stitches on stretchy fabric or tight weaves.

Here are the steps on how to do the diagonal darning stitch:

  1. Thread your needle and knot the end.
  2. Insert the needle under the fabric at the top of the hole and bring it out at the bottom.
  3. Take a diagonal stitch across the hole, making sure to go under the same thread on the way back.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 until the hole is filled in.
  5. Weave in the ends of the thread.

Tips for Darning

Tips for Darning
After learning how to darn with the diagonal darning stitch, you can move on to other tips for darning:

  • Use a darning mushroom or other tool to hold the fabric taut.
  • Keep tension even so that the darned patch doesn’t pucker.
  • Darn in the round for a more seamless repair.
  • Darn with a sewing machine for a faster and more precise repair.
  • Darn a sweater with net darning for a more durable repair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between darning and mending?

Darning is a technique for repairing holes in fabric by stitching new yarn into the damaged area.

Mending, on the other hand, involves sewing a patch over the top of the hole.

Darning integrates better and prevents further unraveling.

What are the different types of darning stitches?

There are 3 main types of darning stitches:

  • The running stitch
  • The back stitch
  • The whip stitch

What are the best tools and materials for darning?

Darning is a skill that takes practice, but it’s well worth it to learn how to do it. With the right tools and materials, you can extend the life of your clothes and save money.

Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Choose a needle that is the same size as the thread you will be using.
  • Use a thread that is the same color as the fabric you are darning.
  • Start by making a small knot in the end of the thread.
  • Insert the needle under one of the threads in the fabric, then bring it back up through the fabric.
  • Repeat this process, making sure to keep the stitches close together.
  • When you reach the end of the hole, make a knot to secure the thread.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to darn like a pro!

How do I darn a hole in a sock?

To darn a hole in a sock, you’ll need:

  • A darning needle
  • Thread
  • A mending mushroom

First, place the mending mushroom under the hole in the sock.

Then, thread the needle and begin darning the hole, stitching back and forth in the same direction until the hole is covered.

How do I darn a hole in a sweater?

To darn a hole in a sweater, you’ll need:

  • A darning needle
  • Darning thread
  • A piece of scrap fabric

First, place the scrap fabric under the hole in the sweater.

Then, thread the needle with the darning thread and begin stitching back and forth across the hole, following the pattern of the knitting.

When you’re finished, knot the thread and trim the excess.

Conclusion

Darning is a simple way to repair holes and tears in your clothes. With a little practice, you can learn to darn by hand or machine, and keep your favorite garments looking new for years to come.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of sewingtrip.com, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.