Mend!: A Refashioning Manual and Manifesto

After decades of disposable fast fashion (and years of Kondo-ing), mending is trending, and Kate Sekules is here for the visible mending revolution. A British journalist, historian, vintage clothing junkie and avid mender, Sekules (The Boxer's Heart) delves into the scrap heap of mending's history in Mend! Training her keen eye on the practice through chapters titled "what," "why" and "where," Sekules unfolds a brief history of clothes and mending (chiefly focused on the now-industrialized West), followed by a quick rundown of the global fast fashion industry and its enormous abuses of both garment workers and the environment.

Having made her compelling case for avoiding overconsumption, Sekules moves on to the fun parts: "how, "when, "whether" and "which" to mend. These chapters are illustrated with photos of her own visible mends and advice on purchasing supplies, plus detailed diagrams of patches, various finishing methods and more than a dozen stitches. Mending, Sekules believes, should be proud and decorative, and she shares a broad range of simple techniques, from the humble (running stitch and backstitch) to the downright fancy (herringbone, feather stitch, couching). She also provides plenty of details on fabrics: stretch, weave, wearability, which ones go together and when to throw her advice out the window.

Both practical and political, with a directory of "menders" whose work Sekules reveres, Mend! is a slow-fashion manifesto, a DIY manual and an argument for adding a little flair to any old garment--either by necessity or just because. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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