In the current issue of Selvedge Issue 93 Rethink – and in the Community section of our site – we include a free tutorial from darning expert and knitwear designer, Hikaru Noguchi: How to do visible mending with Hikaru Noguchi. The lesson comes from Hikaru’s forthcoming book, Darning: Repair, Make, Mend which covers twelve darning techniques in detail with step-by-step instructions.
Over the past week or so, Hikaru has been demonstrating techniques including seed stitch, basket weave and honeycomb darning with live videos on her Instagram account, Hikaru Noguchi Design. Follow her there for announcements about when the next live lessons will be, and for pictures of her darning work.
Hikaru moved to England from Japan in 1989 to study constructed textiles, specialising in knit, having previously taken a degree in graphic design at Musashino Art University in her native Tokyo. Finding a measure of artistic freedom and stimulation in England which she had not found in Japan, she stayed on after completing her studies at Middlesex University to take up knitted textile design work, developing new and innovative textiles for furnishings, scarves, bags and garments. This direction led to her collaboration with British designers including Tom Dixon and projects for Barneys, Browns, Paul Smith women, Takashimaya New York and many other stores.
Hikaru's work has developed to mix texture, colour and hand knit qualities. With influences from traditional knit patterns and techniques, such as fair- isle, Aran, embroidery and stripe. Sources of inspiration are diverse, from flea markets all over the world to paintings of De Chirico. She seeks a look that is both sophisticated and quirky, achieved through unusual juxtapositions of colour and texture. Throughout, her fundamental theme is one of joie de vivre.
Hikaru's next Instagram Live session will be on 10 April, 22:00 Japanese time, 14:00 UK time, 15:00 European time, 9:00 NY time.
In the UK, you can buy darning materials, including limited edition Hikaru Noguchi darning mushrooms from Loop London.