Today the fast fashion industry is revolved around consuming; buying and throwing away at the same rate. A family in the western world throws away an average of 30kg of clothing every year. Molly Martin is very aware of the problems associated with fast fashion, which is why she taught herself to repair clothes instead of throwing them away. Repairing is important to Molly, as it represents a whole mindset that rejects wastefulness and respects the effort put into making a garment.
Molly is now a professional textile repairer, specialising in delicate fabric restoration and traditional Japanese sashiko repair. Sashiko is a different process from darning, which requires wool to weave a bridge over the hole. For sashiko repair – you have to take a cut patch or spear piece of cloth and sew it directly onto the damage in question. Molly discovered this technique whilst repairing delicate dresses for the slow fashion company Egg. She was often sent very delicate and expensive outfits with large gashes or tears in all sorts of places. Inspired by sashiko repair, she realised that if she patched the tears from behind with a similar fabric and then applied repetitive stitches over the top of the worn cloth – it would reinforce the damage as well as close the tear or hole. It also created a lovely, delicate effect.
If you would like to learn how to repair clothing using beautiful hand-stitching techniques, Molly is giving a workshop in September. Participants will be invited to bring their most beloved and broken garments to repair. During the class Molly will share her extensive knowledge on the history of repair and discuss the mindful and meditative aspects derived from these ancient practices.
"Nothing is finished, nothing is perfect and nothing lasts" - A Japanese proverb