All images (c) Collingwood-Norris.
Knitwear designer Flora Collingwood-Norris offers a visible mending service for jumpers from her small studio in the Scottish Borders. At the start of her career Flora worked freelance in the knitwear industry, creating pieces for clients including Christopher Kane, Jasper Conran, William Chambers and House of Holland, before setting up her own label, Collingwood-Norris, in 2016. The label sells sweaters, blankets and accessories made from natural fibres. Passionate about reducing her environmental impact, Flora added the bespoke, visible mending and darning service to her knitwear retail business. The service brings old jumpers back to life with creative repairs to fix holes, cover stains, reinforce elbows and turn knitwear into something unique.
Flora uses a variety of techniques, including swiss darning, scotch darning and micro-weaves. For those interested in taking on their own repairs and developing their darning skills, Flora offers a range of video and downloadable guides, including ‘How to darn with micro weave patterns,’ with different multicoloured weave structures. She offers these tips to anyone new to the practice:
“Use materials that are suitable for the item you’re mending. If it’s a fine knit, don’t use a thick yarn for example, and if it’s a chunky knit, don’t use yarn that’s too thin (you can always double up thing yarn to make it thicker). Ideally, you want to use a yarn that’s the same thickness as the piece you’re repairing. Try to match fibre types too- so use wool if it’s a wool sweater. I often get asked about using embroidery thread for mending. I don’t really recommend this for wool knitwear- it will never blend in to the fabric. My mends are designed to be seen, but they feel the same or similar to the pieces I’m mending, so they are sympathetic to the repaired piece. Embroidery thread is great for jeans, maybe T-shirts (as you can easily separate the strands), or cotton knits.”
For more information about the Collingwood-Norris Visible Mending Service visit www.collingwoodnorrisdesign.com