We repair merino aka like new again

06.02.2019

 

Did your ring catch a thread in your merino clothing and now you’ve got a run? Has your crawling baby worn a hole on the knees of its trousers? Did your pet get a hold of your balaclava?

Don’t worry – your clothing can still serve you well even if it seems impossible at the moment.

There are several ways of repairing clothing, and it mainly depends on the extent of the damage.

 

You have two options:

1. Repair the piece yourself.

2. Have us repair the piece.

 

 

If you’re not comfortable with a needle in hand, don’t hesitate to contact us if we’ve made the specific merino garment, i.e. if we’re talking about the Crawler brand. We support sustainable (eco, slow) fashion, so don’t worry – we surely won’t ever refuse these services. We repair clothing on a regular basis and our customer service department is here to go through all the details with you. In the end, it always depends on mutual agreement. Together, we look for the alternative that fits your budget and is most effective for you and the given piece of clothing.

Some defects can be fixed at home by you or a handy grandmother or aunt. In these cases, you can purchase our repair kit, which includes small and large merino patches and matching threads.

Below, we’ll show you how to tackle repairs at home. Don’t worry – just jump right in.

 

But first, let’s show you a few examples of the most common repairs that we are faced with from our customers.

  • Using a sewing machine to sew patches onto worn trousers

  • Replacing a damaged cuff

  • Repurposing an infant bodysuit into a t-shirt once a baby no longer uses a nappy

  • Repurposing an infant bodysuit into a t-shirt once a baby no longer uses a nappy

  • Covering a stain or small hole with a reflective patch

  • And many other individual adjustments and repairs

 

 

Now, let’s look at the possibility of repairing clothing yourself. All you need is a needle, thread or the Crawler repair kit, and your time and patience.

 

1. Patching up trouser knees, shirt elbows and other worn areas by hand.

This repair is the most time- and skill-demanding, but the result is definitely worth it. Our repair kit has two pairs of patches – one pair is smaller in size (e.g. elbow patches), and the other pair is larger (e.g. knee patches) and matching thread. Patches are already edged with the overlock stitch, so you don’t have to worry about the merino tearing or fraying. All you have to do is sew them onto the damaged areas by hand.

Choose a finer needle that you can hold well. The key is to select a matching thread, so if you don’t have our repair kit, choose the shade of thread in a haberdashery by placing the thread on the product. If the change is to be is to be as inconspicuous as possible, the shade of thread must be as similar to the repaired piece and patch as possible.

First, catch the run. Use the instructions in point 2, remembering that this work will be hidden under the patch, so you don’t need to pull your hair out over how perfect it is.

Place the patches on the damaged spot and, if you’re sewing on a pair, carefully measure out the position so that the patches are equally placed on both knees/elbows. Pin the patches down so they stay in place.

 

Photo: Crawler Archive

 

Position the knot on the thread (already threaded through the needle) between the patch and the pant leg. Sew it on with the so-called back stitch, which replaces the sewing machine’s straight stitch. To keep the sewing straight, you can use the middle line of the overlock hem as a guide (see the photo below). The stitching can also serve as a template for the length of the stitches, so that you don’t rush and don’t extend your stitches unnecessarily. Sew every stitch at a length of about 3 mm – then the sewing will be almost invisible.

 

 

After piercing the face of the patch, take the needle one stitch back, stick it into the underside and come out again on the face above the patch 3 mm further from the previous punch, all in one step. Keep going back and forth. Don’t tighten the thread in order to keep the stitches of the sewed on patch as flexible as possible.

 

 

Continue to stitch around the entire patch and secure with knots at the end.

 

 

2. Stitching runs by hand

All you need is a needle and thread (ideally polyester thread since cotton does not have the necessary strength). Choose the length and thickness of the hand needle so that you can hold it well and so that you’re able to pick up the loops of knit (i.e. ideally a needle of medium thickness).

Then, think back to the time when the previous generation had a darning mushroom. Today, if a sock has a hole, we usually throw it out, but there was a time that darning was used to repair them. If your grandmother is handy, she’s sure to know what you’re talking about if you ask. This technique requires a bit of skill, but don’t worry – follow the instructions and you’re sure to succeed.

A hole in a thicker winter merino knit. Photo: Crawler Archive

 

Try to match the thread as much as you can so that the stitching is not visible. Make a knot at the end of it and see how the row pattern runs in the knit. Take the needle and thread and follow along the arrows, just as is shown below.

Sew in the direction of the arrows. Photo: Crawler Archive

 

Pass the needle in the middle between the fibres, i.e. neither from the front (that would be ugly), nor from the back, but as if in between the layer. It comes easily with a heavy weight wool; on the other hand, with a year-round wool, there probably be some stitching visible to the eye. If you don’t like the result of your work, you can always hide it under e.g. different types of sew-on or iron-on patches, etc.

Create a grid that strengthens the entire area around the hole. The darning can really end up being invisible. It’s important not to tighten the thread and thus all of the material together. Rather, darn the entire area and surroundings loosely.

And the result? With careful work, it’s as good as new.

Stitched. Photo: Crawler Archive

 

3. Ironing on a reflective element or another “iron-on”

This repair method is suitable for stains, small holes on a thin weight merino, and usually for those that are not comfortable using a needle.

Reflective elements or other iron-on pieces can be purchased at a haberdashery or stationery shop, and you’ll appreciate their versatility for many other repairs – not just merino. You’ll also add a safety feature to the garment.

The iron-on patch “catches” the run and strengthens the area around the hole. We recommend “backing up” the hole from the backside of the garment. You can use, e.g. adding a few drops of textile glue, hand stitching or another iron-on patch.

 

We’ll be hiding a marker spot that can’t be washed out. Photo: Crawler Archive

 

Always iron according to the instructions on the reflective elements!

Take a wooden cutting board and parchment paper. Heat your iron to 1-2 dots (the “wool” setting). Place the garment on the cutting board and place the patch on the hole. Position it so that the patch covers the hole and the immediate surrounding area. Take your time and think about the position and turn on the iron only once you’ve decided. "Look before you leap". Cover the patch with the parchment paper, place the tip of the iron on it and apply gentle pressure to iron on the patch. Remove the protective film only after it has cooled and then, together with the parchment paper, iron over it again. Reflective patches hold on very well to merino (thanks to the hairs).

 

Ironing result. Photo: Crawler Archive

 

If your merino garment has a larger unwashable stain, we recommend colouring it with wool dye. We’ve already dealt with this issue in detail in the following article. If you follow the instructions, you’re sure to do a good job!

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