Thoughts on mending


Several years ago, I brought a cardigan with me to work to mend on my lunch break. It had been on my to do list for ages, and I thought that sitting on the office balcony with a needle and thread would be a nice enough way to spend my break from work. A colleague asked me what I was doing, and when I told them they replied “OR you could just buy a new one?”.

I’m not sure why that stuck with me. Maybe because I still have that cardigan, which I’ve patched up a few more times since then. It did occur to me, and still does when I mend something, that my less-than-perfect, often visible stitches might make it look to others like I can’t afford to buy a shiny new replacement. But I think it more reflects that I have the luxury of time to fix rather than replace. It means that I have the skills, rudimentary as they are, to do a passable job. It means that I have the privilege to invest in something like a merino cardigan that’s worth repairing.

Probably though, no one really cares or notices, and that colleague was just making conversation. It still makes me happy to extend the lifetime of a faithful piece a bit longer.