Reweaving 2

I received a question yesterday on what exactly IS reweaving and I realized that most people wouldn't know the answer to that. Silly me! When I first started reweaving I found that everyone I told about my new job had no idea what it was. That's because it's a dying art form. In the United States there are only a small number of firms that continue to practice it. This size becomes smaller as time goes on because, as I stated yesterday, it's impossible to find people who are willing to learn it and also because there still remains this feeling of a close guarded secret. When I first started reweaving the other weavers at my firm DID NOT want to teach me anything!
Reweaving is a loose term covering four different types of invisible repair to garments. 1) French weaving, sometimes called thread weaving 2) Inweaving, sometimes called piece weaving 3) Stoting and 4) Reknitting. Supposedly as history goes (and this is quite sketchy) There was once a young handmaiden for a queen in France. She accidently put a hole in the queens favorite dress. The queen was so livid she locked the handmaiden into a room with the dress and told her she couldn't come out till she made the hole disappear. Well the handmaiden cried and wailed and was in great despair but realized that she had to figure something out if she ever wanted to get out of that room. So after much trial and error she discovered a way to reweave the fabric over the hole and made the queens dress as good as new! This art form was closely guarded over the years and the master craftsmen themselves would only teach others in their family. It was passed down generation after generation and very few if any would teach anyone outside the families.
This is not your classic drycleaning repair where the seamstress throws the garment on the sewing machine and zigzags over the tear. This is not darning. These are all repairs that are done to garments that make the damage close to invisible. It can be extremely tedious and time consuming. The satisfaction is amazing though. I can't tell you how many times people would come into my shop and just be in awe over the repairs. I have had people cry, hug me and buy me flowers and bathsalts and lottery tickets, etc. There are many a cherished item out there and people can feel quite attatched to them.
Now most of these repairs are too difficult for me to teach you how to do them over the internet but there are a few methods that are not so hard and would still be of great value in everyday repairs. Over the next few days I will try to draw up a few diagrams and also take a few pictures of the tools I used to give you an peek at this fascinating art.
I know when I closed my shop it was a relief. It was extemely hard work mainly because there were SO MANY people begging me constantly to help them. I was never out of work and most times I was so overloaded that my repairs would run 8 to 12 weeks out. I must admit though that at times I miss it. Talk about a tactile dream! I would sit with piles of cashmere sweaters on my lap. Rich woolens and lovely silks surrounded me. I don't think I will ever get over the satisfaction I would feel when completing a job and seeing the look of amazement on a customers face.
2 comments on "Reweaving 2"
  1. I came here from your interesting comments on Needled... I am really sad to hear that reweaving is dying out and super excited that you are going to share some of your insights about it here on your blog!
    ~ Felix

  2. I knew someone once that worked with other women repairing persian rugs...they used to sit around and talk all day while they worked, sounded nice. Thanks for your music suggestion on my blog.

    I love repairing anyway...it's satisfying.