Reweaving & Reknitting

This Christmas when D's family came to visit my MIL brought along a sweater from her cousin in Paris. She asked if I could repair it for her as she had snagged the sleeve with a bracelet and created three holes. I jumped at the chance.

I know this sounds crazy, since I did wear myself thin with it, but I MISS reknitting and reweaving. Especially reknitting. I absolutely love taking someones treasure that has somehow been damaged and making it like new again. I love watching the holes disappear. The piece becoming 'whole' again. I still find the whole art fascinating even after all these years and love being able to do it.

Unfortunately for me, since I am in France I dont see a way of ever putting my craft into practice again. It seems that even when I use the french word for it 'stoppage' no one here has ever even heard of it. ON top of that D says he has never heard of a business sending piece work out to people. When I had my own business in Seattle I was sent clothing from the department stores and customers referred to me on a regualr basis. I guess the department stores here dont do that sort of thing. With my level of french being abysmal there is no way I could work outside of the home with customers.

I really wish I could figure out a way to be able to do this once again, if only in a limited manner. I would love to accept peoples work from the US but have no idea how to get the word out even. It's not like I could sell this craft in a markeplace. The thing is I KNOW there are people out there right now who would be thrilled to find someone like me. I cant even tell you how many times someone came into my shop in Seattle and said 'Thank God I found you!' What I did was a dying art...and much treasured by those who need it!

I once repaired an antique cat doll that had fallen off the shelf and been mangled by the lady's dog. She came in desperate, in tears, telling me her mother was coming to visit. See, the cat was given to her by her mother, valued at over $12,000 and her mother had a heart condition. She was afraid when her mother saw it she would have a heart attack! I took old fake fur and tea dyed it. Then distressed it with sand paper and wove the fabric over the holes, reconstructing several portions of the head. I can't even explain how good it felt to see the look of relief on that womans face! That was what kept me going in that crazy non-stop business.

I don't miss the grind. I dont miss the unbelievable CRUSH of work. Sometimes I was so overloaded I couldnt move in my shop. I do miss that joy though, of knowing I fixed something precious to someone.
5 comments on "Reweaving & Reknitting"
  1. In case you move closer to the German border, you might be able to find new customers. Reweaving is so expensive! J's suit had 2 small moth holes, and I inquired about reweaving, it would have been half a suit's worth. So J gave me the suit for quilting and bought a new one.

  2. Diane, could you offer your services to a museum that specializes in textiles? Or to a shop that sells vintage clothing? Are there such shops in France? Just a thought.

    Hoping you and your husband hear an answer soon to his possible new job!


  3. NO...........If you repair all those lovely cashmere and wool sweaters, I won't be able to find them in my thrift shops ;-) . Just kidding..I think I saw a lady on Etsy who does just what you are talking about.

  4. I've not lived in France but spent 5 years in Northern Italy... (at one point I was an hour's drive from Nice)... most small clothing shops will offer a service where they alter things when you buy new... but you will find small shops where you can get a zip replaced or other alterations done... try asking in dry cleaning shops... or look for shops that sell fabric & / or wool... ask your MIL to talk to friends etc... they do get clothes repaired
    & altered but usually they use the 'little old lady' in some back street that you can't find without directions...:)

    I can understand you problem I didn't speak much Italian to begin with... I ended up teaching English...

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