Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mobile Mending

"His mending is not only about the clothes - it is about the community, the people in it, and his own needs to find comfort in a world that is so used to throwing things away

The Free Mending Library is an on-going project in San Francisco, run by artist Michael Swaine. He mends holes, alters garments and trades skills for free, using his mobile sewing unit, which resembles an ice-cream cart. This sturdy device has a beautiful old treadle-operated sewing machine mounted in the middle, an umbrella for shade, drawers stocked with an assortment of threads, needles and specially designed patches, and is emblazoned with a neon sign that flashes the word SEW.

He will be travelling the neighbourhoods of London, knocking on doors and offering to repair the holes in people's socks. While he is fixing socks he will ask the owners about how they move about the city and how they deal with holes. 'When I encounter people who darn themselves, I will ask to take some photos of socks they have darned, and perhaps ask them to sit and darn with me - even teaching me how their grandmother taught them.'"

Twisted Thread Newsletter 1.10.2008

For more about Michael Swaine and a short video showing him in action, see


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