To repair a garment and keep it in active service is to practice the skill of user-ship. It calls upon human senses to diagnose what needs to be done and the right emotional tone to carry it through. Stitching, darning, patching and remodelling oversee a subtle shift in the power relations associated with garments: for the work of mending, unlike the world of production, is about people not machines.
"I’m wearing some ripped jeans that I bought at the thrift shop. They started ripping, so I started sewing them myself. I usually don’t sew; I’ve never learned to sew. I really like the fit of the pants that’s why I decided to fix them, so that the rest of my leg wasn’t showing. But the knee area likes to bend and crease. The reason why it ripped is because the knee starts to put the pressure on the pants… just leaving the knees open allows that flexibility and range of motion."
San Francisco - July 2012
Photograph by Paige Green
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