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.
"This is a tank top that I bought a long time ago, in my early teenage years and you can see it’s well worn, it has some stains. It’s getting very thin. It’s kind of unique and it has all these trims… I added [the blue] because it started to wear really thin… to get holes here in between… so I used the stitching as a way to patch it back together and hold everything. You can see it’s growing more holes in between but that was kind of a way to add something to it and to help hold it back together."
New York - January 2013
Photograph by Ellinor Stigle