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 [cardigan] used to have heaps of holes and it still does but I’ve been slowly covering them up, over the years. I didn’t really choose [which holes to mend]. I guess I chose the biggest ones first, but my idea is that I’ll patch them eventually… I thought of doing knit[ted patches], but it just take ages! So I thought, you know ‘screw that’, (laughs) so I just did one. For the others I used fabric and then I ran out of this one type of fabric..."
Wellington, New Zealand - March 2013
Photograph by Aliscia Young