This lovely wool dress came to us in good condition except for the occasional moth hole. This can happen over time when wool clothing is not stored properly, and although it can be a real bummer to find a hole in the vintage sweater you just picked up, it can be repaired quite easily!

Image c/o The Guardian

The first method is a simple darning which works best for small holes or larger holes in inconspicuous places. Firstly, the fabric is pulled taught over a wood darning mushroom or lacking that, a tea cup, or if you're a lap mender like me, a bowl placed over the knee works well too! Using the closest colour of thread you can find, start by weaving in one direction, going under and over as many remaining fibers as possible, then when you reach the end of the hole, as in figure 4, start going the other direction until you have a solid weave as in figure 5. The tighter the weave and the more even you can weave, the better!

Before and After Mending

The result is seldom perfect, but can often be close enough to fool the casual observer, and impress those with a keen eye for detail. 

Weaving to mend a hole

For holes that are too large to mend this way without puckering the fabric, you can mend using the felting method. For this you'll need a wool felting needle and roving in a complimentary colour. You would then use the roving to fill the hole and the needle to make it in to a thick felt that will blend with the existing wool. A full tutorial can be found on

Even if you're not great at sewing, you'll never get any better without trying, and this is the type of project you can do, und-do, then re-do until you get satisfactory results!

Want to find this dress in store? It's too hot for wool just yet, so keep an eye out for it in the fall!