The Art of Reweaving

This swatch is on the reverse side of a very lovely vintage skirt. You are looking at one of the best examples of reweaving I’ve ever seen.

Here is the front of the same section of the skirt. Don’t bother looking for the mends as they are completely invisible. Reweaving is one of those skills that sounds simple to acquire, but is, in fact, quite difficult to do properly. I know because I’ve tried, with varying success. I would never attempt to reweave such a complicated and finely woven plaid.

In this enlargement you can better see how the reweaver used a needle to replicate the pattern. And in the center is the hole. Reweaving is still practiced today, but be prepared to pay for the service. This is highly skilled  work.

And here’s the suit, part of the collection at Style and Salvage, a local vintage business. I love visiting and watching them work because there is always something new to see and to learn.

I can see why the original owner had this suit repaired. It is a great set, and she bought it at Miller’s, THE department store in Knoxville, Tennessee. And this was during the time that people did not see their clothing as being disposable. Repairs were considered part of the upkeep of nice things.

The curve of the collar is repeated in the pockets.

I’m not familiar with the maker, Elynor, but a trip to the trademark site told me the company first used the name in 1927. It was one of the many quality suit makers in the New York Garment District.

Stroock was, as the label clearly proclaims, a fine woolen cloth manufacturer. The history of the company dates back to 1866 as a maker of blankets of fine fibers including cashmere and vicuna.

Thanks to Mel and Jeff at Style and Salvage for allowing me to share this great suit.


Filed under Curiosities, manufacturing, Sewing

28 responses to “The Art of Reweaving

  1. lauriebrown54

    My mother bought the reweaving course back in the 60s, figuring she could make some money. She never did get the hang of it, which is weird because she could do anything with threads-sew, embroider, crochet, knit.. I still have it around here somewhere I think. Future reweavers are going to be screwed now that everything is done on a serger w/ no seam allowances left!


  2. allisonthrifts

    Amen to the skill of reweavers! In our book, ThriftStyle, we have a section on reweaving, and visit Alex Reweaving on Pico in Los Angeles, where its patient employees make cashmere and wool whole again.


  3. Truly Impressive, thanks for sharing. Even if it may be an expensive servire, it is still reasonable for quality items and considering the skill and time needed


  4. I’d never thought about reweaving, though I remember the ads (esp. for the reweaving course in a previous comment). Beautiful suit.


  5. jacq staubs

    Wow! Have always been mesmerized by this art. It is almost obsolete ? Always worth the expense to save an object of appreciation . As most will attest – it is worth every cent.


  6. Isn’t that incredible! Don’t think I could ever be that meticulous. Thanks for sharing!


  7. Makes my heart sing! Just wonderful!


  8. Mary

    There used to be a woman in Pittsburgh who did reweaving. She repaired a glen plaid dress that I cut a big slice into. You absolutely could not spot the repair. And she hid where she stole the threads from to do it. What made it more amazing was that she had terribly deformed hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What an incredible job they did! Utter perfection.

    The course the other commenters mention!?Where can I find it? I would love to learn this skill properly (as opposed to my self-taught, inconsistent darning). Right up my alley. Wonder if I could do it? Really want to find out.


  10. I appreciate this, and thank you. Next to the local library branch, a very old lady owned a business where she did reweaving. She really wanted to train someone to buy the business, and in an alternate universe, I would be that lady. But I just didn’t want to spend my life on a stool with a microscope fixing other people’s mistakes. She died, the business died with her, her kids sold the building, it’s a four story ugly apartment building, same old story. She did say “Maybe it’s a good thing this dies with me. Maybe it’s not. This isn’t your burden”.
    I am still sad about it. There are plenty of choices I’ve made in my life, but this one…
    And yes, she had permanently cramped hands.


  11. Invisible weaving repairs were especially necessary in the era of cigarette burns. I remember my mother coming home from a party and discovering a black hole in the back of her favorite suit…. I wonder if she used the French Re-weavers whose sign I saw almost daily.


  12. jean fletccher

    I was asked to repair an area on a mans sports jacket that had a hole. I did not have the threads the jacket was made of but used a combination of sewing thread colors together in the needle to create the LOOK of the original pattern. Other than just a little puckering it was unnoticeable. He was happy so I was too.


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