How To… mend socks.

Mending socks was a common practice until recently. Simply, the tools for mending and the few minute spent working were costing far less than a new pair of socks, especially in the days when you had to knit new socks yourself.

Now it’s very cheap to replace socks, but I find that certain skills shouldn’t die just because they aren’t needed every day. Maybe your son chews his way through so many football socks that you’re starting to spend a small fortune on them. Maybe you have a pair of favourite socks you want to keep forever. Maybe you just want to stretch another few days or weeks of life out of a pair. However it is, learning to mend socks can prove valuable one day.

1: Ball.

To properly mend a sock you will need a ball to use to replicate the stretching cause by a foot. For adults, tennis balls and boules balls work well, for children baseballs and marble eggs and for young children pingpong and bouncing balls. You want to drop the ball to the heel of the sock or where the ball of the foot rests whenever you are mending an area near these spots.

2: Stitches.

When there is just a small tear or hole in a sock, try stitching it. Pick a fine wool in the sock’s colour, get a wide-eyed needle and turn the sock inside out. Carefully stitch the two sides together without leaving much of a hem, as you don’t want the sock to be itchy. Then turn the sock around to make sure the stitching is solid.

3: Darning.

When some layers of sock, usually at the heel and ball of the foot, have worn clear through you will need to darn them. When darning always put the weight of your ball very near or right in the spot you are mending. Get a fine wool in the sock’s colour and a wide-eyed needle. You want the sock the right way round Place the ball and make your first safety stitch, so the wool doesn’t loosen. Then sew some bars across the hole. After that, either vertically weave another row of bars between the horizontal ones or weave some bars diagonally both ways between the horizontal ones.

If you want to match the texture of the sock, observe this video:

4: Patches.

Finally, when someone routinely wears out a certain spot of their socks, you mat want to consider putting patches in them. A felt patch inside the area or a tarp or canvas patch outside it will reinforce it, hide unsightly wear and make the sock last much longer.

And that is how to mend socks.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What clothing items do you always try and mend? What ones do you wish you knew how to mend?

7 thoughts on “How To… mend socks.

  1. I’m not a sock mender, but I do see darning eggs at the big chain fabric store, in the notions aisle, if that’s something you’d like to do – and you’d like to do it on a smooth wooden egg, rather than a fuzzy tennis ball. 🙂 Just FYI because not everyone goes to the fabric stores.

    I might do this if I knit the socks from scratch or if DH wore out one spot on his socks… but he wears them evenly enough that when a hole happens, it’s more than past time to get rid of the socks. They make amazing polishing rags though, if they’re woolen.

    None of this applies to cheap cotton socks. Except the bit about being good for polishing things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the heads up! I’m finding it harder and harder to get traditional sewing equipment anywhere other than online. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a button needle (u bend curve, 2″ either way from the bend, wide eye), but they’re great for reattaching buttons on sofas, large coats and leather. I guess people are expected to just buy a new sofa? :p


      • Really? I see those in the fabric store, and I have one in my kit. Randomness in the sewing box, it was in a packet of utility needles, two big button needles, a leather needle, a few others. I think it was a few dollars for the pack? You would be surprised what is available – the store in question is a big chain store, not a niche shop. I am forever seeing things in there that I say, “Oh! How useful!”

        Although, fwiw, I hear that the online sewing stores are much cheaper. Dunno, my chain shop is 5 min away, so I usually just go there, since I don’t want to wait.

        BTW check out etsy (or comparable in Britain) for homemade things. I get some lovely things there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • They’re definitely cheaper. I’m also getting into wowcher and the likes for further deals. 🙂

        The issue I have with etsy is that I see something and say “oh, I could make that” and forget how much time I actually have to make things! :p


      • I am wearing a *beautiful* vintage leather belt that I scored on etsy for $20. I’ve gotten purses there (don’t recommend vintage leather purses, the leather ages poorly), I have a rug, and I’ve gotten some dear little wool felted ornaments for my BFF… I *love* etsy. It’s great to be able to support small business (putting my money where my mouth is) and get cool stuff. Weirdly, it’s often less expensive than stuff at the mall, which makes my head hurt a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

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