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On Mending: Stories of Damage and Repair by Celia Pym

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Watch the wonderful film of our event to celebrate the launch of Celia's book! Now on our YouTube channel

Celia Pym has taught her wonderful mending and repair techniques at Loop for many years and we are so delighted to have her book in the shop! 

On Mending is a collection of ten stories of damaged garments – plus a rug and two backpacks – Celia mended in the last fifteen years. The stories record who the item belonged to, how it was damaged, how it was mended and where it is now.

A fascinating insight into the work of a pre-eminent craftsperson, On Mending was inspired by Pym's experience of hearing intimate stories from people's lives, of loss and love, as a result of mending the holes in their clothes. Not a ‘how-to’ book, this is rather an in-depth look into the damage that we do, as manifested by our outer layers, our clothes.

“Darning is small acts of care,” she says, “and paying close attention.”

“Mending work builds on what is left behind. It’s not replacing, remaking, or cutting apart and putting back together, instead, it is slow work that makes things better. It conjures an unhurried recovery or change. In textiles, the act of mending wear-and-tear, thinning cloth or accidental damage builds on what already exists, anchoring threads and yarn into the robust healthy fabric and filling in the holes or reinforcing the areas that are weak” – she writes.

About Celia

The artist Celia Pym lives and works in London and has been exploring damage and repair in textiles since 2007. Working with garments that belong to individuals as well as items in museum archives, she has broad experience with stories of damage, from moth holes to accidents with fire.

She is an Associate Lecturer in Textiles at the Royal College of Art in London.