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We know that every repair extends the lifespan of a garment significantly.

That's why we have selected a few useful techniques, tips and tricks which we hope will be of help when you want to repair your favourites. They are all marked with levels of difficulty. Go slow, have fun and ask us for help!


Do you need thread or spare parts for your garment repair? Get in touch and we'll be happy to send you what you need.


Would you like some more help?


We offer free repair on all HEKNE garments.

Our hope is that our garments are used so much that they are completely worn out in the end! And to make them last as much as possible, we offer free repairs on all HEKNE-garments no matter when they were bought and the reason for the damage.

If we need new parts for the repair, as for instance a zipper, we only charge you for this. Otherwise, all you have to do is make sure the garment is clean before sending it to us.


Swiss darning, or duplicate stitch, is ideal for reinforcing worn areas. The technique mimics the knitted stitch, so when done using the same thread as the garment it can be, if not completely invisible, a very discrete repair. The trick is to repair before the thread breaks. However, you might also use Swiss darning to mend small holes (see below).  ​ Swiss darning can also be used for decoration: add patterns and colours to your knitted garment or combine reinforcement with decorative, visible mending. ​ This is how: use a yarn with the same thickness as the body of the garment. Bring the needle up in the bottom of a stitch or "V". Follow the thread of the "V" behind the stitch above. Take the needle back to the bottom of the "V" where you started. Bring it up again in the bottom of the next stitch on the horizontal row.  ​ When you have theamount of stitches you want on the first row, you can move up to the row above: Finish your last stitch on the first row as normal, but instead of continuing horizontally, take the needle up one row and into the centre of the stitch you've just created (which is the bottom of the stitch above). Continue working horizontally in the other direction to finish the second row of stitches. ​ When in doubt of where to continue, follow the thread in the garment to get back on track. Rule of thumb: the needle should always go under two threads when working sideways and under one thread only when working upwards. Level: easy


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Swiss darning can also be used when the thread has broken and left a small hole, maybe with only one or two stitches missing. The technique is the same as described over. Where the thread has broken, the new thread will have to recreate the stitch, substituting the missing thread. Follow the same structure as if the knit was complete and link the existing stitches together. Hide loose ends on the back of the knit so they don't confuse or go in your way while working. Use duplicate stitches on the area around the damage to make sure it doesn't keep unravelling: Start one row below and three stitches to the right side of the broken stitch(es) and make normal duplicate stitches. End the row three stitches to the left of where the damage is. Continue up to the next row where the damage is, and make duplicate stitches also on the row above. Make sure that this is sufficient to stop it from unravelling by carefully stretching the knit in all directions. Level: medium


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When the zipper has been used for a while, the slider will slightly open up and lose its grip. That's when the zipper opens in the bottom after having closed it. If the slider is very worn or the quality of the metal is poor (too soft), you should have it replaced. It's very often sufficient to have only the slider replaced and not the whole zipper. However, even before replacing the slider there's one trick that might be sufficient: use a pair of pliers to carefully close the slider on both sides. Be careful to not close it too much; try little by little until it gains grip and slides smoothly again. Another trick if the slider doesn't slide smoothly, is to use a wax candle to wax the zipper. Simply rub both sides of the zipper all the way from bottom to top with the candle to give it a thin layer of grease. And; please have some patience when closing that zipper... That will extend the lifespan of your garment significantly! Level: easy


darning holes.JPG

Darning can be used for any mend - on knitwear and also on wovens. In other words, a very useful skill to learn. The version shown in the photo is a very decorative way of darning as the whole mend lays on top of the knit creating a kind of woven patch on top of the damaged area. It will still be very descreet if using the same colour thread as the garment or it can be visible and decorative when playing with colour. This is how: Choose a thread that is of similar quality and thickness as your garment. Use a blunt point needle (or if you use a sharp point, work with the "wrong" end first when weaving to not split your threads). Make sure you cover the whole area that is damaged, including worn and weak stitches, plus a minimum of three stitches around it in every direction. Start by bringing your needle up in one corner of the area that you want to darn. Leave a tail of approximately 10 cm to sew in later. Let the thread follow the edge of the area you want to darn and then work under one half stitch or half "V" across to start the next row of your warp. Continue working up and down until the whole area is filled with vertical lines of thread. The space between every line should be half a stitch (or equal the thickness of the thread when working in woven fabrics). On the back of the garments there should be no long lines of thread, only small stitches. Now it's time to create the horizontal lines. The procedure is the same - long threads on the front with small stitches to the back on both sides of the darn. Except that the thread should now be woven together with the vertical lines: over and under every other thread. On the next row, weave over and under the alternate warp threads to the ones in the previous row. Use your needle to push the lines of threads together while weaving so the lines lay straight and even. While working, be aware of the tension of your darn. If it gets too tight, it will make the garment wrinkle around it. Better too loose, as you may adjust by tightening the tails of your thread in the end. Steaming the darn with an iron will also make it look flat and nice in the end. Finish the darn by sewing in the ends on the back (see below). Note that this is a repair without stretch. If added to an area with a lot of stress, like for example an elbow, you might need to add some extra stitching around the hole to spread the strain. Be also aware that the tension of the darn will have to be loose enough to have room for you to bend the arm (if on the elbow) when wearing the garment. Level: medium


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Work in and out a few stitches at the back of your knit, and then back again. Work only through half of the knit or behind your mend, so that it's not visible from the right side. If you're working with wool or another hair fibre, this should be enough as the fluffy fibres will hold the thread in place. Do another few stitches if working with cotton or some other smooth yarn. Trim the ends. Level: easy



If the rib of your sweater is very worn, it might be easier to make a new one rather than mending it. This is how: use a knitting needle to pick up every stitch in the last row of knit below the rib. Do that by picking up the right "arm" of every stitch or "V" all around. Use yarn of the same thickness to knit your new rib with the stitches that you have picked up. When the new rib is finished, you can cut the old one off. It might be a good idea to leave a row or two, to be sure to not cut off too much. Unravel the last part and sew in the ends, both of the new and the old rib. Level: medium


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If you have a big hole or would like the mend to have stretch, you may choose to knit a patch directly onto your knitwear. This is how: choose a horizontal row below the damaged area where you would like your patch to start. The patch should cover the whole damage and also what is worn around it, plus a little more. It's better to make the patch a little big rather than too small, to be sure the knit doesn't break again around it. Pick up the right "arm" of every stitch or "V" in the row that you have chosen. Knit back and forth (plain or rib, depending on your garment). The last stitch on every row, starting from the second one, should be knitted together with one stitch in the garment. Do that by picking up the little vertical thread that you find in between the two "arms" of the stitch or "V". The patch will then be knitted together with the garment on each side; every other row on the right hand side and every other row on the left hand side. Keep knitting this way until your patch is covering the damaged area plus a little more. Stitch the upper edge of the patch onto the garment using Swiss darning: cut off the thread, but leave it long enough for all the stitches needed. Put a needle on the thread and bring it to the back of the garment in the corner of the patch. Make stitches by bringing the needle up in the bottom of a stitch or "V" in the garment and, at the same time, through the first stitch on the knitting needle. Then slip the first stitch off the knitting needle. Follow the thread of the "V" behind the stitch above (in the garment). Take the needle back through the bottom of the "V" where you started (both patch and garment). Bring it up again in the bottom of the next stitch on the same horizontal row, continuing to link the patch to the garment. Sew in the ends after finishing the last stitch. Use the same thread or a new one to secure the edges of the hole so it doesn't unravel. Steam and press carefully to make the patch flat and nice. Level: medium A few more tips on patches: You can also sew on a patch e.g. made from felted wool (wash worn out wool garments on 60 degrees Celsius). Felted wool will not unravel and is perfect for patches as you will not have to secure the edges. When making or choosing patches, try to find a thickness matching your garment. A patch that is thicker than the garment might feel bulky and uncomfortable. Feel free to mix materials, but be aware of stretch and tension needed. Also, make sure it can be washed at the same temperature as the garment itself! There are also glue on patches, e.g. for waterproof materials. Remember to cut round corners, that will make them stick for longer.



If you have a broken seam, for instance in a jacket with lining, where you're unable to access the back of the fabric, you can mend it using this versatile stitching called ladder stitches. This is how: make small stitches with the needle going vertically under the fabric on the edges and over the fabric crossing horizontally to the other side (the visible stitches being the "steps" of the ladder). The stitches going vertically under the fabric should follow each other in a straight line as these will create the new edges that close together when pulling the thread. Pull the thread carefully to close the gap. If used in a slightly curved shape, starting and ending the stitches at "zero", this technique may actually also be used to hide a hole or a stain. After pulling the thread and closing the fabric over the damaged area, press and/or topstitch to leave it flat and nice looking. Level: easy

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