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I promised to post about my attempt, and I went to it earlier in the week. The concept seemed rather straightforward to me: pattern recognition and duplication.

I did track down a PDF of an older book on french reweaving. I can't remember if I found it via a search of if someone here posted it, so I apologize if I'm neglecting to give credit where it is due. I didn't really find any surprises in the book, but it did have some helpful pointers, like the instruction to use different lengths of replacement threads so that you don't form an edge that is easily felt.

I started with a 1940's jacket I had picked up with a single hole in the back. The weave is a basic herringbone and the thread is large, so it seemed like a good place to begin. There was also only two colors: one weft and one warp. (The blue specks are part of the black weft threads.)

That went well, so I moved on to a Hickey-Freeman sportcoat that I recently discovered harbored broken threads. The weave was smaller and there were more colors involved with the check pattern, so it was a bit more complicated. Neither is perfect, but I'm happy the results.

The hole in the first jacket was easy to display in photos by placing a spool of green thread under the fabric, but there was no convenient way of placing anything behind the HF as the holes were in the front. The canvas underneath does not offer much of a contrast. This is probably why they went unnoticed until I performed close scrutiny. Also, the top hole was more broken threads than an actual hole. I placed lines on the "before" photo. If you follow each color to where they intersect, they point to where the two flaws are in the image.

1940's before/after close-up

1940's repaired - Find the two brown specks next to each other near the middle of the image. The top-right corner of the above image is three chevrons to the right and about the same distance down.

HF flaws close-up

HF repair close-up

HF holes (distance)

HF repaired (distance)

In the last photo, if you look near the top about halfway across, there is a brown intersection with an orange spec. The orange is imbedded in the thread I used to repair the first hole. The second is one brown line to the left and two down from there.

All in all, I thought the process was simple in concept. However, it is meticulous work. If you miscount a thread or skip a line over, you can end up pulling out a fair amount of work, depending on how long it takes for you to notice. Having a bit of OCD can be a benefit here. I can definitely see why reweavers charge what they do. Despite my hand and eye issues, I actually found it somewhat entertaining, similar to a puzzle. If I do more, I will definitely be purchasing some magnifiers.
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Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Thank you. I did realize that I keyed off the wrong orange speck when I created the close-up of the HF repair, so I uploaded a corrected image. Turns out there are two specks relatively close to each other.


Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
I am inspired by the OP's success in this effort, so much so that I am going to get the wife to have a go at it! ;)

Mox, your success at this truly is impressive! Thanks for sharing it with us.
I am inspired! I am going to do this. If I post a follow-up, you know that there was success. If I avoid this thread like the plague, you will know that I failed miserably and probably just ended up stabbing my finger repeatedly with a #5 darning needle.
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