When it comes to textiles, Tom van Deijnen (or Tom of Holland) prefers the old over the new. The self-taught Dutch artisan, now based in Brighton, is “interested in both sustainability and the rich textile history around wool in the United Kingdom,” as he says. By lovingly darning, stitching, and mending moth-eaten and worn woven goods and garments, he explores the boundaries of when the life of a woolen garment (and by extension any object) starts and ends. For Tom, a painstakingly repaired piece celebrates “the relationship between the object and the owner that has developed over time, creating a piece of clothing that is as unique as the history that created it.”
Read more about Tom and his Visible Mending Program at Tom of Holland.
Above: Tom of Holland’s visibly stitched, one-of-a-kind blankets, such this 20th-century Welsh wool Vintage Darned Blanket No. B05 are available at the New Craftsmen; $445.
Above: A details of the contrast stitching in Blanket No. B05 shows the painstaking repairs Tom makes to each piece. The lengthy process, notes Tom, allows him to develop a deep understanding of the material.
Above: Vintage Darned Blanket No. B02 is fashioned from a narrow-loomed Welsh wool blanket; $528.
Above: Tom also sees his work as a response to today’s throw-away culture. Repairing old blankets not only preserves history but also is more sustainable.
Above: Vintage Darned Blanket No. B03 features another 20th-century Welsh wool piece; $480.
Above: A detail of the darning on Blanket No. B03.
If you’re a fan, like we are, of the visibly mended, patched and stitched, see: