Stopper (handmade)

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Woman darning a sock

The plug is a needle work , by which the missing or torn threads of a knitting or of a fabric to be replaced.

When darning a knitted piece, the same material is used as possible from which the damaged piece is made. For darning a piece of clothing, it is best to use drawn threads from a new piece of the same piece of material; where this is not available, the threads can also be removed from an invisible part of the piece of clothing. Shiny yarn is used for linen fabrics, and darning yarn (twist) for cotton or woolen fabrics .

The darning threads should only be twisted loosely so that they fill well. The darning needles are long, almost equally strong from beginning to end, have an oval eye and a blunt point. Since the darning is supposed to imitate the fabric as closely as possible, there are various darning stitches ( linen , twill , damask , tulle , knitted darning stitches and so on).

The fabric plugs differ in the number of threads taken up to produce the pattern . The knitted stopper forms stitches , the tulle stopper imitates the peculiar but uniform nature of the fabric. To produce a fabric plug, first the parallel, adjacent warp threads are drawn in and then the transverse weft threads with which the pattern is formed. Both must be pulled through the fabric as far as it is damaged. All fabric plugs are carried out on the left. For darning a knitting, besides the mesh, the lattice darning is used, which is completely similar to the canvas darning. The threads of the tulle run in three directions. First the oblique, crossing threads are drawn in and then the horizontal ones that fasten the others.

In order to avoid finger injuries, a metal thimble , a darning mushroom or a darning egg is often used when darning .

In earlier times, darning was very important as domestic manual labor, as clothes and linen were relatively expensive and should therefore be used for as long as possible. Today, however, it is practiced much less often, as stockings and socks, for example, are sold so cheaply that the expense of repairs by darning no longer seems worthwhile.


Among other things, Konrad Adenauer also applied for a patent for the interior-lit tamping egg . (He was refused the grant.)

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