The summer of 2012 will always remind me of when I lived in New York. I managed a small repair shop for a denim company located in the Lower East Side. My daily involved walking down to the local bodega to grab my regular, saying hi to Charlie (the owner of the shop next door), and then finally unlocking the heavy metal chains to open up shop. I knew the exact feeling I would have when coming into work - just me against the machine.
I refurbished jeans of all weights and brands sewing on a Vintage Singer 47W70 Darning Machine made in the 1950’s. The Singer 47W70 can be used to reweave fabric that has been destroyed by filling in the warp and weft weave with no patch necessary. The darning technique was commonly used during WWII, which helped mend soldier's uniforms after going into combat as this strategy of sewing can extend the lifetime in wear for that garment. The Singer 47W70 is made of a cylinder bed with a free-motion sewing needle without a feed dog, which enables the sewer to move the fabric in any direction. The speed of the motor can be controlled through the pressure of the pedal. The best weight of thread to use on the darning machine is TX 40 or TX 60. I like to use cotton polyester wrapped thread because of the durability and how the cotton fiber will age beautifully as you continue to breakdown your jeans.
If you want to minimize your wardrobe try salvaging your favorite pair by getting your jeans repaired at your local Tailor Shops. Here are six trusty shops!
Levi's Flagship Store (SF)
Selfedge (NY, LA, & SF)
Indigo Proof (Portland)
Denim Doctor (Los Angeles)
Denim Therapy (NY)