Crochet: Repair vs. Restoration 

Many of my customers find me through an internet search using different terms describing their needs. They will enter the keywords: Repair – or sometimes Restoration and the name of the item.

As a professional fiber artist and a restoration specialist, I feel the need to explain the difference between these 2 services. Yes, you can find me if you search under “ bedspread, tablecloth or crochet lace repair” but that word does not describe what I do when I receive a piece in need of attention. To repair a piece that has suffered damage means to fix it and make it usable again for further service.

As a mom, you learn to repair tears and holes in several creative ways. To restore an antique heirloom means to recreate the original pristine condition so no traces of any repairs are visible on your treasured piece.

You have probably already seen my Before and After images on this website’s restoration page, but let’s take a closer look at one of my last projects, this from the estate of Sheri Braithwhite in BC, Canada.

She sent me a beautiful tablecloth one of her relative's crochet about 80 years ago and it was often used for family occasions. This treasure was in need of some attention! Torn floral rosettes could have been reattached by simply using white sewing thread.

This would be noticeable on closer inspection and most likely create a pucker in the area. Still, it would make it usable for a few more years. Sheri opted for the original condition and correct material. With the proper bedspread cotton, I reconstructed the connectors with matching chain stitches and restored the cloth to its original, perfect condition. 

Another example from California shows a similar situation; this bedspread could have been cobbled together with ecru sewing thread, all the medallions were intact, only the connectors were broken and I did a similar restoration to get that flat and perfect look again. The shell edge needed to be replaced as well and it is now back in its original beautiful condition. 

If only the original artists used fewer chain connectors! The medallions, diamonds and squares held together by chain stitches put too much stress on the chains and eventually they give in under the weight of the objects they are meant to hold together. Cleaning puts stress on the fibers as well and the chain stitches are the first to give in. Something to keep in mind as you handle old fiber pieces or create a new heirloom to pass down.

So yes, some pieces can be repaired by using a quick fix, but for a perfect repair, my professional restoration services are in order.

“I do what I love and I love what I do”.