100%JR wrote: ... So why call it Invisible mending then
I didn't think up the name. Actually, I think it is as good as invisible which is why it was once relatively common, especially in a textile centre like Leeds, but I suppose you need a get-out clause for the people who are expecting magic, especially when considering the price. Since I posted, I've found this:-
Invisible mending is a sophisticated weaving method consisting in rebuilding the fabric of a damaged garment or upholstery, following damage caused for example by a snag, burn, or accidental scissor cut.
In such an incident, both the warp and the weft of fabric may have been damaged. Invisible mending is the reconstruction of both the warp and weft using a long needle. The mender garners the material for the repair by picking all the necessary weft from the hem, and the warp from the extra fabric on the inside of longitudinal seams. The mender will reconstruct the warp and weft to match the original weave exactly. After this is done and the garment has been pressed, the mended part will be undetectable on the outside of the fabric, though on the reverse side the restored area will be marked by long hanging threads where the re-weaving was done. These hanging threads occur because (unlike in darning work) invisible mending is done without tacking, in case it deforms the fabric.
Up until the 1970s, invisible mending was common practice, but has now become a fine craft associated with tapestry weaving. However, it is a service that is still provided by quality dry cleaners.
Invisible mending is labour intensive and very time consuming and it may sometimes be cheaper to replace the garment.
Menders were mostly women until the craft started to disappear.