Darning by Hikaru Noguchi

Textile Art Book Reviews

At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.

Darning:  Repair, Make, Mend by Hikaru Noguchi

Published by Quickthorn Press


This publication has been translated into English from Japanese; written by an expert darner (and knitter) Hikaru Noguchi.  With its durable soft cover and slim design – is it one for you?

Who’s it aimed at?

Those with an interest in slow stitch, visible mending and the reuse of clothing.  This type of work is often classed as therapy – using ones hands to mend.  It is also a fashion at the moment, the art of decorating clothes is big news!  You do not have to be

About the artist

‘Hikaru Noguchi studied constructed textiles in England, specializing in knit and having previously earned a degree in graphic design at Musashino Art University in her native Tokyo. Her work combines traditional knit patterns and techniques such as fair-isle and Aran, focusing on color and texture and using juxtaposition to create pieces that are sophisticated yet playful. Hikaru has created designs for several British labels, including Tom Dixon, Top Shop, and projects for Barneys, Browns, Paul Smith women, Takashimaya New York, and many others. Her book Darning, translated from Japanese, gives a step-by-step guide to mending garments with twelve exquisite but achievable techniques that celebrate the wear and repair of the fabric.’ – Amazon artist page


The book itself has a total of ten chapters.  Twelve darning Techniques are covered in detail with step-by-step instructions.  Seed stitch, square darning, reversible darns, seed and square darn, triangular darns, English darning, accordion darning, appliqué, reverse appliqué, chain darning, honeycomb Darning, and the decorative tambourine darning are all included, giving us plenty of choice.  The ten chapters cover mending sweaters, shirts, denim, and household items, as well as accessories such as scarves and bags – surely there will be something on that list which interests you….who hasn’t got a holed jumper somewhere?!  Note how the book has been divided, with the Darning Techniques coming first, so we understand how to mend…before we begin the actual mending and repair in the chapters!

book review darning - Hikaru Noguchi
Ten chapters and so much more before and after.

We liked the visual way this book had been designed.  It is not just the techniques illustrated, but the materials required…

Photographs are provided of all we need.
Darning by Hikaru Noguchi
How awesome – do we have a ‘repair studio’?!  This artist does and she tells us about it.


We may lack creative vision if this is a new idea for us to explore.  We loved the beautiful ideas illustrated throughout – they make us what to stitch, rather than mending for mending’s sake.

Darning by Hikaru Noguchi
The images are designed to fit in with our lives, making our homes look Instagram worthy.
Darning by Hikaru Noguchi
We all have a well loved shirt with a worn collar – this technique makes it wearable!
Scarves can be darned too - think out of the box as so many of us associate darning with socks!
Scarves can be darned too – think out of the box as so many of us associate darning with socks!

What makes this book special?

The art of mending in this way is often best seen via Japanese artists – it is a part of their culture.  Thus this book is special, as it has been written from this angle – by a true Japanese artist.

What is wrong with the book?

If you are more a wear it once and bin it person, or simply cant be bothered to reuse of recycle, this may go over your head.


This is a book that cares – giving us insight into climate change…imagine that for a book on embroidery!  Will you take its meaning on board?

Darning:  Repair, Make, Mend by Hikaru Noguchi

Published by Quickthorn Press