How to Darn A Sock

stripey socks Save money by learning how to repair your socks and keep your foosties warm all winter.

Darning a sock is one of those things that we have all heard about but never really learned how to do. I’m guilty of this myself, throwing out socks or trying to reuse them into something new whenever they get holes. But, in the past before mass production, it was very common practice to darn socks. And it is pretty easy to do, once you know how.

Darning a sock is not simply a matter of sewing up the hole in a traditional manner. A regular repair job will only leave the sock misshapen and with uncomfortable bumps that would make it difficult to walk.

While there are different techniques to darning a sock, the basic premise is the same. Instead of traditionally sewing the whole, you will actually be repairing it by weaving. Don’t worry, as I mentioned, it isn’t very hard to do.

The first thing you need are your supplies. Gather your needle (a darning needle works best, but any larger needle will work), your thread (use embroidery floss for cotton or synthetic socks and wool for wool socks) and an old light bulb. The light bulb will act as a “darning egg,” keeping the hole supported and making it easier to repair your sock. Yes, you can buy a real darning egg, but this is the frugal blog after all.
Place the light bulb in the sock so that the hole shows through.

The first thing you want to do is surround your hole with a running stitch. Just use small stitches to circle the hole, placing them far enough outside the damage that the sock won’t unravel later. Don’t use any knots to secure your thread. Knots will be uncomfortable when you wear your sock.

One you have your stitched circle, start using long stitches to stitch horizontally across the length of the hole. Be sure not to sew too tightly or you will change the shape of the sock. The idea is to create a framework of stitches, that weaving, to repair the damage. Turn the sock upside down on every other stitch, if that makes the sewing go easier.

Once your horizontal stitches are done, turn your sock sideways and start weaving your thread vertically, in and out of the horizontal stitches. Secure the vertical weave at the end of the row with a couple of small running stitches. Turn your sock the opposite way and weave again. Keep going until your hole is repaired. Your sock will be as good, or even better than new!

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog