Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Clothing maintenance

Clothing, once manufactured, suffers physical bother both from within and from without. The human body inside sheds skin cells and body oils, and exudes sweat, urine, and feces. From the outside, sun damage, damp, abrasion, dirt, and other indignities afflict the garment. Bedbugs and lice take up residence in clothing seams. Well-worn clothing, if not cleaned and refurbished, will smell, itch, look shabby, and lose functionality.
In past times, restoration was an art. A careful tailor or seamstress could fix rips with thread raveled from hems and seam limits so skillfully that the darn was practically invisible. When the raw fabric cloth was worth more than labor, it made sense to use labor in saving it. Today clothing is considered a consumable item. Mass manufactured clothing is less expensive than the time it would take to repair it. Many people wish to buy a new piece of clothing rather than to waste their time mending old clothes. But the thrifty still replace zippers and buttons and stitch up ripped hems.


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