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1940s Mining Life

Darning mushroom, mostly used for darning socks
Darning mushroom, mostly used for darning socks
© National Coal Mining Museum for England (Photo: National Coal Mining Museum for England)
Darning means to mend holes in clothes. Most working families could not afford to keep replacing items that were not fully worn out, and so if things wore through in one place they were generally mended instead of being thrown away. Socks and stockings in particular were frequently darned, and it was one of the skills that young girls were taught by their mothers and in school. This darning mushroom would be dropped inside a sock with the flat bit fitting into the heel of the sock to support the hole while it is sewn up.

During World War II people were encouraged to mend things rather than throw away. Even the government supported it, putting up posters with slogans such as 'Make Do and Mend.' One leaflet suggested chopping up old raincoats to make babies bibs!
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