Monks first met Allan over a cup of PG Tips in Tesco, Chester 22 years ago and they became firm friends. Monks and Allan have travelled to many places in the UK over the years including The Bank of England and The Royal Albert Hall. Allan decided that Monks needed sprucing up so gave him a wash but it didn’t go well and Monks was left with loose stitching and had to be repaired at The Teddy Bear Shop.
The years have now taken their toll on Monk and he was in need of repair once again so Allan brought him to our repair café and met Linda who would take care of him.
Notes from the Hospital
When I first met Monks he had definitely been well loved. Some repairs had already been made in the past, e.g. around his mouth, but large areas of the original knitted material were now completely missing from his arms, legs and head. Of particular concern was the instability of his left eye (the larger one) which was hanging on by a mere couple of threads.
The dual aim of the repair, agreed with Monks’ owner, was to preserve as much of the original as possible and to strengthen areas of fragility so that Monks can be continue to be handled & loved for a long time to come. Also, although the repair should blend in with the original material, no attempt was made to conceal the fact of his repairs – they have become part of his life story.
Luckily for me, Monks came with a supply of the same colour-matched embroidery floss used for his first repair.
Priority – Rescue the left eye
As so much original material was missing from around the eye, I introduced a piece of very pale fawn felt into the gap & around the eye. I then secured the felt around the base of Monks’ eye and put a number of deep stitches down into Monks’ stuffing to anchor the felt to Monks’ head in the correct position while I worked on it. This was the most important part of the process because any movement of the eye away from its original position could have resulted in Monks having a different facial expression – a fate to be avoided at all costs.
At this stage, the gap in the original material around the eye needed infilling. I did this in two stages. First was to stabilise the frayed outer edge to prevent future loss, then I sewed over & into the fawn felt so as to hide the felt, hold the eye permanently in position and blend the surface repair into its surroundings. Although I could not replicate the original knitted surface texture, using a small chain stitch gave the area a similar ‘feel’.
Arms & Legs – Having dealt with the most urgent job, repairing Monks’ arms and legs was done using a combination of similar techniques.
A challenging and rewarding Fix – my thanks to Monks’ owner for trusting him into my hands.
Volunteer Textiles Fixer
Message to Monks and Allan from Great Grandad Monkey
Hello Monks. You have been such a brave lad, and I am so glad you are now home, fully recovered from your stay in hospital and back in the care of your friend Allan. Love Great Grandad Monkey xx