Style | The Reconnoisseur

The nimble-fingered menders who can make moth holes vanish

Salvaging an armful of moth-ravaged cashmere

The nimble-fingered menders who can make moth holes vanish

Image: Corbis

December 28 2009
Mark Ellwood

Fittingly, New York’s best invisible mending service is almost impossible to find, tucked away on the 14th floor of a nondescript midtown office block. Ring the bell, and the door opens into an Aladdin’s cave of damaged designer goods – it’s festooned with garment bags from all the major showrooms, which send suits, dresses and knits for some VIP TLC here, as well as FedEx packages from across the country, mailed in equal parts hope and desperation.

I first stumbled on the French-American Reweaving Company in a panic, after moths had swarmed through a drawer of sweaters. I arrived with an armful of ravaged cashmere but the dapper consigliere Ronald Moore, who examines every garment personally, said he could reweave every one – even an ultra fine-gauge John Varvatos polo neck with an inch-long slash eaten into the chest.

A week later, his nimble-fingered team had made the moth holes vanish and the painstaking repairs were almost imperceptible. Such handcrafted expertise isn’t cheap – at least $50 for a minor blemish – but compared with replacing an entire stash of cashmere, it was a bargain: total cost: $300. That, and $10 for some cedar blocks to keep the moths from coming back.