Tom of Holland

Tom van Deijnen

Tom van Deijnen (aka Tom of Holland) is a textile artist and skilled fabric repairer of repute in the northern hemisphere. His ‘Visible Mending Programme’ of workshops and commissioned repairs is playing a growing role in the global movement to make the best of what we already have. Tom is fascinated by sustainability and the rich history of British textiles. He has a deep understanding of fabrics and garments, their characteristics and traditional mending techniques.

His mending skills and services are in demand through his Visible Mending Programme of public workshops and commissions, which encourage us to rethink our attitudes towards clothing and throw-away culture. Tom was recently selected in the Top 10, out of over a 100 talented (young) designers who participated in the ‘Design Contest 2017 | Reinventing Textiles’ at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Participants designed a special product or material. The jury, Simone Post, Martijn van Strien and Suzan Rüsseler, described Tom’s work: In his project Tom shows a restoration can be an addition to the looks of a textile product. By making the repair stand out he reinforces its user history and makes it even more valuable for the owner. The Visible Mending Programme Tom’s Visible Mending Programme highlights that the art and craftsmanship of clothes repair is particularly relevant in a world where more and more people voice their dissatisfaction with fashion’s throwaway culture.

By exploring the story behind garment and repair, the Programme reinforces the relationship between the wearer and garment, so people can wear their existing clothes for longer, with a beautiful darn worn as a badge of honour. By writing a blog, running darning workshops and taking repair work commissions Tom provides mending inspiration, skills and services to people in the hope that it persuades them that shop-bought clothes deserve care and attention too, just like a precious hand-knit.

Tom’s trip to share his skills in WA was made possible by the initiative of Maker&Smith.

Tom visited us in 2018 to deliver a number of workshops in Visible Mending. It was our inaugural program and we were delighted that Tom received a fabulous reception. We loved hosting him and look forward to another set of his workshops here one day.

Tom of Holland : Visible Mending



Tom highlights in this short Q&A his favourite tools, working style and his aim to become more proficient in hand-stitching! (If you have seen Tom’s stitching, it is already precise and tiny.)

Ed Ayres interviewed Tom for ABC Radio National’s The Arts Show while he was in Perth.