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Tonight we'd reserved for dojo maintainence, as there was a 6 inch tear along the seam of the canvas, and several tatami needed taping up. Afterwards would be a short class if there was time...
The haberdashery in my town's department store recommended a pack of general purpose tough repair needles (hippo spears ) and linen thread to do the canvas repair. The thread was great because it matched the canvas exactly, and apparently is also used to mend shoes
I took my metal sewing thimble, and tried out a few different sizes of hippo spear needle on the canvas to see which one would work best... the thinnest needle began to bend quickly, so I picked the next size up which was spear-pointed like a leather needle.
Even so, it was the toughest repair job I have ever done - my blood and sweat went into it, but no tears It took me the full 2 hours, so Sensei took the rest of the class to the end of the hall to do weapons on the sports hall floor as they finished the taping job more quickly!
Fortunately my fingers have mostly healed and my thumb tips no longer feel like they've gone 10 rounds with a meat tenderizer... My back feels better too after running around helping out at my archery club's open tournament all weekend - sitting hunched on the floor isn't good, but with a canvas that size there was no other option
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, but the true test will be next Friday when we unfold the canvas and tension it around the frame, and of course train upon it