At a tiny stall situates in a narrow alley between the old buildings in Sai Wan, Mr Lee and his wife work there from dusk till dawn everyday to make ragged clothes and accessories form worn to wearable again, by their magical hands, for over 60 years.
A disappearing craftsmanship in Hong Kong.
It is now very rare to find darning stalls in Hong Kong.
At his old age of 78, Mr. Lee and his stall for dozens of decades helped many people who wish their ragged clothes can be returned to the way that they originally look like.
The founder of the stall was Mr. Lee’s father. Mr. Lee started to learn this profession from is father when he was 13 years old. At his age of 16, the year when Mr. Lee’s father passed away accidentally, Mr. Lee started to run his father’s remaining legacy until today.
The tiny stall as his whole life
For most of the time, Mr Lee darns clothes by only using a needle and thread.
From choosing a suitable needle, finding an appropriate fabric, checking out the worn out areas of the clothes to the adding new thread one by one at where the clothes are ragged……
These are all indescribably difficult tasks that Mr. Lee have been put in painstaking effort to into, to perfectualize the efficient and quality of every pieces that he darn.
For a long period of time, Mr. Lee and his wife work under insufficient lighting. The work also brings them back pain.
Though their work is not easy, everytime when their customers express their surprises, grateful thanks and joy when they get back their well darned- clothes, Mr. Lee and his wife are being reminded that what they have been doing is important and meaningful.
A legend never fades
Because darning is a disappearing craftsmanship, Mr. Lee said no one learn darning from him. He knows that his stall have to be closed one day. However, he is not hopeless. He feel obliged to continue running this stall.
“Retire is not a choice for me. I will simply keep darning until I am incapable of doing anything.” Said Mr. Lee, with a determined voice.