Haberdashery sales at leading UK retailer John Lewis are soaring as recession-hit consumers choose to mend old clothes rather than buying new ones.

According to a John Lewis spokesperson, haberdashery sales are up 16% for the first half to date, and rose 10.8% in the second half of the last fiscal year.

In addition, sewing machine sales are up 23% on last year, following a 38% rise in the last full six-month period.

"Buttons and zips are +45.3% and +13.9% respectively on last year, this half to date - continuing the theme of updating and mending," the spokesperson told just-style.

Yarns, knitting books and accessories have also been selling "extremely well", the company added.