DIY Canvas Repair Tips

Whether you are a boat enthusiast or a camper, canvas plays a significant role in your enjoyment. Although canvas is very durable, at times it can tear or snag, making it not work as well. Canvas is supposed to protect your boat, or yourself, from the elements, including rain. If there are any holes or tears, it will not work as well. There are some simple tips to help you with canvas repair to make it like new.

Tools Required

Whether your canvas that needs repair is for a tarp, tent or boat cover, the basic tools needed remain the same. You will need a sewing needle or awl, heavy thread, patches and something to seal it with. Sewing alone will not fix the hole or tear. It will bring the pieces back together, but it will remain sensitive to the elements with rain and water able to easily leak through. You will have to sew it, patch it and waterproof it in order to ensure that it will work just as good as new. These tools can easily be purchased at a sporting good store. Many times, your canvas piece will come with extra patches, so be sure to keep these stored in a safe place so you can get to them when you need it.

Sewing Tips

For a canvas repair, you will have to sew the hole or tear together, along with sewing on the patches. Although you will glue the patch on, you will also want to sew it to really secure it in place. Canvas is a thick material so it can be difficult to sew through. Using a special needle and thread will help the job. You can find a heavy-duty needle or awl and heavy duty or waxed string at outdoor specialty stores. If you are unsure of what to look for, ask a sales associate and they will show you the best supplies for sewing canvas. When you do sew, be sure to sew as tight as possible. You want to ensure that the hole will be closed and secure. If you can, use a sewing machine as it will bind the sides tighter.

Seal, Seal, Seal

As mentioned, sewing is not enough to ensure you have fixed your canvas tarp if you use it to protect yourself or anything else from the weather. Water and other elements can still get in, regardless of how tight you sew. Therefore, there are a few extra sealing steps you have to take. First, use a special seam sealer or beeswax to seal the new seam. You can easily find these at specialty sporting goods or outdoors stores. Follow the directions on how to use them. Then, use a patch on both sides of the canvas. You want the newly sewn tear in the center of the patch. You will glue a patch on both sides of the tarp, ensuring it is covered. Allow the glue to dry, then sew the patch and apply seam sealer.

If you follow these basic steps, your hole will be protected and your canvas will work like new. Additionally, the torn spot will not remain vulnerable, so it will not continue to tear and cause more problems. You can keep using your canvas for many more years if you continue to take good care of it, and repair it as soon as something happens.