How do I patch canvass?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by motdaugrnds, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    I took heavy mildew off 4 nice canvess tarps; now a couple of them are splitting where they had been seemed at the factory. I am hoping some sailors are visiting our forum who can tell me how to patch (sew back together) these tarps. What type needle? What type of thread? Where do I get such needle and thread?
     
  2. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    Check internet for canvas repair maybe. Next idea is try the tent and awning dealers in yellow pages. Lastly, try the farm implement store for irrigation products and repair, also might try the co-op store.
    How I used to do it for tent and irrigation tarps. They used to sell tarp pieces and you'd cut one say 2 inches bigger arount than the size of the hole. I used a leather sewing awl with canvas thread or artificial sinew. I'd stick the piece of canvas over the hole, to make sure it was bigger than the hole. Next I'd put canvas cement all over the tore part. Press the new one on it. Let it dry until it was just rubbery. Next take the sewing awl and stitch it. See the stitching info that should come with the awl for the kind of stitch. Stitch it about 1/2 inch from the outside of the new patch (toward the inside of it) all around the tear. Next come about 1/2 inch inside that, do it again. Now you have two stitched circles around the tear. Will hold good.
    But before you go to all that trouble. Make sure the canvas is worth it. Also look real good at the mildew area, it is probably going to be bigger than the one you actually see. So look good. Next. When you get done with useing the canvas. Make sure it is dry and if you store it for long peroids. Take it out and look at it. Say if it is a tent, set it up somewhere. See if it is wet and is mold starting. Maybe you need to reseal it. That is not fun, or some people think it is any way, not me. Just yucky and time consumeing. This is cheap insurance for the investment. Hope it helps.
     

  3. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    well, for what it's worth (and maybe a bump is all it's worth! lol) but my mom had an old tent trailer. The really, really old kind where you folded it out, fastened on some metal pipes and then took out the canvas and threw it over. Then you tied it all down, lol. I inherited it about 20 year ago, and it needed repair then. I was able to fix it on my sewing machine. It wasn't easy. I just used a heavy duty needle and thread and readjusted my sewing machine and sewed real slow. You wouldn't wanna do this on one of the new fancy electronic sewing machines, lol .... but it can be done. If the canvas has stretched, which being old it probably has, so it probably won't make much difference, since you will actually be making it smaller by taking in a seam.

    My exbrother-in-law took that tent trailer and ditched the tent part and used the trailer to haul around his riding lawnmower for many years, lol ..... it was an oldy but a goody!

    Now hopefully, you'll get someone to answer with a little more recent experience then I have had! :)

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  4. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to try iron on patches like for blue jeans on a small tear in my campers canopy.Might work for you?
     
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    If I were repairing it I would use a fid, an awl and a palm with some good heavy cotton thread. Don't know where you are but any halfway decent sail shop should have these items available. Needles for repairing sails should do the trick.

    If the canvas is still good and it is just the seam then I would stitch it back just the way it was. If the canvas is starting to go I would fold over another piece of canvas over the seam to reinforce it.

    Mike
     
  6. 1_gunner

    1_gunner Active Member

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    There are a number of fabrics that are commonly referred to as canvas. Most modern day canvas is actually a polyester based material and will melt if any significant heat is applied. So heat transfer patches won't work. Older canvas was cotton based and would rot and weaken once the waterproofing agent wore off. If you are going to try to sew the repair by hand I would recommend a pre-waxed polyester hand-work thread and a handwork needle. Some home sewing machines are capable of sewing "canvas" but most have to short of an arm to be able to get the bulk of the cover under it to get to the seam. If you have a larger machine use V92 polyseter thread as a minimum thread size. You can purchase these materials online at sailrite.com. The company has been around for a long time and are reputable.
     
  7. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    You are all so very helpful. Thank you. I am doing some research on net, looking at "sailrite.com" now and will check the local stores as some of you have suggested. The tarps are mostly in good shape (very good shape) and I would hate to just toss them. Yes, I will need to repair all these by hand; and most are ripping at the seems; so will double them there. My gratitude is yours!