Technique: Repairing Tent Velcro

Worn Wear

Worn Wear

Patagonia and iFixit are celebrating the stories we wear by collaborating to provide guides for Patagonia's most popular apparel repairs.

Sew a loose piece of velcro back into place on your tent.

A loose piece of velcro can leave your tent prey to the wind. Sew it back on using a whip stitch.

While you can glue a piece of velcro back into place, some adhesives may cause the tent material to become brittle and tear. Sewing is a simple alternative.

In addition to velcro, this procedure works for sewing almost any other fabric component of the tent back into place.

Edit Step 1 How to Sew a Whip Stitch  ¶ 

Image 1/2: [guide|21024|Thread your needle] and tie a knot in the end of the thread.

Edit Step 1 How to Sew a Whip Stitch  ¶ 

  • Align the two pieces of material you will be stitching together.

  • Thread your needle and tie a knot in the end of the thread.

    • We'll use a bright-colored thread for better contrast, but you may want to select a thread that matches the color of your fabric.

  • Drive the needle into the bottom layer of material from the back side.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Pull the thread taut.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Pull the needle through the bottom layer of material.

  • Pull the thread taut.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The distance between where the needle comes up and goes down will be your stitch length. The smaller the stitch length, the more stitches required—and the stronger the seam.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Drive the needle down through the top and bottom layers of fabric, close to where the needle came up.

  • The distance between where the needle comes up and goes down will be your stitch length. The smaller the stitch length, the more stitches required—and the stronger the seam.

  • Pull the thread taut on the backside of the bottom material.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/2: If you are using this stitch as a repair where a stitch already exists, be sure to overlap the existing stitching by several stitches to help prevent it from unraveling.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Continue bringing the needle up and down through both layers of fabric, as in steps 2 and 3 of this guide, working your way around the material.

  • If you are using this stitch as a repair where a stitch already exists, be sure to overlap the existing stitching by several stitches to help prevent it from unraveling.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Draw the needle between the two layers of material through the stitch closest to where the needle came up.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • For the final stitch, come up from the back of the bottom material once again.

  • Draw the needle between the two layers of material through the stitch closest to where the needle came up.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Draw the needle through the loop.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Slowly start to pull the thread taut. As you pull, you will see a loop form.

  • Draw the needle through the loop.

  • Pull the thread taut, forming a knot.

  • Repeat the process of driving the needle up from behind, drawing it through the stitch, and pulling it through the loop as described in steps 5 and 6 of this guide one more time.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Cut any remaining thread, and admire your handiwork.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Ensure that the stitches are tight.

  • Cut any remaining thread, and admire your handiwork.

You're Done!

Now that you've finished, share your repair story with others.

Write a story

One Comment

If you remembered to pack a needle, but forgot a spool of thread, and a field repair is in order: go see whether you packed any dental floss. If so, you have some hardy thread indeed, and if you bought the green minty kind, you may discover a whiff of mint now and again emanating from your repair site. I try to remember to buy the old string type of floss rather than the newer kind with flat bits, but if your needle has a big enough eye, you can thread either sort. Careful now, too thick a needle may give you threading holes larger than you want. If the repair is in a location that may leak, there are a wide variety of different things you can use to seal your sewn repair and enjoy a drier tent interior. As my preference is for canvas tents over nylon, I use beeswax, but I think a silicone spray would nicely seal a repair to nylon.

Brendan - Reply