How to repair fabric tears for camping tents
Since camping tents provide us with shelters against bad weather and rough conditions, they themselves usually sustain many tears and rubs. While many people think that tents are only used once or twice a year so there is really no need to learn to repair them, it will be quite troublesome if the tents get torn while you are out camping, especially with your family.
It will be a good idea for you to know some tricks to repair the tents yourself while you are out in the field. Knowing how to fix camping tents also helps you save on the cost of having to send away them for repairing. And if you are a serious and dedicated camper, you probably understand the need for this kind of knowledge.
1. Insect screen:
To all kinds of screen repairs, you just have to simply stick masking tapes over the tears, keep theirs sides tightly close to each other. Then, you should add a line of seam grip right where the tear is. Remember that you cannot rely on sewing patches for repairing insect screen. They do not appear neat and all the stitching is untidily visible if you sew patches on the screen.
Use a syringe of 10ml to apply PU sealant at ease. The task is really simple. You just fill the inside of the syringe with sealant, insert the plunger and wait until the sealant inside is free of air bubbles before getting started.
After you apply seam grip, just leave it overnight to set. You can remove the masking tape then. You will see that by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, seam grip forms a tough, translucent film when dried.
If the damage to the screen affects a large area, first, you have to cut out that area. Find a fill-in of new mesh that is of about the same size as the area that you have cut out. You can simply use a trimming knife to cut it out from a spare sheet of mesh. Then you just have to butt-glue it to cover the damaged area.
Another option apart from gluing is sewing a patch overlap that damaged area by hand. Get a patch of round shape and strong thread of color that matches the screen. Weave the thread along the edges of the hold it firmly in place.
2. Tent fabrics that are coated with silicone elastomer:
With fabrics that both sides are finished with silicone elastomer compounds, you have to either stitch patches or repair by gluing. If you go with gluing, you can choose silicone elastomer glue or silicone sealants of the “roof and gutter” type. They are available at many hardware stores. In this case, you should not use PU sealants or those that are meant to use for seam sealing, they are not sufficient for the job.
Use stitched patches on those large tears and hand-seal with the suitable liquid sealants. With these kinds of sealants, you might have to dust them with talc so that any remaining tackiness can be avoided and other tent parts do not stick to the repaired part.
3. Tent coated lightly or of medium weight:
With this kind of fabrics, you can use a strip of sail marking fabric to deal with rips and tears as an immediate alternative to the kind of repairing mentioned above. You can go to outdoor retailers and ask for rip-stop repair tape.
Remember to cut all the corners of the patches round so that when you finish sticking them over the damaged area, they cannot be peeled out easily. Clean the surface that is going to be stuck over and make sure it is dust-free before attaching the patches. White spirits can be used to clean when you go with equipment comes with remaining adhesive from gaffer tape. Leave them to fully dry before moving on to the next step.
4. Small tears and nicks:
You can hot-press a strip of seam tape with a heated iron to fix these kinds of problems. You can find them within retail repair kit or product distributors.
Adjust the heat to medium. Test the temperature against a sheet of white-photocopy weight paper placing on top of a part of the coating. Move on when you find the coating unaffected but always keep the separation of paper. If you find the fabric and coating unaffected and the coating is kept from transferring to the paper, move to the next step of hot-pressing seam tape.
The seam tape should be placed facing down the tear. At least 7mm of the tape should overlap the surrounding non-damaged area. Use a paper of the type described above to lay over it. Proceed with the ironing by pressing down for about 5 seconds. Check if the tape is already in place. Repeat the ironing with increasing time and heat if necessary.
Knowing how to fix simple tears for your tent is what make you a good camper and your camp will be more enjoyable with the knowledge. So pay attention to each tip described above. They will definitely be of good use for you. What’s more, they are easy to learn, too.