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Repairing Nylon fabric
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Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Repairing Nylon fabric on 04/24/2006 10:08:17 MDT Print View

I recently got a lightly used Western Mountaineering Highlite bag and noticed a small hole about the size of a small shirt button in one end. It appears to be a burn of some sort and is perfectly circular. Could have caught a hot ember??? In any case, I want to repair this as well as possible. WM does not have any suggestions on their site. Does anyone have a technique they have used to patch something like this?

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Repairing Nylon fabric on 04/24/2006 19:31:32 MDT Print View


The easiest fix is, don't laugh, duct tape. I have a friend who caught an ember on the sleeve of his jacket and he covered it with a 2" square piece of duct tape. It's still going strong for over 10 years now. He washes it with the tape in place.

I personally have patched a hole in a down jacket with an iron-on patch. Set the iron to low and make sure the glue melts. Back up the repair area with a the end of a dowel or something to make sure you get good pressure on the patch with the iron.

These certainly aren't the most sophisticated methods but they work.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Repairing Nylon fabric on 04/24/2006 19:53:01 MDT Print View

If you can get a roll of 3M9845 seam stick tape (try sailmaker or boat shop) about 1" wide or more, this will make permanent repairs to most nylons. Put 70 d nylon on one face at home. Alternately, buy an adhesive nylon patch kit by Coghlans from your local outdoors shop.
Exceptions: silnylon and heavier fabrics with good DWR on the surface.

Jeff Black
(thehikingdude) - F
Cutting on 04/25/2006 10:21:20 MDT Print View

The other trick is to cut ,whatever you put on, into a circle (or something close) so there are no corners to pull up.

J├Ârgen Johansson
(Jorgen) - M

Re: Repairing Nylon fabric on 04/26/2006 07:54:00 MDT Print View

Your hole might be too big, but I've used the following for small holes on most thin fabrics, like down jackets:

Mix a small amount of bathroom silicone with a solvent and dab it on the hole with the back end of a match or something similar.

Mary Simpson
(maryphyl) - F
Kenyon Tape on 04/26/2006 10:33:38 MDT Print View

I use kenyon repair tape. It stays put and washes nicely--it is a permanent solution and does not leave you with the sticky mess that duct tape does. My WM jacket had to be repaired in several places last year after a spitting ember accident.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Re: Kenyon Tape on 04/26/2006 15:08:12 MDT Print View

There is always the old needle and thread....fold the hole in half...trim the hole into a slit shape...then whip stitch the slit sure to leave an adequate distance for fraying nylon or heat seal the slit before sewing...Yes there will be a small ridge, not unlike a scar on flesh...Carefully done the ridge is minimal and probably less noticable, or stiff than the tape solutions...

BTW, this technique when done with thicker material such as a buck shot peppered deer skin that is being brain tanned can use subdural stitching....In this case the closure can be made virtually unnoticable to the casual observer...nylon is too thin for this approach but the above whip stich tech works well.


Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Repair to Nylon Bag Shell: Thanks! on 04/27/2006 22:27:07 MDT Print View

What a versatile group! All solutions seem logical and probably work well. I may choose to enroll the wife, as I noticed she repaired fine cotton on our bedspread with the "whip" stitch. I learned something new there.

In any event, I had one of those instances where I encountered a problem on the trail and was able to finally use my super small roll of duct tape! I only had one quill come out...and it was huge. I made my hiking partners laugh by quickly storing it in my if to keep it for re-insertion.

Thanks to all!