Canvas Repair | How To Repair Canvas Tents

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If you own a canvas tent, you will likely need to repair it at some point in your outdoor journey.

Canvas is not cheap, and repairing it yourself can save money, so it’s well worth the effort to learn the skill.

This article will take you through all you need to know about canvas repair- what materials you’ll need, how to do the job right, and other handy tips for keeping your tent in tip-top condition.

What You’ll Need for Tent Canvas Repair

  • A pair of scissors
  • A needle and thread in the relevant color for your canvas,
  • A sewing machine| sewing owl
  • A tape measurer or ruler, if necessary,

Other Materials You May Need for Canvas Repair Include:

  • An iron box (if repairing a tear),
  • Glue (if need be)
  • A paper bag to place over the area being repaired so it doesn’t get burned by the hot surface of the iron, and sometimes spray adhesive, which is used to reinforce the repair.

How To Repair Canvas Tents


Canvas repair, how to repair canvas tents

1. Clean the canvas

The first step in repairing canvas is always removing any dirt or debris with a soft brush.

2. Stich the tear/hole

Next, check to see you have enough fabric on either side of the tear to sew it back together.

Be careful not to pull too hard on any stitches. 

3. Cut the patch

Measure out your tear before cutting a patch so that you have at least an inch or more on either side- this is better than having too little, meaning there isn’t enough fabric left after sewing attaching the patch.

4. Attach the patch

Apply glue to the patch and attach it to the inside of the tent. Leave to dry ( use something to press it down till it’s dry). Repeat this same process on the inside of the tent.

If your fabric has snapped in half, you will need to use a tape measure across the tear and check that the length of both sides is the same.

If they aren’t, then cut a scrap piece to size so that it is equal- this will help balance out the uneven weight across your tent, which can cause wear and tear over time.

Once you have an equal amount on each side, line them up with one another and tape them in place.

It’s best to sew the two sides together, then glue them using spray adhesive before allowing them to dry for about 15 minutes.

If you don’t have any extra fabric, then this is where your iron comes into use- heat an old tea towel or paper bag and cover over the tear, keeping the iron on top of it for about 30 seconds.

This will fuse the two pieces so you can sew them back up without any significant issues or complications!

Canvas Repair with an Iron

Canvas repair

If your canvas is very hot, do not use adhesive as this could damage your tent- always practice caution when using heat with fabrics.

You can also use a piece of cardboard or paper instead to protect the surface from being damaged by the iron.

Reinforcing Tapes for Repairing Canvas

If you have used tape measurer’s across your tear, then it is best to reinforce them with adhesive- simply put some adhesive over one side and place another strip on top of it, lining them up so that they are directly over the tape measurer.

If you used spray adhesive to attach your scrap fabric, then it is also best to reinforce with more adhesive- just place another strip of paper on top and iron this down for maximum strength.

Remember never to use too much glue or heat on your tent – always practice safety when performing any repairs to your canvas.

How to Patch Canvas With a Sewing Machine

If you have a sewing machine, then the easiest way to stitch up your tear is to use a stitch.

Look for a piece of canvas material you can sew on top of the tear and make it big enough to cover any damage- this is a good way to reinforce your tent in the long term.

If you have a sewing machine, then stitching up a canvas won’t be too much trouble for you, but if not, then gluing will be your best bet!

How to Patch Canvas Tear With Glue

Make sure that it is placed in one direction when using glue and allow for at least 15 minutes before putting any heat on the material.

When gluing your fabric back together, make sure to glue down three edges, leaving an edge open, which can be sewn up later- this will give extra strength when stitching, so don’t skip this step!

If you used a tape measure, you can just line up the pieces and sew them back together- if not, put the fabric on top of your tear.

FAQ on Canvas Repair:

Can I Use An Iron-on Patch For My Tent? 

Yes, you can. It is possible. You will need to apply heat using a hot iron on the patch, which melts an adhesive and seals the patch directly onto your canvas tent.

Can I Use A Sewing Machine To Repair My Tent?

Yes, you can use a sewing machine to repair your torn tent. It is easy and works well if done correctly- just be very careful not to pull too hard when stitching back together, or it might snap again.

Is It Best To Repair My Canvas Tear Or Not?

It is always best to repair any tears in canvas before they get too big or, worse, cause a hole to form. If you don’t want the expense of buying a new tent, then try your best with what you have! 🙂

Till Next time

If you found these instructions helpful, please consider sharing my blog on Facebook or Twitter so that more people can learn how to repair their tents. 

1 thought on “Canvas Repair | How To Repair Canvas Tents”

  1. I need to to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you postÖ

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