Discover How to Repair a Jacket in a Few Stressless Steps


October 14, 2022


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How to fix a jacket

As summer slowly gives way to fall, the days are getting shorter … and cooler! It is therefore time to take out a warm jacket to keep enjoying nature. It can also be a time when you realize that your faithful equipment is showing its first signs of weakness.

If this is your case, don’t panic! We have some tips on how to repair a jacket yourself and continue enjoying your outdoor adventures without catching cold or breaking the bank!

This article was produced in collaboration with Earth Day CanadaEarth day logo

In this article, you will learn more about how to repair a jacket:

  1. Hand Sewing a Torn Jacket
  2. Patching Technical Clothing
  3. Repairing (or Changing) a Jacket Zipper
  4. Re-waterproofing Your Gear
  5. Betting on Durable (and Repairable!) Equipment

Hand Sewing a Torn Jacket

Among all the little problems we can have with our coats, there is one great classic: the tear!

Quite innocuous when it concerns everyday garments, it can give us a hard time when it affects our technical clothing.

If the hole is in the lining, or touches a non-waterproof material, it is time to show off your best sewing skills!
Find a thread similar in colour to the item you are repairing, cut the excess thread, bring the two edges of the tear together and sew your best hand stitch. Useful tip: double your thread and/or sew back and forth for a stronger finish.

First time holding a needle between your fingers? Multiple tutorials can guide you step by step! Start simple with a straight stitch, until you master the ladder stitch, which will allow you (one day, perhaps) to make an invisible hand hem to patch a damaged pants bottom.

Patching Technical Clothing

fix jacket patchIf you are repairing technical clothing, such as down or waterproof shells, you will need a little more preparation … but less manual skill!

Buy technical clothing waterproof repair patches in our stores. They cost a few dollars, take up no room in a bag and often save a rainy camping weekend – you know, that time you realize that yes, there is a hole in your waterproof jacket. If your equipment is made of GORE-TEX, there are specific patches for this material.

Let’s demystify this! The regular sticky tape we often have on hand at home does not do the trick, even if it sometimes seems like a good emergency fix. It tends to damage technical clothing, particularly by tearing off the waterproof coating of jackets.

You have your patches in hand, it is time to roll up your sleeves!

– Cut off excess thread.
– Carefully clean the material with a diluted alcohol solution. This ensures that the patch adheres properly.
– Let dry.
– Lay the garment flat, making sure to bring the edges of the tear as close together as possible, but without stretching the garment. Now patch it!

Repairing (or Changing) a Jacket Zipper

Fix jacket zipperThe other rather banal, but no less tragic, unpleasant surprise of any equipment that has lived a little: the defective zipper.
There is a great temptation to struggle in vain with the zipper, hoping that one (or 34) additional back-and-forth motion will change things. Take a breath and take stock! To each problem its solution:

– Is the zipper stuck? Check that a piece of fabric is not blocking the zipper. If not, get a pencil; the graphite in its tip is good for lubricating mechanisms. Pass it several times through the slider and over the portion of the closure you want to slide to. Detergent or dish soap, in very small quantities, can also do the trick.

– The zipper separates? This is a classic, and it is often caused by the teeth coming out of alignment. When opening and closing the zipper, examine the areas of resistance or the portion that separates first. You should be able to see bent teeth. Use a pair of pliers to gently straighten them. Be patient and repeat until the zipper closes smoothly.

– The zipper separates, but the teeth are aligned? It is then the zipper itself that is to be suspected. Often, it gets deformed from repeated manipulation. Try tightening the edges of the slider to make sure it “bites” well into the teeth, always with pliers and lots of kindness.

– Does the zipper slider need to be replaced? If despite your efforts the mechanism is broken, it will have to be changed. Still using pliers, remove the first teeth at the top of the zipper, those that are thicker and prevent the zipper slider from coming out of the zipper. Replace the mechanism and replace the locking teeth. Watch an explanatory video if you hesitate.

– Don’t know what to do? Head to the shoe repair shop! For a few dollars, you can replace the entire zipper or the zipper slider alone without any problem. Some brands also provide repairs, sometimes for free!

Re-waterproofing Your Gear

After a few adventures in various weather conditions, all equipment needs to be pampered so that it does not get damaged.

This is the case with waterproof jackets, which lose their properties over time, but that does not signify the end of their life!

Waterproofing sprays exist for all types of materials, from the most technical to the most rustic. From simple water repellents to specific sprays that bring your equipment back to near-new condition, they are vital to ensure better durability of your coats. Treat yours now!

Betting on Durable (and Repairable!) Equipment

There is no other solution than to change your jacket? Bet on durable, quality equipment that you won’t need to change every season. Also be aware that more and more major equipment brands offer repair services or warranties, sometimes for life. By favouring such initiatives, you encourage the consideration of durability and repairability in the design of outdoor equipment! Treat yourself!

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