Recycle, Reuse, Repair - Keeping Tent Fabric in Action

There are many situations where you simply need to buy a new tent top:

  • If you’re top is branded and your company changes your logo.

  • There is extensive damage, after a wind storm or other calamity.

  • You want to upgrade to a new style applicable to your support system.

  • A different fabric is desired or required.

And all are good reasons for doing so. This blog isn’t for you, then.

If your tent top has a single rip or tear, it would be much more economical to simply repair it yourself. Through our time as a rental company and on into our life as a manufacturing, we’ve seen many, many different ways people have tried to mend worn fabric, and we have a few pointers.

The Celina Patching Process

For any repair made to the fabric portion of a tent top, we suggest the following steps - the actual bonding method is up to the user.

  1. Clean

    The area to be mended should be free of any dirt and frayed material before patching. Wipe clean with warm soapy water or vinyl cleaner, being sure to trim any frayed edges or strips of material that are hanging onto the flat, continuous majority of the fabric.

  2. Cut

    With a sharp pair of scissors, cut a shape from the patch material so that the tear is covered completely, and the patch when placed will extend at least 1” past the edge of the tear in all directions. This allows for the most strength when the patch is adhered and gives you a little wiggle room while fixing. Make sure to round all corners of the patch as this prevents any areas from catching and possibly tearing the patch up later.

  3. Bond

    Secure the patch in place. This can be done with a heat sealer and roller for the best results or in a pinch one can use a vinyl adhesive, with details below.

  4. Test

    Once you’ve given the patch a chance to cool or dry (depending on your mending method), lightly test the edges to ensure that the patch is being held securely in place.
  5. Flip and Repeat
    Once you’ve secured one side of the tent, be sure to also patch the opposite side for the strongest seal.

Methods of Material Mending

Top of the Line – The Heat Sealer

Similar to the standard manufacturing methods used to create the tent top sin the first place, a hand-held heat sealer can be used to melt patches in place. With the help of a silicone roller, the sealer’s nozzle is inserted underneath the patch. As the nozzle is pulled back, the roller is used to smash the melted sides of the patch and fabric together to form the seal. All heat sealing should be done from the center of the patch location out to the edge.

As Good As – Adhesives

Specialty glues made for vinyl operate by breaking down the actual vinyl surfaces, allowing you to bond not only the glues but the very materials you are combining. Unfortunately it is very difficult for Celina to ship our preferred vinyl fabric adhesive, HH-66, to our UK Distribution Center. It is up to the end user to find a suitable vinyl adhesive and the corresponding style of vinyl to use in place.

In very urgent situations, colored tapes can be used to close a tear and keep it from spreading until a proper repair can be done.

Celina offers a full range of products for international shipping from our main Distribution Center located in Celina, Ohio – just give us a call at 0015 794 0041 and we can start sorting out what we can ship right to you!

See our full line of Repair videos right here: