Camping, backpacking and hiking means lots of touch with the nature, which means there is a possibility you’ll sometimes run into something sharp, like on a rock, or you’d accidentally get caught by a tree, or you’ll be meeting some wildlife. And while you’re enjoying your trip, one of those things that could ruin it for you is a tear in your jacket. That is why every backpacker and camper should treat learning how to fix a down jacket as one of the essential things, because if there is a hole in your down jacket, and the feathers are coming out, you could end up losing all the warmth and protection it should provide.
This article will lead you through the process of making permanent solution, but you’ll also read about the other, temporary options that will buy you some time and let you continue your adventure without having to react that instant moment. Repairing down jackets is not hard or complicated, but it does require a bit of patience and skill. The final result is without a doubt worth the effort.
Clean The Area
Down jacket repair using a repair tape is good and easy option and it will without a doubt serve you some time. You’ll need the utility scissors and the repair tape.
Start by carefully inspecting the damaged part of your down jacket. If there are any threads, fabric or feathers, use your scissors to clip it off and remove it. Do not pull the feathers out using your fingers. This way you could force more feathers to start to come out through the hole, spreading it along the way and making the problem even worse and harder to fix.
When all loose parts removed, it is time to clean the area you’re planning to repair. Do it by using isopropyl alcohol before you add the patch. It is important to remove any dirt, oil or other unwanted particles, or else your patch may not connect well with your fabric. When done, let it dry for a while. Once you make sure it is completely dry, it is time to attach the patch.
Preparing The Tape
Now it is time to take your repair tape. Flip the tape to the back side. Use marker – or anything else you’re comfortable with – to draw an oval a bit larger than the hole you’re patching. In case your hole is a bit bigger, you could use the rectangle, but make sure to round it up on the edges. This will prevent the patch corners from getting caught and significantly lower the possibility of detaching.
When the artistic part is done and your tape has nice oval drawing on its back side, it is time to cut it out. Use your scissors and carefully cut it, making sure you follow the outer line, then place it over the hole to make sure it will fit rightly. It should cover the hole and overlap with the fabric, for it to stay firmly attached.
Before you start attaching the patch, make sure your fabric is straightened up and that there are no wrinkles that could cause it to peel off. Now, using a pin or your fingernail – or anything else you find suitable for this task – remove the back part of the tape, leaving you with the sticky part in your hands. Remember, you should not touch the sticky side or you could ruin it and you’ll have to start all over again!
Adding The Patch
Your fabric is clean, straight; the sticky part of your tape has been successfully removed from its back side, and now comes the last, but the most important step – applying the patch to the fabric. You do it by laying it over the hole, then pressing it using your fingers. Once added, it is time to remove the air out of it. You’ll do it by using a fingernail to rub it and then pressing it down with your palm until it is all connected well.
Before you buy the patching material, make sure it is waterproof. If it isn’t, you’ll risk losing it when it gets wet. Once you’re done applying the patch to your down jacket, let it rest for a day or two, until your patch fully adjusts to your jacket. After that, it should serve you for a while and keep the jacket’s quality at the best possible level, until you find time to do more permanent fix.
If you’re out on a trip and don’t have tenacious tape with you, but you’ve spotted a hole in your jacket and would love to react and buy some time before you can solve the problem for good, don’t worry, there is something you can do.
First, if you have a tent repair kit with you, there is probably a tube of seam grip included. If the hole is not too big, closing it with seam grip could solve the problem, at least until you get back home or get some repair tape.
Clean the area same way like you’ll be using the repair tape. Then, once it is all clean and isopropyl alcohol has removed all dirt and oils from the fabrics, remove any threads, feathers, fabrics that are loose and could affect the process. Let it dry a bit, and then add a thin layer of seam grip. Don’t use it instantly, let it rest for about 8-12 hours and allow the seam grip to dry.
The second possibility is a duct tape. It won’t solve the problem for longer period of time, but it should prevent it from getting worse before you arrive home. Any duct tape will do, but it is good to do it using some that adheres well, so you won’t have to worry if it will last long enough. Just make sure the part of a duct tape is bigger than the hole. You’ll also have to clean the area before you add it, then when the duct tape is placed, remove the air using the fingernail and your thumb.
If The Hole Is Too Big
In case the hole is too big so the duct tape or seam grip won’t help, try your best to find the repair tape and close it this way. Again, make sure your patch is big enough to cover the whole area. In case it doesn’t help, don’t waste your time and look up for the professional help. It is better to be patient and let the professionals do their job, or to risk and potentially ruin your jacket if the hole is unmanageable, or you simply don’t want to do it by yourself and would like to let someone else do it for you. Contacting the store where you’ve purchased your jacket should do the trick. If they don’t have their own tailor, you’ll most likely get the contact information, so you’ll be able to call and ask for help.
Sewing It Up Is Not A Good Idea
The idea of sewing your jacket up has probably run through your mind, and you should try to forget it as soon as possible, because you could only make the problem way worse than it already is if you opt out for using the sewing machine, or simply an needle and a thread.
Don’t forget – you’re dealing with extremely fragile and easily breakable materials, so you will need not only extraordinary sewing skills, but also great sewing machine and lots and lots of luck. One mistake could basically throw away all the effort, especially if you make a mistake and go through the shell and lining, affecting the jacket isolation. These fabrics are lightweight and to do it properly, you’ll have to do it in the smallest possible stitches, with ultralight needle and the silkiest thread, so the hole doesn’t spread during the sewing period. And you’ll also have to be accurate above average, or your fabrics could end up with even more small holes, which means even more problems, no matter how small they are.
Globo Surf Overview
While you’re outside and having fun with your friends and trying to conquer some trails or simply enjoying yourself on a camping trip and letting your mind relax, the last thing you need is to worry about possible tears and holes in your jacket. But if it does happen, ignoring it could only make this problem worse and potentially force you to buy the new jacket.
This article will help you prevent it from happening, so you don’t have to worry about repairing down jackets. Once you spot the feathers coming out of your jacket, it is time to stop, take out the repair tape and solve the issue. So, before your next trip, check your gear and make sure you have tenacious tape with you. Nature is unpredictable, and you never know what to expect, so it is better to be prepared and react before it becomes too late and spoils the fun.