How to repair a patio umbrella

Updated February 21, 2017

Patio umbrellas offer protection from heat as well as potential skin damage from the sun. Creating shaded areas to enjoy time outside is the ultimate function of these umbrellas. In addition, they can complement the decor on a patio or deck that serves as additional living space outside the home. When a patio umbrella sustains a rip or tear from bad weather or because it's old and worn, repair the umbrella to get it working again.

Assess the damage to your patio umbrella to determine the best method for repairing it. Since most sturdy patio umbrellas are made of canvas, they may be fixed by sewing, gluing or patching the hole or tear.

Glue lengthy tears with fabric glue. Apply the glue to both sides of the tear and fuse the two sides together with your fingers. Leave the canvas umbrella fabric laying on a flat surface and cover the glued area with something heavy, like a stack of books. Lay a sheet of wax paper over the repair before adding the books for weight. Once the glue is dry, stitch over the repair for extra reinforcement if needed.

Stitch tears of just a few centimetres in length with a needle and thread. Double-threading the needle will add extra strength to your stitches. Knot the thread before cutting it from the needle once the stitching is complete.

Buy a patch kit for canvas if there is a large hole in the umbrella. Apply the patch to the area where the hole is and stitch or iron it in place per the instructions.


Close your patio umbrella when not in use. This will help prevent future holes or tears in the canvas.

Always open the umbrella to direct sunlight after it has sustained considerable rain or moisture, as mildew or mould will eventually eat holes in the canvas, requiring additional repairs.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Canvas patch kit
  • Wax paper
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About the Author

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, N.H. She has authored five books and hundreds of articles and short stories. Her work has appeared various publications, including "Parenting," "Writer’s Digest," "Vacations" and "Discovery Travel." She studied at the University of Maine and later pursued her writing studies through numerous classes and workshops.