How to fix down jackets

Updated April 17, 2017

You're hiking at a brisk pace on your favourite trail, perhaps thinking about how much you love your down jacket, when you hear a horrible ripping sound that drops your heart into your stomach. As the feathers clear, you come to the realisation that you'll have to fix the tear or get rid of the jacket. Not to worry -- with a little bit of concentration, time and effort, you can repair your down jacket and benefit from its warmth again.

Apply a temporary and quick patch immediately after the rip to prevent any more feathers from escaping. Use anything from quick stitching to duct tape. If you use duct tape, you will then use an acetone-based solvent like nail polish to remove the glue before a more permanent fix.

Locate a source for down and buy the amount that you need to replace that missing from your jacket. Check your local outdoor outfitter or an online source. (See resources.) Alternatively, you can look in any feather pillows you have at home.

Fill the damaged part of your jacket with the appropriate amount of down or feathers. Sew the rip with nylon stitching using an overhand stitch. If you have difficulty sewing, use straight pins or butterfly bandages to hold the rip together while you are sewing.

Coat the stitching with a repair adhesive, such as Seam Grip or a similar product. For added protection, use a ripstop nylon patch to prevent any material from escaping through your stitching holes, and to prevent any potential further ripping.


Down is considered the garment with the best weight-to-warmth ratio, which is why it can be so expensive. Take proper care of your jacket and you will be rewarded with years of top quality warmth.

Things You'll Need

  • Patch or duct tape
  • Nail polish remover
  • Sewing needle
  • Nylon stitching
  • Straight pins or butterfly bandages (optional)
  • Repair adhesive
  • Ripstop nylon adhesive patch (optional, but highly recommended)
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Sebastian Malysa began his writing career in 2010. His work focuses on the general arts and appears on Answerbag and eHow. He has won a number of academic awards, most notably the CTV Award for best proposed documentary film. He holds a Master of Arts in contemporary disability theater from the University of Victoria.