How to Repair a Ripped Canvas Tent

Written by eric cedric
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How to Repair a Ripped Canvas Tent
Break out the sewing machine to stitch up ripped canvas tents. (civil war flag image by Stacey Lynn Payne from

Stitching up rips in a canvas tent requires scrap pieces of canvas and heavy-duty needle and thread. Because canvas is a thick and heavy fabric, a fortified needle is needed on the sewing machine to puncture and stitch the fabric. Before beginning the repair, make sure the canvas is dry and clean of any mildew or mould.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Cutting board
  • Scissors and fabric roller-knife
  • 14/90 or 16/100 size needle
  • V-46 thread
  • Scrap canvas material

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  1. 1

    Spread the rip out onto a flat table and measure out the length of the rip or tear. Determine if you can fold the tear together to stitch or if you will need to cut a canvas patch from the scrap material to piece it together. If the tear is longer than 6 inches, it is best to use a patch.

  2. 2

    Set the scarp canvas on the cutting board and cut out the needed size for the repair, if you have determined to go the patch route. If not, use the safety pins to connect the rip edges together to prep for the sewing machine.

  3. 3

    Place the rip onto the sewing machine. Attach the 14/90 or 16/100 needle into your sewing machine and line the spool with the heavy-duty thread.

  4. 4

    Sew the rip, going up the tear. Remove safety pins as the tear is brought together.

  5. 5

    Place the canvas patch onto the edges of the rip and push the edges together as close as possible and safety pin into place. Place on the sewing machine and sew around the patch edges. Remove the safety pins once the rip is patched.

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