How to Repair Blinds & Drapes

Blinds and drapes are very hard working, but often the only time we notice them is when we purchase them or discover they are damaged. The most common problem with drapes and blinds is fabric tears. Because the window treatment is facing the sun every day, the fabric deteriorates and the fabric fibres become less stable. Over time, this causes the lining fabric to develop holes. Usually the finish fabric withstands sun damage longer because it is protected by the liner. It is worthwhile repairing the liner and preventing problems to achieve full use and value from the finish fabric.

Purchase a Roman shade repair kit, patch kit, No Fray and fabric adhesive to keep on hand for quick repairs. Often a drape or blind will become damaged when it is being dusted before guests arrive since this is a time they will be opened or moved rapidly. Keeping a repair kit on hand will reduce stress and allow you to make a quick repair and save the evening.

Mend simple fabric tears by positioning an ironing board close to the closed drapes. Turn the drapery over and drape it across the length of the board to expose the tear. The ironing board will help support the weight of the fabric. Find the torn spot. Trim off straggling threads along both sides of the tear. Paint the edge with No Fray and allow the No Fray to dry.

Thread a needle with matching thread and sew through the No Fray 1/8 inch from the edge of the tear. Align the tear and cross over the tear with the stitch. Keep the stitches evenly spaced from 1/16 to 1/8 inch apart. Pull the stitches until they begin to tug but not until the fabric squeezes together. Stitch the entire torn area. Trim off any excess threads with scissors.

Remove drapes for long rips. Determine whether you can iron a patch to the inside of the liner fabric or whether you can open the drape and sew a vertical seam to capture the tear. Open a side seam using a seam ripper and separate the finish and lining fabric enough for you to place the liner fabric in the sewing machine. Position the fabric face sides together along the rip and sew a narrow 1/8- to 1/4-inch seam. Taper off the seam on each end. Re-sew your lining to your finish fabric.

Rip the side seam on a lined drapery or blind when you have a hole too big to mend with needle and thread. Open the side enough to place your hand inside the two fabrics. Clean up the edges of the hole by removing jagged fabric or loose threads. Cut a patch in the same colour as the lining 1 inch larger on all sides than the hole. Insert the iron-on patch to fit the back side of the lining fabric.

Position the patch and lining so the fabric is resting and flat and the patch is covering the area of damage. Place scrap cotton fabric over the hole and iron the patch to the underside of the lining. Sew the fabric and lining back together along the side.

Replace rings on blinds by finding the position where the ring should be. Rings are aligned vertically. Follow each cord to a horizontal cross support. There should be a ring for each cord at each cross support. Usually you will see ripped cloth where the ring was attached. Untie the cord from the bottommost ring in the column where a ring is missing. Un-thread the cord in the existing rings until you are at the missing ring. Set the cord aside.

Mend and sew a new ring from a Roman shade repair kit at the location of the missing ring. Thread the cord back down through the new ring and each ring below until you reach the bottommost ring. Tie the cord firmly to that ring. Make sure the knot is at the same location on the cord as it was originally so that the shade will operate properly.


Check drapes and blinds regularly for signs of sun rot or other damage. Teach children, friends and guests how to correctly operate cord-pulled drapes and blinds to prevent hard pulling that can cause damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Roman shade repair kit
  • Patch kit
  • No Fray
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Seam ripper
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric patch
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.