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How to fix a burn hole in a polyester dress

Polyester fabric is known for its durability as well as its smooth texture, which makes ironing unnecessary. These characteristics make polyester a popular choice for all types of clothing, including fashionable and colourful dresses. Like most plastic polymer materials, however, polyester can't tolerate high heat, and is easy to damage with objects such as lit cigarettes, matches, lighters and open flames. Burn holes often leave dark black rings around the hole where the polyester has melted together and charred. Fixing these holes requires a little bit of creative talent.

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  1. Cut the blackened charred bits of polyester from around the hole, using the scissors. Try to remove as little fabric as possible and keep the actual hole as small as possible. Make the new edges of the hole as smooth and circular or oval as possible and remove any jagged edges or harsh corners.

  2. If the hole is small, sew it together with the needle and thread. Use thread that is the same colour as the fabric you are repairing and thread that is slightly heavier than the thread of the polyester weave. Start from about 2.5 cm (1 inch) away from the hole on both sides of the fabric and weave across the hole diagonally, a process known as darning.

  3. If the hole is too large to darn without altering the shape or fit of the dress, use a patch. Find a piece of material that either matches the garment's colour or complements it as a fashion accessory. Cut the fabric to fit over the hole, with at least a 2.5 cm (1 inch) overlap on all sides. If you are using a patch of a different colour than the dress, cut the patch into a designer shape like a heart, a star or a butterfly. Using the needle and the thread or a sewing machine, sew the patch on to the dress, covering up the hole.

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Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Polyester fabric patch

About the Author

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.

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