Gear repair

This morning, I had the occasion to do a bit of work on my fancy down jacket. Circumstances surrounding this occasion are a bit frustrating; we’ll not go further.

This technique has worked well for me in previous repairs, so I figured it might be worth posting. Gear repair like this is a part of working here for many folks. Also, it’s an easy way for me to get some photos and a post together, without having to tote my camera out into the cold.

We start with finding some suitable tape. Duck tape works OK, but we’ve got this almost-colour-coordinated gaffer’s tape here for some reason, which I think might last a bit longer than duck tape. Without touching the sticky side, put a bit on some wax paper or sticker backing. This makes it a lot easier to trim the patch in to an appropriately rounded shape. You don’t want sharp corners, they’ll tend to peel.

Backing from an LTO tape label, and some gaffer's tape...

Backing from an LTO tape label, and some gaffer’s tape…

Clean the fabric around where the patch is going to go with a suitable cleaner. You want something that’ll cut through all the gunk that accumulates on outdoorsy stuff, but not damage the fabric; I tend to go with denatured alcohol since I usually have that handy.

850 power down goes everywhere.

850 power down goes everywhere

Once the cleaner has dried off, stick the patch on. Try not to wrinkle the fabric, and use plenty pressure.

The big trick is to apply some heat to the tape adhesive while it’s still fresh, and melt the sticky stuff down into the fabric. We conveniently have a device called an “iron” available here, which can be used for that purpose. Apply the iron through a bit of paper or something, to keep the other users from getting angry over sticky goop on their tool.



About ianrrees

Nerdy guy.
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