I have a tear in my fabric. How do I repair it?
This depends upon the size of the tear. If it is less than 8 inches you can overlap a simple patch by 1 inch over the good fabric. If it is more than an 8 inch tear a 2 inch overlap is required with a 2 inch finishing tape applied over the seams.
Should I use the same type of fabric to make the patch?
Yes. Use the original weight of fabric.
After I cut the patch, how do I cement it in place?
Use our fabric cement Poly-Tak to cement a patch in place.
What are the steps involved in repairing fabric?
- Trim out any ragged parts from the hole.
- Cut out a patch of fabric from a smooth piece of unshrunken fabric.
- Mask off the area.
- Clean off all coatings inside the masked area using MEK. Go down to bare fabric.
- Cement the patch to the old fabric using a 1 inch or 2 inch overlap and Poly-Tak cement.
- Heat shrink the area with an iron calibrated to 350 degrees F.
- Brush on a coat of Poly-Brush over the new fabric.
- If finishing tapes are needed (over 8 inch tear), apply these using Poly-Brush.
- Spray on 2-3 coats of Poly-Spray.
- Spray on the Poly-Tone color.
I have Aerothane topcoat on my airplane. Can I patch the fabric?
Yes. The major difference between Aerothane and Poly-Tone is that you cannot clean off the old coating using MEK. You have to sand off the Aerothane. When you get to the silver coats you can then use MEK to remove the remaining coats.
What about a major repair?
If you have dinged an entire wingtip as an example, you will probably have to recover a large area. You can cement a large piece of fabric over the old fabric using a minimum of 1 inch overlap. You must then rib lace or attach the new fabric to the wing. Then build up the entire panel just as you would new fabric.
What tools and materials will I need to do a repair?
LIST OF MATERIALS NEEDED FOR REPAIRS
- Small piece of fabric (same weight as original)
- Masking tape & paper
- Small glue brush
- 2 inch brush
- Pinking shears
- Thermometer to calibrate iron
- Small touchup spray gun
- 280 grit sandpaper
- Poly-Tak cement
- Poly-Tone or Aerothane topcoat