Repairing A Canvas Convertible Top On Your Own

If you have an automobile with a convertible top, you undoubtedly enjoy driving your vehicle around with the top down during warmer weather. If you find your canvas convertible top has a rip in the fabric, you will need to repair it promptly to help avoid any damage to the interior of your vehicle should imminent weather become present. Here are some instructions you can use to make a repair to a canvas convertible top on your own.

Evaluate The Extent Of The Damage

If the rip is rather small, a patch job can be easily administered. If the ripped portion is extensive, such as more than a few inches in length, bring your vehicle to a professional for assessment. It is not worth risking doing the job on your own, possibly ruining the canvas more in the process, if the job appears too overwhelming by sight. If you are confident in your sewing skills and the damage seems minimal, you will be more apt to do a decent job yourself. 

Sew The Pieces Back Together

Purchase some upholstery thread as close in color as the color of your convertible top. Put the convertible top up before you start the sewing process. This will allow you to keep the canvas straight and taut as you do the sewing process. Use a whipstitch to attach each half of the ripped portion of canvas back together. This process may take several hours depending on the thickness of the canvas and length of the rip. Be sure to have canvas needles on hand in case you break a few during the sewing process. Keep your stitches as even as possible and check over your work frequently so you can shift the cloth appropriately as you do the job.

Seal The Seam To Keep Out Moisture

Once the canvas is sewn back together, it needs to be patched so wet weather can not make its way through any small gaps present. Place a piece of duck tape over the seam on the interior side of the canvas convertible top. On the exterior, add a layer of polyurethane waterproof sealant. Allow to dry in its entirety. When dry, remove the duck tape.

Sew A Patch To The Exterior Side Of The Canvas

A patch should be applied to give the sewn canvas an added layer of protection. Go to a cloth store or boat supply store and purchase a piece of marine canvas matching the color of your convertible top as closely as possible. The canvas piece should be an inch or two bigger than the size of the rip so it is completely contained underneath.

Use a waterproof glue to adhere the patch over the sewn portion of canvas, or for a better hold, sew the patch to the exterior of the convertible top canvas using a whip stitch or straight stitch. After the patch is tightly in place, apply a waterproof sealant to the edges to help keep moisture away from the rip underneath. Contact a business, such as Fred's Auto Interiors, for more information.