How to Fix a Burn Hole in a Polyester Dress

The durability and texture of polyester makes it a popular fabric choice for dress manufacturers and sewing enthusiasts. However, this plastic polymer material will melt if exposed to an open flame. Candle flames, lit cigarettes or even a random spark can quickly leave a hole in a polyester dress. Detecting these marks is easy, as polyester burns leave lumpy black rings. Hiding a large burn hole may be difficult, but with some work, you can repair a small burn hole easily.

Hide a burn hole with accessories like a belt or brooch. (Image: fizkes/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Cut away the charred area with a small scissors, like a manicure scissors. Try to cut evenly, clipping away only the blackened area.

Step 2

Smooth away the charred crumbs you cut away with your hand. Examine the hole. If the hole is small -- around the size of a dime -- you can sew it without adding fabric.

Step 3

Turn the garment inside out and keep the burn hole in front of you. Choose a thread color that matches the dress color, and thread the needle. Sew the hole closed with a chain stitch and end the repair with a sturdy knot. Do not tie the knot too tightly; you could cause the fabric to pucker.

Step 4

Repair a larger hole by adding a piece of fabric to the dress. The fabric should match the dress color and texture as closely as possible. Turn the dress inside out, and sew the new fabric over the burn hole using a whip stitch. Flip the dress inside out, checking the repair for loose stitches before wearing it.

Things You'll Need

  • Small scissors

  • Thread

  • Needle

  • Fabric

  • Fabric tape

  • Iron


You can also use iron-on fabric tape to secure a fabric patch. If you use fabric tape, make sure the iron is set to the polyester fabric setting.


Polyester is heat-sensitive. Use a low heat setting for polyester garments or lay them flat to dry.

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