How to Fix Cuts in Polyester Clothes

Durable polyester fabric, predominantly featured in athletic wear and weather-resistant garments such as jackets or winter coats, can tear under stress. Rough play in sports, a caught sleeve on a sharp nail or wire, or even an accidental slice with a pair of scissors can destroy the integrity of a polyester clothing item. However, although the garment's original perfection is impossible to recapture, reattaching the torn edges can restore the garment's general form and function.

Keep the garment's tear from growing larger with a strong, stable repair. (Image: Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Step 1

Locate a small piece of polyester fabric that matches the color and weight of the torn garment. If necessary, bring the garment to the fabric store for comparison.

Step 2

Cut the fabric piece 1-inch longer and wider than the tear.

Step 3

Examine the garment lining, if it is lined. Remove the lining stitching nearest the tear with a seam ripper. Move the lining away from the tear.

Step 4

Slip the new fabric piece beneath the tear on the inside of the garment. Pull the edges of the tear together, and pin the fabric piece to the garment.

Step 5

Slide the garment under the presser foot of the sewing machine. Lower the presser foot over the top of the tear, and set the machine to a wide zigzag stitch.

Step 6

Stitch back and forth over the tear several times for stability then raise the presser foot, and cut the thread ends.

Step 7

Trim the attached fabric piece to within 1/4-inch of the stitching. Take out all pins.

Step 8

Pull the displaced lining back to its original spot, and pin down the detached edge. Reconnect the lining edges with a hand slipstitch.

Things You'll Need

  • Polyester fabric piece

  • Scissors

  • Seam ripper (optional)

  • Pins

  • Matching thread

  • Sewing machine

  • Hand sewing needle (optional)


To make a slipstitch: thread a needle, and knot it. Slide the needle between the fabric layers then pull it through one side of the seam. Slide it into the opposite side of the seam then out again. Repeat this all along the open seam, keeping stitches 1/8 to 1/4-inch apart.

Use a matching thread color to hide the repair.

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