Do you have a hide-a-bed sleeper sofa? When was the last time you checked the fabric that holds the mattress in place? After repeated folding and unfolding and people crashing onto the couch, the fabric holding the mattress in place can become weak and will tear. Small rips are much easier to fix than replacing the whole fabric. Repairing a rip in a frame fabric is similar to repairing a rip in a tent.
Things you need: Clear Fabric Repair Tape, Duct Tape or Eternabond Tape, Cleaning solvent, Drying Towels
At the hardware store or the camping supply store, purchase a roll of clear Fabric Repair Tape. It is also called Awning Repair tape. It usually cost about $15 a roll and the roll is usually 15 feet long. Duct tape is cheaper and equally strong.
At the location where the tear is, clean the top and bottom surface of the fabric according to the package directions on the repair tape. The surface must be very clean and dry! Do not use oil or silicone based cleaners or the tape will not stick for very long.
Against a flat surface, (you may need someone to hold a board under the rip) piece the two edges of the torn fabric together. Carefully place the repair tape on the tear and press out any air bubbles. Do not reposition the tape! Once it is on there, leave it there. Add another piece of tape if you placed the tape incorrectly.
Following the same instructions as in step 3, carefully tape the back of the rip along the same length as the front of the rip.
Check the fabric for other weak spots, especially where the frame touches the fabric when the frame is folded. If you find any small holes or weak fabric, clean the fabric and attach a piece of clear tape. Preventing weak spots from tearing now will save you time and frustration in the long run.
Tips & Warnings
The clear Fabric Repair tape works great on vinyl chairs, vinyl table cloths and curtains. Just make sure the surface is clean and dry when you attach the tape.
For a heavy-duty repair, you may want to use Eternabond Tape. Though it is silver like duct tape and designed for RV roof repairs, if you want to use it in a section of fabric that is not visible, you can use it the same as the clear tape. Make sure the surface area is clean!
Depending on the size and location of the rip, consider using a tent repair kit. They sell for about $6 and are available at camping supply stores. It can be used to repair window screens as well as various types of fabrics.
It is very important to thoroughly clean the area to be repaired. Over the years all sorts of dirt builds up on the fabric from stuff falling through the couch cushions. By follow the directions on the tape kit you will have a successful repair that will last a long time.