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Thread: Patches for my torn couches?

  1. #1
    Junior Member asabrinao's Avatar
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    Patches for my torn couches?

    Hi, All,

    Has anyone ever repaired tears in their upholstery with fused patches?

    I bought my sofa and overstuffed chair eight years ago, when I start graduate school. Now, two degrees and one residency later, I'm off to a new and hopefully permanent gig. Can't afford to replace the grad school furniture quite yet, but the sides and arms have been ripped by my (now-deceased) cat. It's visibly torn, but no stuffing coming out or anything. I've been living with it for a long time, always thinking I would replace them entirely with the next move, but moving is expensive and slipcovers are a pain and not all that cheap.

    Since I'm going to be living with the sofa and chair for at least another year, I wanted to make it a little nicer. Doesn't have to look brand new and I don't even mind if the patches match perfectly (to the couch or to each other). I just want things to look a little...tidier...

    So, I was thinking of getting some iron-on patches and/or double-sided fusible. Anyone done this before?

    As always,
    Thanks for your help and advice!

    Best,
    Aso
    "All good things come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy." --Norman Maclean

  2. #2
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    If it were me, I would get a couple sheets and throw them on each piece and do some tucking. Wouldn't cost much, go to wal mart, they sell individual sheets for about 5.00 bucks.

  3. #3
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    How about making some arm covers. My recliner still looks new because I have covers on the arms and a throw (coordinated color) on the seat and back, which not only diminishes wear on the recliner, but I wash the throw about every 6 wks.

  4. #4
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    Depending on the fabric, I would be careful of using an iron on fusible. If it's just the arms and sides Maybe just cover with a couple throws.

  5. #5
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    I took fabric from the bottom of a chair where they tack the fabric to the frame..tucked it inside the tear and stitched around the tear some to keep it in place..can't see where I fixed it.

  6. #6
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    Makes some arm covers in a co-ordinating fabric. I have a set on my recliner and a head rest as well. I throw them in the wash when needed.
    You could iron on patches but if the fabric has nylon/polyester in it, the fabric will melt. You could also stitch the patches on using a curved needle and upholstery thread.

  7. #7
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    I would go with the arm covers as well. In fact, need to do that on our recliner. I did get a largish 'swatch' of 'close' fabric at one point to repair a tear (for same reason except it was the dog) on the one arm. Tried using fabric glue. Patch wasn't quite large enough so really didn't work well. We have an upholsterer locally that I've used for a variety of items. They said I'm welcome to come rummage through their scrap bin whenever I'd like to find something to either match or coordinate. So far, just haven't taken the time to do it. No charge for those scraps.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like you're pressed for time, so I would go with the sheets for covers, or check out thrift stores for a very large bedspread and use that. If you go this route, pick up some pipe insulation and cut in lengths to shove in at the back and sides where you are tucking it in. The pipe insulation will hold the cover in better. I also turn thumbs down on the iron-on patches. If you do decide to sew on patches, look into a "Speedy Stitcher" at Amazon.com. It's a stitching awl, and I have it on my list to order for some repairs where I cannot get something under the presser foot of the machine.

  9. #9
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    Iron on's are a waste of time and money. Arm covers are very quick and easy to make. I made some for my love seat but I made them longer so that I could tuck them down inside the cushion area and they stay in place Cut and sew time 30 minutes.

  10. #10
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    My daughter exchanged living room furniture when she moved to a smaller apartment. The furniture that she gave me had a couple of holes. I patched the holes with iron on patches. You have to be careful not to touch the touch that is not torn because I accidentally did this and the fabric just melted away. It made me wonder how long it would take for this couch to go up in flames....probably not long
    Carmen E.

  11. #11
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    If these are simple rips without fraying you may be able to put your iron on patches under the rip and carefully pull the edges together and then iron it so they do not show much at all.

  12. #12
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    I would be concerned about whether or not the upholstery fabric could tolerate the heat needed to bond the patches.

  13. #13
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I would just go with the quick fix: either a sheet cover or zipping up some arm covers.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  14. #14
    Super Member Joanie2's Avatar
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    I had the same issue with my couches and I simply found a piece of fabric that was close in color, hemmed the edges and then used a double sided fusible to iron it directly on to the couch. Did not have any issues with anything and in 3 years that it's been attached have had no pulling away. It blends in enough so that my guests do not see the repair. Cost for the 1/4 yard of fabric probably $2.00.
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  15. #15
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I would use the fusible to create the patch, but DO NOT try to iron it to your furniture, you might just melt yourself to a bigger mess. Instead of trying to iron it down, I would use Elmer's to glue it, let it dry overnight, and then using a curved upholstery needle, sew it down. You can use a blanket stitch to match or contrast to the furniture depending on the look you want. You can use somple squares, rectangles, or circles, hearts, stars, whatever you like. This is your chance to complement or match the colors in the room. You could toss a few extra patches to make it look intentional.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  16. #16
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    Or buy some doilies to cover the arms. A vintage look, and you can buy some inexpensive ones. Or check the thrift stores in your area for some.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  17. #17
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    I bought twin bedspreads for two chairs that I wanted to cover. They were easy to wash and always looked good. The hint of using pipe to tuck in to prevent movement is a great idea. Happy searching for bedspreads.

  18. #18
    Senior Member suzanprincess's Avatar
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    When my couch was an "early marriage" hand-me-down with worn areas, I used iron-on patches on the arms and they worked great for the years until I could afford new furniture. They fit my budget, looked much better than stuffing peeking out, and didn't have to be fussed with all the time like slipcovers do.

  19. #19
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    If you have an over-abundance of place mats, use those as arm covers, if you need to secure them, they sell those little button thingies that have a spiral wire on the bottom and you just twist them into the arm of the couch.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  20. #20
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    I would go to Good will or garage sales and buy a queen size bed spread or quilt to threw over the sofa. Since you don't plan on keeping the sofa I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it. My sister has cats to and she has used quilts and bedspreads on her sofa for a long time. And she has found some very nice quilts and bedspreads and has paid very little for them. And her sofa looks quite nice.

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