Jacket Repair

Make sure your jacket or your child’s jacket keeps the cold out for several seasons by keeping up on jacket repair. This Fix-It Guide on jacket repair examines common jacket problems and tells what you will need to fix them. It then gives instructions for how to remove spots and stains from a washable jacket and how to repair a zipper with missing teeth. It  directs you to other guides for other jacket repair instructions.

How Does a Jacket Work?

A jacket, of course, is worn over indoor clothes to insulate the wearer’s body. The amount of protection offered depends on the type and fabric of the jacket.

What Can Go Wrong with a Jacket?

Though they are simple in function, jackets have problems, too. Spills and hard play can result in jacket stains. Tears and holes happen too. Buttons disappear. Zippers stick, separate, and lose teeth. You can handle many minor jacket repairs at home.

Fix-It Tip

To make a zipper work more smoothly, rub a candle over the zipper, then open and close the zipper. The candle’s wax will serve as a lubricant and reduce friction.

How Can I Identify a Jacket Problem?

 Jacket Repair

To repair a zipper with missing teeth, sew a new stop above the damage.

  • If a jacket stain appears, treat and wash it as soon as possible (see below). Promptly treating stains (and repairing damage) to a jacket often keeps the problem from becoming worse. If the jacket is not washable, take it to a dry cleaner or use a home dry-cleaning product.
  • If the jacket is torn, sew it as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
  • If a button is missing from a jacket, find a close replacement or replace all the buttons.
  • If the jacket zipper sticks or has separated, you may be able to repair it (see below).
  • If a zipper cannot be repaired, either replace the garment or take it to a clothing alterations and repair service, depending on the garment’s value.

Fix-It Tip

If the jacket is washable, launder it frequently to avoid ground-in dirt. Depending on the fabric of the jacket, you may be able to treat it with a stain blocking spray available at larger grocery and variety stores.

What Do I Need for Jacket Repair?

If you have basic sewing skills you can repair jackets and other outer garments with easy-to-find materials and tools:

  • Thread and needle or sewing machine
  • Oxygen-based cleaner
  • Replacement buttons and zippers

What Are the Steps to Jacket Repair?

Remove spots and stains from a washable jacket:

  1. Apply an oxygen cleaner directly on the spot or stain. Let the jacket sit for several minutes or up to a few days, depending on the cleaner directions.
  2. Launder the jacket in the hottest water safe for the fabric, using detergent and color-safe bleach (unless the care label says “no bleach”). For bleach amounts, follow instructions on the container.
  3. Repeat if necessary, letting the jacket soak for a longer time.

Repair a jacket zipper (missing teeth):

  1. Realign and close the zipper.
  2. With heavyweight thread, stitch tightly over the zipper several times 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the missing teeth. You’ve created a new stop above the damage.