Nylon jackets are light, travel well, and offer wind-proof protection. Unfortunately, nylon – which melts rather than burns – is susceptible to small holes from fire or heat. Even a new jacket can be covered in a shotgun-blast pattern from a campfire's spitting embers. Rather than jettisoning the jacket, try to repair it yourself so that you can continue wearing it for years to come. Mending a small burn mark may be easier than you think.
Assess the damage. The smaller the burn mark, the easier it is to repair. For a pinpoint burn, rub the nylon between your fingers to get rid of the brown, and then touch the spot with a clear glue paste to keep the fibers in place.
Fold the burn mark in half. Carefully cut away any damaged fabric, and whip-stitch the area, using thread that matches the jacket color. For this option, leave enough slack so that the area does not bunch up when you unfold it.
Try duct tape if you are looking for another repair option. Turn the jacket inside out. Cut a circular section of duct tape that is two inches bigger than the burn mark. A circle – rather than a rectangle – makes the patch more likely to stay in place, because there are not any corners to lift.
Buy a nylon repair kit from a sewing shop or an outdoors store. Both places should carry iron-on options for DIY nylon repair. Follow the instructions, and pay particular attention to the recommended temperature for the iron. Too high a setting could further ruin, rather than repair, your nylon jacket.
Be creative. If there are a number of small burns on your nylon jacket, repair them with different colored threat to give it an eclectic look. Another option is to cut away the burned material, and stitch the area just around the hole with various colors of thread.
Create a matching patch for another repair option. Cut away fabric from the seam of the hood at the back of the jacket's neck. Put the patch under the burn mark carefully stitching it into place with similar colored thread.
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Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.
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