Vinyl is a leather-like plastic fabric made from polyvinyl chloride. It resembles leather and is susceptible to the same cuts and tears as real leather. A variety of vinyl repair kits are available online and through mail order. Leather repair kits are not recommended for use on vinyl and vice versa. Read on to learn how to repair torn vinyl clothing.
Repair the damage yourself by ordering a kit. If you are planning to order a kit, the most important step is to determine whether the material you are working on is leather or vinyl. Leather tends to feel softer while vinyl is likely to feel stiffer and more "artificial."
Identify the material another way by checking the underside of the material. If the garment is lined with another fabric, gently lift up a small section of the torn area and look at the backside of the material. Vinyl has a cloth-like material that appears to be glued to the backside of the fabric. The backing may be a fuzzy white fabric. Leather has no backing material of any kind, only the rough, suede-looking side that is usually the same color as the outer surface.
Order a vinyl repair kit online or through mail order. These kits are especially designed to repair damaged vinyl. The process takes about 30 minutes. A typical kit includes color compounds, subpatch material, alcohol swabs, graining paper, gloss restorer, a heat curing tool, a color match guide and instructions.