How can I fix a tear in a cloth car seat?

After picking my young sons up from football practice the other day, one of them managed to tear the cloth seat fabric with their cleats. Mistakes happen, so I’m not too upset, but I want to repair the tear before it gets larger. How can I fix a tear in the cloth seat?

Jack Walsh · Answered on Nov 15, 2021
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Mistakes happen, but luckily, repairing the cloth seat should be pretty simple.
If the tear is clean with smooth edges, sewing the tear closed is your best option. If the tear is larger or not a clean rip, you may want to use a patch to repair the tear.
To sew a tear closed, you should do the following:
  • Purchase a curved upholstery needle and extra strong thread that matches the seat
  • Replace any lost padding with stuffing or foam found at your local crafts store or online
  • Cut enough thread from the spool and double-thread it through the needle
  • Use one hand to tightly hold the seam together and sew a running stitch every quarter to half-inch
  • Cover the repaired tear with fabric sealant to prevent fraying
Not all patches are made the same, so follow the instructions specific to your patch to repair the tear. Most auto shops sell seat repair kits that have more durable repair options. And don’t forget to purchase a patch that matches your vehicle’s interior!
If you think the tear is too large for a patch or sewing, you will likely need to have the seat reupholstered. Reupholstering a single seat can cost $200 to $750, but the repair could be cheaper if only one cloth panel needs to be replaced.
To help cover the cost of repairing the seat, download the Jerry app and save on your car insurance.
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