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Old 10-15-2016, 09:24 PM   #1
Bikelok
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Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 WRX wagon 5mt
PSM

Default How to repair small seat tears in the upholstery. Fraying seat repair.

How to repair small seat tears in the upholstery. Fraying seat repair.

My 02 WRX drivers seat is showing it's age a wee bit and I wanted to slow down the wear. Some time in the future I'd like to have it done professionally, but I can not afford to do that now. So here is my stopgap solution.

You will need the following
•A thin needle (I tried straight and curved, straight worked best for me).
•Thread that matches close to the fabric color.
•scissors
•A thimble (sometimes that needle can be hard to push through).
•Fray stop fluid (basically a fabric glue).

Here is what my seat bolster looked like.
Not bad, but it would soon get bad if left alone.



Here is the fray stop I used



Apply the fray stop to the frayed/torn areas. TEST IT on a inconspicuous area FIRST!!!! The product I used did not change the color of my fabric at all once dried. My product needed a 15-30 minutes dry time. Fray stop, will make a big difference on the strength of the repair.

Cut the thread 4 times as long as the tear/rip.

If you have never threaded a needle before, this little tool is a huge help. Thread the wire loop through the needle hole, insert the thread through the wire loop, then slowly pull the loop out of the needle.


Like this




Even the thread out like this.

And tie the ends in a knot. Trim the excess close to the knot. So basically you have doubled up the thread.


Starting a 1/4 inch before the tear, so you are starting on good solid fabric, push the needle through both sides of the tear and BEFORE YOU PULL THE THREAD all the way through, thread the needle though the loop of the end of the thread.
Like this

So the knot does not just pull through the needle holes.


Try to keep the thread as close to the edge of the tear as possible so you are not bunching up too much fabric. Bunching will probably happen but keep it to a minimum.

Keep the stitch spacing tight as well.



Go past the tear about a 1/4 of an inch, again so you are on good solid fabric.
On your last pull through leave a loop of thread so you can make a knot.
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Last edited by Bikelok; 03-29-2017 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:25 PM   #2
Bikelok
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 WRX wagon 5mt
PSM

Default How to repair small seat tears in the upholstery. Fraying seat repair.

Part 2

Thread the needle though the loop and SLOWLY pull it tight. DON'T pull so hard that you break the thread!!!




Then carefully thread the needle through the knot to double knot it.



Once tied and the thread trimmed, I applied the fray stop one more time to make sure it was all secure. This is how it looked when done.

Just for reference here's what it used to look like.


Far from invisible, but not terrible looking and more importantly, it's not going to get worse. If you practice your stitching, you can probably get it to look really good. Unless you are really looking at it, it's not very noticeable and believe me I notice everything.

I don't like seat covers so I researched how to do this.
My stitching would not exactly make my mother proud, but it's not bad.

I hope this helps and good luck.

Last edited by Bikelok; 03-29-2017 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:06 AM   #3
HCAutoDetail
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Location: Virginia
Vehicle:
1998 Outback Sport
Green/Slate

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Nice write up, well done.
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:37 PM   #4
Bikelok
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Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
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2002 WRX wagon 5mt
PSM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCAutoDetail View Post
Nice write up, well done.

Thank you.
I wasn't trying to make it perfect, but just have it look good enough and keep it from getting worse.
It really doesn't look that bad, and I'm really picky.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:22 PM   #5
WorldMattyBlue
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Member#: 450718
Join Date: Jul 2016
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Boston
Vehicle:
2017 WRX
World Rally Blue

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Great fix! As you said, if you weren't looking for it i'm sure you wouldn't notice.

Thanks for the write up - great instructions.

Cheers,
Matty
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:08 AM   #6
LegendaryDream
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I have had a lot of concerns about this lately too, I am considering just getting a seat cover but I can't make up my mind on which one. I don't have any tears yet, but I do want to avoid wear and tear. It might be worth it to look into seat covers, so far these are my favorite ones and they really look like they can change the look of your interior in a very nice way.

http://hubpages.com/autos/The-Best-L...Very-Low-Price
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:53 PM   #7
Lug_Nuts_23
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Member#: 506272
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Kansas City area
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sedan
Silver

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I know this thread is a bit old, but thanks for the write-up!

I just fixed some worse tears in my seat. It's noticeable, but the important thing is I don't have to worry about it getting worse for a while.

The one thing I can't quite tell is how you did the last knot ... I suspect I didn't quite get those right but I'm hoping the fray-check I doused the knots with will hold it.

(And yes, a thimble, or at least something hard to push the needle through with, is a good idea! Found that out after realizing it was pretty much impossible to push the needle through most places.)
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
Wayne Suhrbier
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Alabama
Vehicle:
2006 STI
OBP

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If you don't want the thread to show look up the ladder stitch. It rolls the seam down and in to hide everything. (thanks mom)
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