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Repairing a Couch with Cigarette Burns

I have cigarette burns in my sofa (fabric) that I bought a year ago. I have extra throw pillows that I don't need with the same fabric. Is there any way to repair the burns? Or any place in the Long Island area that someone can recommend for the repair? I'm desperate as I'm moving and I need this sofa - any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Janis from Great Neck, NY


Repairing a Couch with Cigarette Burns

If you want to do it yourself, it's as easy as pie. One solution is to buy a good quality fabric glue (I like the clear one in the clear bottle, as it's one of the only brands that is both machine washable, machine dryable & dry cleanable too). Then glue the matching piece onto the couch. You will also need to buy "Fray Check"... both the Fabric glue & the Fray Check are available at Walmart, or at any Fabric or Craft store for twice the price.

1) First make sure you have a fairly solid place to glue the new fabric on to. This means you'll most likely need to reinforce the burn areas: Take a tiny, thin, sturdy piece of woven fabric (like a piece of a sheet or pillow case), Then take this piece of strong woven fabric & put glue on the front side of it, then tuck the glued piece IN to each burned area & glue the tiny piece of fabric inside the area, by gluing the front of the woven fabric to the back of the burned area (inside the burn) Do each burn this way, to reinforce EACH burned spot. The fabrics should overlap by about 3/4 of an inch. Then let the glue dry overnight.


***Depending on the type of fabric your couch is made from: you could use an "Iron-On Webbing" or "Hem Tape" placed backwards inside the holes. This would eliminate the need for fabric glue, But your couch fabric would need to be made from wool or cotton because the iron would need to get pretty hot & if it's made from synthetic fabric it could melt with the heat of the iron.

2) take a piece of Aluminum foil & put this on to the couch where the burns are. Run your fingers over the foil that has been placed over the burn holes. The aluminum foil will make an indentation where you've rubbed it. This will be your "pattern". Cut each pattern piece of foil out & set these on to the front of your pillow fabric being careful to match grain & pattern. Because these sections of foil will be too small to pin, instead secure them with school glue. That's glue that dissolves in water, or any TEMPORARY glue. A piece of tape might work..?


3) Next, take your new matching fabric & carefully cut each piece out to fit the burned area. Then use the "Fray Check" all around EACH and every edge (so the fabric won't fray because you won't be hemming it). Then let the Fray Check dry. Glue the tiny pieces of fabric (with fabric glue) to the area you already reinforced & press down a bit.

* When you cut out the matching fabric, be sure to match not only the pattern & color, but also the nap..that's the grain or pile of the fabric... Like when you run your hand across velvet one way, then back the other way, you are seeing the "nap" of the fabric, so be sure to also match the nap when you decide which way to cut your patch fabric.
If you have an area that is just plain FULL of holes, then you can use a large patch in that area instead of the many smaller ones. But either way, make sure to either use the "Fray Check" OR you'll need to hem the edges.


If the burns are only or mainly on the arms of the couch, you can make matching arm covers from the throw pillows by just removing the stuffing then laying the flat pillow over the arms of the couch (unless you sew, then you can cut the pillow fabric apart & hem the edges). You can always add stick-on Velcro to the arms to keep the covers on, That way you can take them off & wash them. Many couches come with arm covers to prevent wear & tear on the arms.

If you don't understand my directions, feel free to write me on ThriftyFun. (12/31/2007)

By Cyinda

Repairing a Couch with Cigarette Burns

I bought a kit that comes with a movie to give you directions that will repair anything cloth, or any kind of fabric. I bought it to fix a suit with moth holes in it. You fill in the hole with a certain type of powder and your fabric (mostly the fiber shredded from the fabric). I went to find it to give you the name for it and I couldn't. It is lurking somewhere in my closet with all the other items I keep looking for. You could probably find it by looking on line under fabric repair.


One problem I found with washable fabric glue recently is that it leaves a spot darker than the material that I can see on my sweater. (01/03/2008)

By rae

Repairing a Couch with Cigarette Burns

You can also visit websites such as that offer inexpensive repair kits that make the job look professional. (12/10/2008)

By Jeremy

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