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Examples of Outerwear Damage That Should Be Professionally Repaired

If you are coming to this article from our Here's What You Should Know Before Patching Your Winter Outerwear page, then you have [hopefully] already determined the cause of the damage that you're looking to repair. The next step is taking a good hard look at the damaged area, and deciding whether you will patch it yourself or rely on a professional seamster/seamstress to get the job done. 

Don't get us wrong, we're huge fans of a little do-it-yourself action - especially when it comes to keeping your outerwear clean, happy, and in one piece. But there come's a time when even the most experienced and able DIY connoisseur should put away their patch kit and look to a pro for some repair help. 

First, here's a few examples of fabric damage that makes for a perfect do-it-yourself project:

^ friction damage showing on the rear of a pair of bibs, and the customer mentioned that they had taken a pretty big fall where they slid down a good amount of icy slope. This is a great example of a patch job that can be done by you in the comfort of your own home.
^ small rip on the leg of a pair of bibs. It's hard to tell, but this is approximately the size of a nickel, and as such is a good example of an easy DIY patch job just waiting to be tackled.
^ minimal, clean slicing near the pant leg cuffs. This is easily something that you can DIY patch, but you should be weary that this slicing will likely continue to show up if you don't figure out the root cause and possibly make some changes to your hiking/riding habits.

But enough of that, let's jump in to the complicated damage that you really came here to see. Below you will find some examples of real-life outerwear damage, along with some added explanations, that warranted a professional repair. This is in no way a comprehensive depiction, but rather a guide to what sort of things to look for when you're deciding between a DIY or pro patch job.  

^ now that's a rip. According to the customer, this began as something smaller but was left un-repaired and then caught on something, leading to the rip getting much larger. This damage will likely warrant some sewing and seam taping in addition to some patching, and we definitely suggest contacting us or a technical sewer to get this fixed up. 

^ we always love when a customer sends their gear photos with something to scale to, especially when the damage in question is so large. In this case, the tearing has grown to a size that should be repaired by a professional. If the tear had stopped on that vertical line, one would still be able to use a SIY patch kit - albeit the patch would need to be pretty large. But as soon as the tear began to cut horizontally and hit a seam, this became a larger issue that a pro should be consulted.
^ yes, to many this would be considered a tear or rip. But unlike the other examples in this article, this is a seam tear and is really an issue with the sewing rather than the fabric itself. This and any similar seam tears should be repaired by a professional, as it is not a patch job but rather a sewing and taping job. 
^ here's an example of a hybrid tear, where the damage began as a fabric issue (the customer got his pant leg caught in something) but then the tear hit a seam and continued along the sewing line. If the tear had stopped before the seam, then it could have been patched by you. But because it hit the seam and then pulled the sewing loose, this damage became a job for a professional and will require both patching and sewing to repair fully. 
^ small, minimal slicing on pant cuffs (as shown in the first section of this article) can be fixed, but this example shows extreme wearing and ripping of the cuff. You could try and patch it for a temporary fix, but in the long run you will end up needing some serious repairs from a professional. Ultimately, this sort of damage will likely require new kick patches - plus some more delicate touring/hiking techniques on the part of the customer. 

Doing it yourself is relatively easy, once you find your preferred patching materials and clean the gear in question, and will almost always save you some cash and time - but we completely understand if you either 1) don't have the time or means to fix your item or 2) don't trust yourself to repair the gear.

No reason to stress, as our technical sewers here at TREW can fix anything, big or small. Just reach out to us at if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to run something by us. We're here to help!