How to sew an awning

Discussion in 'Canvas / Awnings / Add a Rooms / Tarps / Tents' started by bluenoyellow, May 27, 2010.

  1. bluenoyellow

    bluenoyellow Member

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    Jan 24, 2010
    my awning just started detaching from the mounting piece that it is sewn to. I took it to my favorite boot repair shop in town only to find it had closed. So I decided to sew it myself. After several broken needles and a sore thumb from a thimble that just didn't fit, I figured out a great way to do this kind of spot repair and thought I would share.

    I got a medium gauge needle (big ones were hard to push through - plus I had broken them all), and placed it longways in a pair of needle-nose pliers (in this case, my leatherman) so that maybe about a cm or two of the needle point was sticking out of the end of the pliers. then I was able to push the needle through the canvas without worries of it bending or breaking, plus no finger pain. I continued to inch the needle through with the pliers until enough came out the other side to pull it out. repeat.

    maybe that's just a natural idea for everyone, but it was several hours of aggravation for me till I figured this out. then it was a breeze. hope this helps someone.
     
  2. Hardee5

    Hardee5 New Member

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    Jul 14, 2009
    Plumas County, CA
    Just about finished doing the same thing. The pliers are the ONLY way to go. Also had a suggestion from the local hardware store to run your thread though soap or beeswax to help it slide through the fabric easier.
     
  3. VTcamper

    VTcamper New Member

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    Feb 13, 2010
    What did you use for thread? The stitching on mine is also coming undone. I was toying with the idea of using a fishing line for the thread, might be stronger and last longer.
     
  4. Hardee5

    Hardee5 New Member

    344
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    Jul 14, 2009
    Plumas County, CA
    I used upholstery thread (found it a Wally World). I thought about the fishing line also, but I wasn't sure how long it would last before it got brittle. I also sewed mine in 1 to 1.5 ft sections so if a section breaks, I won't lose the awning.
     
  5. jmackeral

    jmackeral Happy Camper in Northern MN

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Coats & Clark makes quilting thread which is considerably stronger than
    regular thread might work if you can't find upholstery thread. Beeswax
    is a good tip.
     
  6. bluenoyellow

    bluenoyellow Member

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    Jan 24, 2010
    My DW had some carpet thread in her sewing kit. It seemed pretty heavy duty. I'll let you know if it doesn't hold up.
     
  7. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Northern Nevada
    These heavy fabrics can be a little tough - now you know why industrial sewing machines have 1/2HP and larger motors on them. My sewing machine motor is bigger than the motor on my table saw, and can sew through 1/4 inch plywood. [:D] Great job on using the pliers. That's a fantastic tip.

    For thread, hit your local sewing machine shop (preferably one that also handles industrial machines) and ask for #69 or larger polyester thread - Nylon will work in a pinch, but polyester holds up to UV exposure much, much better and has been the industry standard for thread used in the RV/Boating industry for years. Your local sewing machine shop should have some small spools of it, or be able to refer you to someone who does. It's not expensive - probably about $3 for a small spool.

    Avoid fishing line! It won't hold up to UV exposure worth beans, and Hardee5 is right - it'll get brittle and fall apart within a couple of months if it's exposed to full sun.

    I'll echo the soap or beeswax suggestion. In fact, just rubbing the needle over a candle or any other kind of wax will help lubricate the needle enough to help you get it through the layers of fabric.
     

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