Those were the days! When your granny darned your socks and holes in your jeans got covered in patches. At one point my jeans attracted so much attention with their holes and patches that I decided I rather liked the look. My mother refused to do any more mending and that was when I took over. But still, I don’t really suppose that it was me who set the trend and got everyone wearing ripped jeans again.
A hole in your GORE-TEX garment? You can mend it yourself
But what about when I was on holiday in Iceland sitting next to a campfire drinking mulled wine when a spark flew out of the fire and burnt a hole the size of a one-cent in the back of my GORE-TEX jacket. That really was annoying. And it would have to happen to my finest, most expensive jacket. It’s not just that it doesn’t look good, it will mean that water can get in. Using a needle and thread to darn the hole or sew on a patch might repair the hole, but it would perforate the jacket with little holes from the needle. So, that’s not an option. It looks like I’m going to need some help.
Use GORE-TEX fabric repair kits
Quite honestly, you should never go out without a GORE-TEX fabric repair kit, regardless of whether you’re hiking, skiing or holidaying. I certainly won’t in future. It might just be a temporary solution until a professional repair is possible, but it will see you and your GORE-TEX jacket through the rest of your trip. The simplest solution for torn and ripped GORE-TEX garments goes by the name of GORE-TEX fabric repair kit. These repair kits allow you to instantly patch holes or small tears in your valuable GORE-TEX garments. They are made using GORE-TEX fabric and have been specifically developed for the purpose.
The GORE-TEX fabric repair kit, easy as pie:
1. The patches have adhesive on the back, so they are quick and easy to apply over any hole or tear. Before applying the patch, clean the damaged area of your GORE-TEX garment as much as you can.
2. Each repair kit contains two press-on adhesive patches, precut to standard shapes that usually don’t require trimming.
3. Peel away the backing paper from the patch, smooth out the outer material to get rid of any wrinkles or folds and apply the patch to the damaged area.
4. Be sure to press the patch down firmly for maximum hold.
5. If you happen to have one, you can use an iron or hair dryer to gently apply extra heat to the patch to increase the strength of the bond. That’s it! You’re good to go.
Nevertheless, this type of repair is not a permanent solution. Although these repair patches hold tight for surprisingly long, they can never take the place of a professional repair service provided by people who work under controlled conditions and know exactly how much pressure and temperature to apply.
In terms of quality, a patched garment is still considered damaged and therefore no longer meets the strict durable waterproofness criteria for GORE-TEX garments. For the same reason they are not eligible for coverage under the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY promise.
Permanent repair is needed to restore your GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY coverage
Acting quickly and contacting an approved GORE-TEX repair provider as soon as you get home from your adventure is the best way to ensure you maintain your coverage. They will remove the patch without leaving residue and repair the damage for very little money.
If you are out without a GORE-TEX fabric repair kit, you can use duct tape, also known as gaffer tape. However, this method should only be tried in absolute emergencies because this tape holds so tight that it leaves behind unsightly residue when it is removed.
Professional GORE-TEX repair service
But what should you do in the case of larger-scale damage, when an instant repair in the field can’t solve the problem? When your zip or a drawcord breaks, for instance. In this situation, as well as when you get home from a tour with a garment that you temporarily patched in the field, you’ll need to look for a repair centre that is officially licensed to carry out permanent repairs on GORE-TEX clothing.
Check out Gore’s website at GORE-TEX Repair Information to find an authorised repair centre in your area. Contact the repair centre by email, describe the damage and attach some photos. Then they’ll be able to make you an offer. They’ll also tell you how to send your garment in for repair and everything else you need to know about how their service works. The repair centre will have all the necessary fabrics, materials, colours and machinery to get your gear back on track.
A hole in the fabric doesn’t need to end the useful life of your GORE-TEX garment. Kits for do-it-yourself repairs in the field and services offered by authorised GORE-TEX repair providers will give your gear a new lease of life so you can enjoy wearing it for years to come. Along with routine care, repairing a damaged garment is an integral part of getting the most useful life from your GORE-TEX garment. GORE-TEX products are designed and tested to be durable, but occasionally damage does occur, even with normal use. If your product is damaged, you’ll need a permanent repair carried out by a Gore authorized repair center, or by the manufacturing brand.