Patchwork on a down-filled vest

If you’re like me you have a variety of down-filled garments and, if you’re like me, sooner or later you are going to poke a hole in one of them. Some sharp multiflora rose thorns or a barbed-wire fence can make short work of a prized jacket or vest, so what’s a person to do? Ignoring a hole or rip in a down-filled vest or coat and not taking steps to repair it isn’t an option because you’ll be soon bleeding feathers. So what’s the best course of action when faced with a situation like this? A few weeks ago, I discovered what turned out to be a good idea. 

 One Sunday afternoon I was poking around a friend’s barn looking for a hank of rope when a protruding nail leaped out and snagged the shoulder of my favorite down vest, ripping about a one-inch hole in the material. It was a good vest, lightweight and warm, and one that I wear during archery and gun seasons. Dismayed but not beaten, I asked my wife – who can sew just about anything – to repair the leak/ But rather than sewing it she came up with what I thought was a great solution to my problem.

“Why don’t you just patch it with duct tape?” she asked. “Why not indeed,” I thought. It was a great idea. People use duct tape to fix just about anything so I figured the sticky stuff would surely hold my vest together at least for a few more seasons. I didn’t want to just cut a piece of the stuff and paste it on to the outside of my vest because I figured I’d look like I just stole it from a homeless person. No, my solution would make my wife proud. 

My idea was to put the tape inside the rip and not on the outside, so to do that I had to flatten the down and lift the material so I could slip the tape inside the tear. It wasn’t easy, but by using the tip of a toothpick I was able to maneuver the tape into position. Once the tape was in place, I patted the material so it stuck to the sticky tape and the tear looked almost as good as new. In fact, it’s hardly noticeable. 

In trying to place the tape on the inside of the tear I could easily see how it could be frustrating trying to get it where it would do the most good. If that happens and some down sticks to the tape before you get it in place, simply remove the cut tape and start over. I can assure you this works and I’m wearing the vest to prove it. So far, I haven’t lost a feather. 

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