Ripstop Nylon Repairs: "Heat Sealing" The Ends of Tears?

I did a search here on the forum - both the current and old sites - and came up with using ripstop or tedlar repair tape to fix tears in ripstop nylon. {FWIW, I sort-of knew that already.}

The question that I could not find an answer to is: Should the ends of a tear in ripstop be repaired with heat? Example - use a small-tipped soldering iron to 'melt' each end of a tear to prevent it from spreading?

For any of you familiar with aviation, this would be equivalent to stop-drilling a crack in aluminum to prevent the crack from spreading.

I SEEM to remember reading about this online, but I cannot remember if this method was proposed or rejected in whatever I was reading.

Thanks in advance!

Allan "Coast Guard Kiteman (Ret.)" Gaines


  • Allan,
    See here for David Gomberg's repair method. This would obviate the need for heat, although hot-cutting rip-stop is the usual way to avoid fraying.
  • There is a difference between a tear in ripstop made by an external object and a crack in metal under internal stresses.
    Heating border is good as far as heating let the ripstop "soft" and doesn't harden it locally.
    Let a drop of glue is also a good solution if the coating doesn't become rigid. Avoid glue which will get stiff and prefer others which keep flexible when hardening. Usually instant glue get stiff.

    When ripstop is torn when borders flap too much, a new piece of ripstop is needed and design shall be modified to avoid it.
  • Jim & Christian: THANK YOU both for the comments.

    FWIW, I meant to ONLY heat seal the "ends" of the tear, not along the entire length of both sides of the tear. {Does that make sense?}
Sign In or Register to comment.