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Can Dri Stitch Seal Seams in Vinyl Tops?


Erick Tessier asked:


Hi is the product Dri Stitch can seal the seams if a vinyl tent trailer?  If yes it would be great since no real efficient product on the market.




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If the vinyl is supported (has a canvas backing) and the needle punch holes are not too big, Dri Stitch will seal the seams. If the vinyl is unsupported, then it won’t as the vinyl will stretch around the needle holes and become too big. If the supported vinyl is stretched from age or shrinkage, it will also make the needle holes too big for the Dri Stitch to be able to seal them.


Dri Stitch was invented for marine canvas materials like Sunbrella, Top Gun etc., where there is some degree of elasticity in the fabric. The needles spread the threads of the fabric as the stitching thread is inserted, but then as the fabric relaxes, the threads tend to close up again. The stitching thread causes distortion in the weave pattern around the needle puncture where the thread is inserted, and that’s where water comes in. Dri Stitch fills in these minor voids.  This does not happen with vinyl. Once the needle passes through the vinyl, a permanent hole is made and you need a much thicker material than Dri Stitch to fill the holes. Dri Stitch was made intentionally thin so that it remains clear and invisible on marine canvas materials.


Mass produced vinyl tops and covers weld the seams with heat, instead of sewing the panels together so they don’t leak, but this is impractical for custom made or limited production covers as special machines are required.


The only thing you can do is try to see if it will work for you, but there are no guarantees. I really don’t know what else to suggest. Some people have tried seam tape, even silicone caulking on the inside, but with limited success and of course it’s visible and unsightly. Ideally, you need to seal the holes from the outside to prevent the water from entering, not the inside.


Thanks for your question


Captain Aurora
Richard Kittar

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