How to Fix a Vinyl Couch With Broken Seams

Vinyl couches are affordable, easy-to-clean and can mimic the look of leather couches. However, they are not as durable as leather ones and can crack or rip as they age. The seams are likely to rip because they handle so much weight. Leather seams can be resewn by threading through the original holes, but vinyl seams will have weakened and need patching. You can patch a vinyl seam using a strong adhesive. This helps you get several more years out of your couch before it needs replacing. You can also sew rips shut, but this is more visible than a patch.


Step 1

Trim the excess thread and ripped vinyl from around the seam with sharp scissors so the opening is neat. 

Step 2

Measure the tear in the seam.  Add 1/2 inch to the measurements on each side.

Cut a patch to fit these measurements from a heavy material, such as denim or canvas.  Use material that is as close to the texture, color and weight of the couch's original vinyl as possible.

Step 3

Slip the patch material into the open seam, and smooth it out so it lays evenly under the surface. 

Step 4

Apply a line of vinyl adhesive on the underside of the couch's fabric, around the hole, so it is thoroughly covered with a continuous bead of adhesive.  Press the seam down onto the patch underneath so it closes.

Ensure the seam is lined up and looks neat. 

Step 5

Tape the seam shut with duct tape while holding it closed.  Ensure the seam stays neat under the duct tape.

Leave the duct tape in place for one hour while the adhesive dries.  Remove the duct tape after the adhesive has cured.


Step 1

Thread a needle with thread that matches the vinyl.  Use a strong thread that is double-threaded for added strength.

Step 2

Feed the needle up through the underside at the end of the rip so the thread's knot is under the vinyl with the couch cushioning. 

Step 3

Sew a wide zigzag seam across the rip.  Do not sew too close to the ripped area because the material is weaker at this section and more likely to rip again.

Keep the zigzag stitches as even as possible for a uniform look.  This repair is highly visible.

Step 4

Finish the seam by knotting the thread at the end of the rip.  Trim the thread close to the knot, and work the knot into the seam to hide the thread.

Things You Will Need

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Heavy fabric
  • Vinyl adhesive
  • Duct tape
  • Needle
  • Thread


  • Vinyl adhesive is specially designed for vinyl repairs. You can also look for glue designed for plastic or leather upholstery.
  • If you don't have vinyl adhesive, you can sew a seam around the patch to replace the adhesive. This will be more visible than the glue but will hold the couch together.

About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.