I just got an awesome deal on a Rambo blanket, but it has a tear in the shoulder that is fairly large... it also needs washed. I don't have time to drop it off to be repaired and laundered before I need it.
Can I duct tape it or will that let it get ruined when I wash it? If not, what is the best way for me to repair it at home?
What sort of tear? Is it a slice through the material, or is there a chunk missing?
My horse tends to put tears in her turn out – no material missing, just torn along the weave. I hand stitch the hole closed (think like stitches on a person!), and then I go over the sewn part with “liquid stitch” or some other type of fabric glue to seal the area.
Steps for me (I just finished all of my blanket repair!):
Stitch any holes closed
Launder with mild detergent
Hang to THOUGHLY dry
Go over repairs with liquid stitch, let dry
Re-water proof with 3M outdoor fabric waterproofing.
Use a good weight polyester thread. Dental floss is normally made of nylon. Nylon is good for indoor applications but nylon thread will break down in sunlight. Polyester thread is what you want to use for blanket (halter, bell boot, etc) repair as is it durable, string and will hold up to the uv rays.
Much cheaper and stronger than dental floss. One of my favorites is the Coates and Clark heavyweight thread. Comes in a few colors, and is strong and easy to work with.
Be careful stitching lining, if you leave too heavy of stitches and too much material is ripped you run the risk of creating seams that may rub the horse and also altering the fit of the blanket, a rip with jagged edges that you can't darn is best fixed with a patch so you don't pull the material closed and alter the size. Same with an external tear however you really don't have to worry about the seam and rubbing.
Good luck, I have had great luck with blankets that seem a total loss. And if it is a total loss, cut the hardware out to save for later repairs and turn the blanket into a great waterproof quarter sheet by cutting off the shoulders and sewing a binding on. Recycle