The methods used to repair a patio umbrella depend on whether you are trying to repair a tear, repair a hole or fix fraying edges. Patio umbrella damage is common because of regular exposure to the sun, wind and rain. There are a number of tools needed, ranging from scissors and thread to fabric glue and a patch that matches the umbrella's material.
Before repair, assemble the right tools. These include heavy-duty scissors, heavy-gauge thread, a needle, fabric glue and heavy objects to weigh down any glued fabric. If the fabric has a hole, you will also need a piece of compatible material for your patch. To prepare your umbrella for repair, you first need to remove the umbrella fabric from the extension mechanism and spread it on a flat surface, such as your patio table or a cleared space on your deck. Then, clean around the damaged area and remove any dirt or twigs. Cut away any loose threads using a pair of scissors.
If the patio umbrella has a long tear, bring the torn edges together (allowing them to overlap slightly), and apply fabric glue to the facing surfaces. Once glued, place weight on the fabric to allow the fabric glue to bond. After it has dried, stitch along the seam to reinforce it.
For smaller tears, stitch the tear without applying adhesive. If repairing a larger hole, cut a fabric patch approximately 1/2 inch wider on the sides than the hole you are patching. Apply fabric glue and stitch the edges of the hole to the patch.
To fix frayed edges, clip away loose material from the frayed area, and stitch along the new edge.