How to Repair Tent Mesh Like Pro [Complete Guide]

There’s nothing worse than planning an exciting camping trip only to discover that your tent has torn, leaving a hole in the mesh that insects can fly in through. Luckily, there is a simple solution. Follow these step-by-step instructions below to repair your tent to tip-top condition!

When the mesh on your tent’s screen, door, or window tears, you may find yourself with an insect problem in your sleeping space. So, you may be wondering how to repair tent mesh so that you can avoid this unfortunate situation. 

I’ve had my fair share of ripped tents in my camping days, and I’ve discovered a few of the best approaches to fixing them. If you follow this tutorial, you can learn how to repair even large holes in the mesh so that your tent is adventure-ready once more.

What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial 

For a Straight Tear in the Mesh

Gather these materials:

  • For sewing:
    • Sewing machine and thread
    • Adhesive mesh netting patch or tape
  • As an alternative to sewing, you can use tent repair glue. This has the advantage of creating a waterproof, flexible seal.
  • Scissors
  • A cotton ball and rubbing alcohol or alcohol swab
  • A flat surface to work on

For a Hole Torn in the Mesh

Gather these materials:

  • Mesh patch kit
    • This kit should contain an adhesive patch or fabric patch and repair tape or glue. 
    • Alternatively, you can use a sewing machine with thread, pins, and fabric or netting to patch the hole. This is more time-consuming and requires more equipment but may be more secure than using the mesh patch kit, which might fall off over time.
  • Scissors
  • A flat surface to work on
  • A cotton ball and rubbing alcohol or alcohol swab

Step by Step Instructions for Tent Mesh Repair

For a Straight Tear in the Mesh

Sewing machine and thread

If your tent has unfortunately ripped straight across the mesh, or if you’re wondering how to repair a large tear in a tent, you will likely need to sew it back together or use tent repair glue, which has the advantage of creating a waterproof seal. Both options should be secure as long as they are done effectively.

Step 1: Prepare and clean the tent mesh

It’s important to clean the area in question before repair so that oil and dirt particles don’t interfere with the repair process. This will help ensure that the repaired area stays together at the end. 

Drape the area of the tent that you’re working on over a flat surface. Using water or an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, wipe along the edges of the ripped mesh to clean it. Wait for the area to dry before proceeding.

Step 2: Sew the mesh together and secure it

Thread your sewing needle with the appropriate fabric thread (usually either nylon or polyester) that your tent mesh is made from. Set up your sewing machine. 

Before you begin sewing, make sure that you’re holding the ripped area tightly and evenly together to ensure that the sewing job is straight and secure. Ensure that the edges are overlapping slightly so that the rip will stay closed.

Sew the ripped edges together. This is best done with a sewing machine in a zig-zag stitch pattern, as shown in this video:

Next, apply the adhesive mesh netting tape, which will further reinforce the sewing that you just completed. This will help ensure that the tent doesn’t rip again in the same place.

Cut out two pieces of mesh netting tape or a mesh patch in a circular or oval shape. Using a circular or oval shape is preferred, because if you cut out a rectangular shape, the corners may fray or lift upwards over time.

Lay the pieces of mesh netting tape over the area to make sure that these pieces together are wide enough to cover the torn section that you just repaired fully.

Remove the adhesive backing from one of the pieces of mesh netting tape, and place it over the repaired section. Press the tape on the mesh firmly, and rub your hand across it several times to ensure that the mesh netting bonds with the adhesive and stays in place. Smooth out any ripples that you see so that it’s flat.

Flip over the tent to the reverse side of the repaired area. Remove the adhesive backing from the other piece of mesh netting tape, and place it over the section as you did before. Make sure to press firmly. Rub the mesh netting tape on this side as well to make sure that it is smooth and bonds with the fabric securely.

Make sure to allow the patch to cure by letting it sit undisturbed for 24 hours before you put your tent away. This will ensure that the bonding is complete and uninterrupted.

More: How to Repair Tent Zipper

Step 2 Alternative: Tent Repair Glue

If you do not have a sewing machine or if you’d prefer the waterproof, flexible qualities of tent repair glue, you can use this to repair your tent instead.

After cleaning the area with water or alcohol as described above, lay the ripped area of the tent down flat. Put on gloves if you feel you might come into contact with the glue.

Make sure that the ripped area is aligned evenly without a space between the edges. Open the tent repair glue and spread the glue smoothly over the area, making sure to apply it so that it overlaps at least ¼ inch over the edges of the hole. 

Here is a video demonstrating how easy it is to apply the glue:

Allow the glue to cure for at least six hours, or the time indicated on the packaging instructions, so that it stays secure. After the glue has dried, for more reinforcement and a better seal, you can flip over the fabric and apply the glue to the underside of the torn area as well. 

Check our guide to best beach tent here

For a Hole Torn in the Mesh

Step 1: Prepare your tent

Place the torn area of the tent on a flat surface, such as a table. Use an alcohol swab or soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, and wipe down the ripped area of the tent to clean it. Allow the alcohol to dry before moving on to the next steps fully.

Step 2: Apply the patch from the mesh patch kit

If you are wondering where to find the best tent mesh repair kit, there are several useful options

Open the mesh patch kit, and line up the tent mesh repair patch over the hole to make sure that the patch measures at least ¼ inch, but ideally 1 inch, larger on all sides than the torn area.

Remove the adhesive backing from the patch or repair tape, and firmly press it over the hole.

For more reinforcement of high-tension areas, apply another patch to the opposite side of the hole as well. 

If your mesh patch kit came with tent repair glue instead of adhesive tape, evenly apply the glue to the back of the fabric repair piece before pressing it down firmly over the hole. Rub your hand over the repaired section a few times to help it stick and to smooth it down.

Allow the patch to cure for 24 hours to ensure that it stays securely in place before packing away your tent.

You can watch these videos for a visual demonstration of applying a tent mesh patch kit:

Alternative Step 2: Sewing on a patch

If you do not have a mesh patch kit, you can sew the hole shut with a patch that you cut out from mesh netting fabric. Make sure that the patch you cut out measures at least ¼ inch larger on all sides than the hole that you’re covering up. Otherwise, the patch will likely detach at a later time and will need to be repaired once more.

Line up the fabric patch over the hole. Try to align it so that the grain of the tent mesh and the grain of the fabric are going in the same direction. This will ensure that the tent mesh and the patch stretch move together more smoothly.

Once it is aligned correctly and evenly, carefully place pins through the netting fabric and mesh to hold it in place as you sew. 

Prepare your sewing machine, and sew the patch to the tent with the zig-zag stitch method, as demonstrated in this video:

After you’re sewed the fabric patch onto the mesh, cut off any extra fabric from around the edges to prevent ripping. If you have fabric repair tape, you may use that along the edges of the patch as well. This will help reinforce the repaired area and cover the edges to prevent fraying. The repair tape is also waterproof, which will help secure your tent against leaks.

Check our guide to best cabin tent here

Ready to Camp Again

Did you enjoy this tutorial? I’ve found that these tent repair methods are some of the easiest, quickest ways to make sure that the windows and doors of my tent stay together securely. I hope that this tutorial has helped you learn a thing or two about tent mesh repair so that you can feel comfortable and bug-free on your many adventures. 

Please leave a comment below to tell us what you thought of this guide, and remember to share the article if you found it helpful!

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