Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fixing umbrellas

Here are a few ways I've fixed persnickety umbrellas recently.

Sometimes a rivet comes loose, and so two struts aren't connected anymore.  I recently fixed this on my son's large umbrella by using a paper clip as a rivet.

Sometimes a metal strut bends where it's not supposed to; this gives the umbrella an unhappy lop-sided appearance.  I've had good success with reinforcing the bent strut with a chopstick and duct-tape.  Because this fix is under the umbrella, it doesn't look bad to anyone outside.  (And if you're close enough to another person that he can see the under-side of your umbrella, snuggle up!)

Sometimes the cloth of the umbrella comes off the ribs, leaving a sharp, pokey metal piece sticking out just waiting to stab someone in the eye.  Yoicks!  If the rib has a hole at the end, then just sew the cloth back on with a needle and thread.  If there is no hole (drat it), then I've occasionally sewed a little fabric "pocket" onto the cloth of the umbrella that I can stick the end of the rib back into.

Any of these fixes are faster and cheaper than going out to buy a new umbrella.  They can be done in less than 5 minutes -- even the laborious "pocket" one.  And these fixes cost nothing if you happen to have spare paperclips, chopsticks, and/or thread lying around. 


  1. I googled for instructions on how to fix a couple ribs from my moms umbrella and your blogger blog popped up. I liked it b/c your umbrella seems to be designed and assembled just like mine. The supporting metal ribs are actually sewed at the end. However, due to wear-n-tear, some metal ribs poke through the umbrella nylon material which can surely poke someone. I was thinking of just using a glue gun but after my mom saw your, just as new repair, she would not let me even risk trying one rib using the glue gun method until I at least make an effort to contact u for some advise.

    1. My experience with glue-gun repairs is that they've been temporary at best. And if you had a glob of glue on the umbrella that wasn't working right, it would make a further sewing repair harder to do later. So I'd go for grabbing another small piece of fabric to sew on, if I were you.

      But if you go the glue-gun route instead, and it actually works, please let me know!