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Tubsmacker 03-05-2007 12:44 PM

Restoring colour to sail covers
I am new to sailing and have bought a small (36') boat which has sail covers to protect the sails from the sun etc when not in use. The boat has other covers made out of the same fabric for other items like the wheel and various winches etc.

The ones I have are coloured deep burgandy which has now faded a lot due to the sun and look a bit sad.
Although the fabric seems to be still very good, I am told that these covers can't be dyed to restore their colour as the yarn is pre-dyed before the material is woven (it may be originaly waterproofed and waterproofed backed)

The Mainsail cover is perhaps not so expensive to replace, but the fully zipped Genoa cover is, then we have all the over covers for the liferaft cannister ,winches etc

I have read about restoring the waterproofing but not the colour

Does anyone know of a solution to restoring them to their former glory?


Waymar83 03-05-2007 05:27 PM

I had the same issue and yes the collective wisdom is that you cannot dye the I(sunbrella) fabric.

What I've done with the (mailsail) sail cover is flippped it inside out. The inside looks new and the only thing showing is some of the stitching.

This will work for a while (at least until I will buckle under and pay for new covers):( ...

sailingdog 03-05-2007 06:04 PM

The only possible option I can think of...since Sunbrella is not really a material that will accept a dye... is to paint the cloth... You can get paints that will adhere to the cloth in almost any color, and it would probably work fairly well.

Tubsmacker 03-06-2007 05:03 AM

Excellent, that's the kind of suggestion that I wanted to hear! I wondered about paints but know little about fabric paints.
Does anyone know of a suitable paint for 'Sunbrella' that won't crack when flexed?

sailingdog 03-06-2007 07:32 AM

Most of the fabric paints are relatively flexible from what I've seen. You should probably talk to the people who know about the fabric paints as to which would be most suitable for use outdoors in a marine environment.

Tubsmacker 03-06-2007 12:22 PM

Yes, I'll do that. Thanks for taking the time to help me with my question.
Much appreciated.

sailingdog 03-06-2007 07:22 PM

You should also mention what fabric (probably sunbrella) the covers are made of when you talk to them. Good luck and let us know what they say.

Tubsmacker 03-07-2007 06:04 AM

This company ranh me back and said that their Plastidip product is OK for Sunbrella they said that it is used in many marine applications such as painting anchors and anything that might corrode. The chap said that for fabrics it might be wise to use the primer to increase adhesion but it was not always required. He also said that the product had very good UV filters.

I'm going to try it as I've got nothing to lose except 450 + for some new covers, although it will be a while before I get around to doing it.

There is some technical info on the web site for those that understand it.
It is expensive stuff so I hope it works!

CoralReefer 03-07-2007 08:29 AM

You can buy that stuff at any Lowes or Home Depot, probably any hardware store.

Tubsmacker 03-07-2007 08:49 AM

Do you know of any Brand names? I imagine it would be different in various countries.

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