Canvas Repair—Snaps & Grommets

Installing snaps, fasteners and grommets can be a tedious task. Which is why it can be disheartening when one of your fasteners fails and rips out. Today in this second part of our canvas repair series, we’re going to discuss how to replace failed grommets and snaps. If you missed the first post in our canvas repair series, check it out to learn about patching rips and tears.

Repairing Ripped Out Snaps

Often, when a snap rips out of the canvas it’s installed in, it wasn’t set securely enough to begin with. When setting snaps make sure that they don’t spin in the canvas. If you think your snaps might be in danger of ripping out, a good preventative measure is to tighten them, by re-crimping the rivet. This is especially easy with the Pres-N-Snap Tool. If your snap tears out completely, sew a small patch of canvas over both the inside and outside of the cover over the tear. Then re-install the snap.

Fixing Grommet Troubles

If you have a rip caused by a grommet that pulled out you can repair the fabric and replace the grommet to fix it up. If your fabric is starting to rip around a grommet that’s failing, you should cut out the grommet and the fabric and repair the whole area. Installing a new grommet in ripping fabric will be a waste of a grommet. To repair where the grommet was, you’ll need to recreate the thickness of fabric and sew in an appropriate patch. A good hold for a grommet should be at least 3 layers of fabric. Then you can install a new grommet.


Find new snap fasteners and grommets and everything else you need to repair your canvas at www.sailrite.com. Be sure to check back next week for the third and final installment of our canvas repair series! Have you had snap and grommet troubles before? How did you fix them? Share your stories in the comments.

4 comments
  1. John Hughes said:

    When I install grommets, sometimes there’s lots of material (or the material may be a little lumpy/buckled) so that the “tube” of the male side of the grommet barely reaches out of the cloth; I put the female piece on top, but when I hit the grommet tool with my hammer, sometimes the male part gets wedged so that only part of the expanded and flattened “tube” is above the female part. I can SORT of deal with this by pressing down on the female part before the hammer-blows, compressing the fabric during the first tap or two of the hammer…but then I need one hand to hold the female part of the grommet, one hand to hold the tool, and one to hold my hammer, which is one more hand than I have. Is there a better way?

    • Nikki said:

      Hi John,
      That’s not an uncommon problem. We’ve heard that there are grommets with extra long barrel lengths made from installing in thick assemblies. Unfortunately, we do not currently stock any of those.

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