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Fabric Mender  What They Do

Just the Facts


Repairs tears, holes, and other defects in fabrics, such as draperies, linens, parachutes, and tents.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Maintenance, Installation and Repair pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Measures and hems curtains, garments, and canvas coverings to size, using tape measures.
  • Operates sewing machines to restitch defective seams, sew up holes, or replace components of fabric articles.
  • Spreads out articles or materials and examines them for holes, tears, worn areas, and other defects.
  • Stamps grommets into canvas, using mallets and punches or eyelet machines.
  • Trims edges of cut or torn fabric, using scissors or knives, and stitches trimmed edges together.
  • Patches holes, sews tears and ripped seams, or darns defects in items, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
  • Checks repaired and repacked survival equipment to ensure that it meets specifications.
  • Sews labels and emblems onto articles for identification.
  • Repairs holes by weaving thread over them, using needles.
  • Cleans stains from fabric or garments, using spray guns and cleaning fluid.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Awning Craftsman --
  • Custom Marine Canvas Fabricator --
  • Fabric Worker --
  • Hand-Woven Carpet and Rug Mender --
  • Mender --
  • Perch Mender --
  • Sail Maker --
  • Sail Repair Person --
  • Seamstress --
  • Tarp Repairer --