It’s that time of year. Most days, in the UK, it’s impossible to leave the house without an umbrella, which gets battered by the winds, blown inside out and unfortunately sometimes in a tangled mess! And what can you do with your broken wet-weather essential?
It’s a difficult item to recycle as umbrellas contain plastic, metals and fabric – unfortunately many umbrellas end up in landfill or Energy from Waste plants,but you can reuse them…if you know how to fix one!
The BiC pen lid fix
Did you know you could fix one of the umbrella ribs by simply using a plastic pen lid?
Here’s a useful video explaining how to attach it to the broken rib to strengthen the umbrella again. Surely everyone has one of these (with a hole in the top) lying around the house. Even better if you can use one from a pen which has run out and prevent it from going in the bin!
Alternatively, use a wire as seen in this tutorial to fix a damaged stretcher by wrapping it through two rivet holes, which increases its strength. You must use enamelled wire, to ensure it doesn’t rust. This is a great as it only uses a small amount, this should enable you to use any offcuts you may have.
Attaching a handle that’s come off is easy and can be done by simply using super glue. Add glue to the handle hole and hold for a minute in place – leave over night to ensure it’s dry.
Try your hand at sewing! Mend a tear in the canopy by adding a large enough patch to completely cover the tear. And ensure to fix from the outside-inward. You can buy waterproof material at fabric or craft shops and try cutting your material into an interesting shape before sewing it onto your umbrella for an upcycled look.
The last umbrella fixer in Europe!
It is thought umbrellas have been used for centuries to protect humans from the sun and rain, watch this video about the last umbrella fixer in Europe, based in Paris. The shop has been going for nearly 50 years and is thought to be the last of its kind!