Okay, not vinyl - microsuede, much nicer than vinyl. (The title is a call out to an ad in the '70s they used to play constantly on TV. Anybody remember it?)
We have this sofa that is going to charity tomorrow (although they didn't call to confirm so I'm a little nervous that they won't show up). It's a great sofa - sofa bed, actually - but after we put in the door in my office, it was too wide for any wall in our house. So we have to get rid of it. Now, I was eventually able to curb them of the habit, but for a while the cats were sharpening their claws on one corner of it. Here you can see the damage they did to the microsuede cover.
They only damaged the cover, though, not the sofa itself underneath. So that's one good thing. Anyway, when I called the charity that is taking it I told them that the cover had some cat scratch damage and said I was thinking of patching it, and they said it would be a good idea if I did so, otherwise the foreman picking up the thing might not take it if it looked too damaged.
So I removed a piece from the center back pleat, and then just sewed the pleat halves back together without folding them back. I removed the worst-scratched piece from the corner pleat, and replaced it with the piece from the back, but in front of the folded side pieces. It looks fine, if you didn't know you might not even notice.
I had to patch the corner as well. Here is a closeup of the patch:
One great thing about ultrasuede is you don't have to worry about edges fraying, and you can just top sew the seam and let that be it.
I didn't want to spend a huge amount of time doing this, and I think if I were doing it for us to keep I probably would have been a little more "precious," as Adam accuses me of being, but at the same time I was thinking of the people who would get the sofa and I hated to think of them getting something that was crappy. You can still see a little bit of scratch damage on the right side, but it's not horrendous, and hopefully will pass muster.
With the pillow on top, the patch is hidden, and the whole thing looks pretty much restored to decent shape.
Oh yeah - one more thing: I have to give credit where credit is due: My Kenmore, yes that's the Sears brand, sewing machine is fraking badass and can sew through half a dozen layers without complaint. I couldn't pin through it, but I was able to sew. I love my Kenmore (made by Janome, behind the scenes).