Finding a tear in your favorite leather jacket can be a real bummer. Fortunately, there’s no need to let it languish in the closet for fear of doing further damage, or to pay an arm and a leg having it repaired at a high-end leather shop. You can easily make minor wear and tear disappear using a basic commercial leather repair kit. For more extensive damage, you also have the option of sewing on a patch cut from a brand new piece of leather of the same color and texture to reinforce the area around the tear.
[Edit]Fixing Small Tears with a Leather Repair Kit
Purchase a commercial leather repair kit. You can pick up a basic leather repair kit from any sewing supply shop or arts and crafts store. These kits typically contain one or more hard-wearing sub patches, a small amount of leather-safe fabric glue, and small tools for applying both components.
Some deluxe kits also contain a selection of colored leather dyes, which you can use to restore the damaged part of your jacket to its original color once your repairs are complete.
Commercial leather repair kits will be most useful for mending tears shorter than about in length.
Turn the jacket inside out and undo the stitching around the lining, if necessary. If your leather jacket has a liner sewn-in for added warmth and comfort (as most do), your first task will be to open up the section covering the damaged area enough to access the tear itself. Use a pair of scissors or seam ripper to neatly remove the stitching holding the lining in place. Be careful not to damage the seam or surrounding fabric any more than necessary, as this will make it harder to sew back up later.
Seam rippers only cost a few dollars, and will help you make much neater work of all your future fabric-working projects.
You may be able to skip this step if the tear is located around the collar, one of the pockets or lapels, or another area that’s not concealed by the liner.
Insert a thin piece of wood or cardboard beneath the damaged area. Turn the jacket right-side-out again and slide your material directly underneath the torn leather. This will help ensure that the area stays smooth and flat while you work.
Make sure your wood or cardboard is situated between the leather shell and the lining, not below the lining alone.
Clean the area with an alcohol swab. Wipe the leather around the tear thoroughly to remove any dust, dirt, or oil residue that’s collected on the fabric. The alcohol will evaporate on its own in a few short moments, so don’t worry about wiping or drying it.
Rubbing alcohol makes a great leather cleaner—it’s antibacterial, dries fast, and won’t wrinkle, crack, or otherwise damage natural leather.
If you don’t have any alcohol swabs handy, you can also wet a lint-free cloth with warm water and use it to go over the site.
Cut the included subpatch larger than the tear on all sides. Take a pair of scissors and carefully snip the excess material around the edges of the patch. If you’re contending with a rip, you’ll want to trim your subpatch to a length of and a width of about to make sure it covers the damage completely.
You can also modify the subpatch to fit over holes, flaps, and irregularly-shaped tears.
The sub-patches that come with most commercial leather repair kits are small squares of tough knitted fabric that are designed to be glued to the soft underside of the leather.
Tuck the subpatch into the tear and smooth it down flat. The easiest way to do this is to use a pair of tweezers, a palette knife, or a similar tool, but you can also use a finger if the tear is wide enough. Once you’ve got the fabric in place, take a moment to double-check that it’s free of folds or wrinkles.
If the subpatch isn’t perfectly flat, it may not provide adequate coverage. It will also be harder to glue down, which will make it more likely to slip out of place.
Glue the tear shut over the subpatch. Dab a small amount of the adhesive included with your kit onto the surface of the subpatch where it sits below the torn leather. Then, carefully bring the edges of the tear together by hand, making sure they’re as perfectly aligned as possible. Press both edges down into the glue and apply steady pressure to them for at least 30 seconds to make sure they stay put.
For more detailed instructions, refer to the drying guidelines provided on the product’s packaging.
Allow the glue to cure for about 24 hours. Exact drying and curing times will vary depending on the product you’re using. Most types of leather-suitable fabric glues will be dry to the touch after about 5 minutes and cure completely within 24 hours. For best results, leave the jacket to sit undisturbed overnight.
Stash your jacket in a cool, dry environment. Atmospheric moisture could interfere with the adhesive’s ability to set up correctly.
Resist the urge to handle your jacket while you’re waiting for the glue to cure. In particular, you want to avoid doing anything that might re-open the freshly-glued seam.
Sew the lining back into the inside of your jacket before wearing it. Once the glue has had plenty of time to cure, turn the jacket inside out again and re-stitch the section of lining you loosened up to get to the tear. Knot the ends of your thread to prevent the stitches from slipping. After that, you’ll be ready to rock!
Leather is quite a bit heavier than most fabrics, so you’ll need to use a sturdy needle and a strong, durable type of thread, such as nylon or waxed linen.[Edit]Patching Large Damaged Areas
Turn the jacket inside out and pinpoint the hole or tear. This may require you to snip the stitches securing the inner lining and gently pull it aside, depending on the style of the garment. Rest your jacket on a sturdy work surface that allows the material to lie as flat as possible.
It’s always best to patch damaged leather from the inside in order to make your repairs less conspicuous.
Patching is generally the best method for repairing holes, jagged rips, and tears longer than about .
Use tape to hold long, straight tears shut. Tear off a strip of clear tape and smooth it down over the entire length of the tear to close up the edges. Make sure the piece you use is large enough to completely cover the damage by at least on all sides.
If the tear you’re trying to patch is long, for example, you’ll want to use a piece of tape that’s around in length.
The tape will seal up the tear and keep the edges of the leather from separating until you can put on the patch.
Dab fabric glue into the tear from the visible side of the jacket. Turn the jacket right-side-out again, being careful not to dislodge the tape on the underside of the damaged area. Dip a toothpick or similar thin, pointed tool into a bottle of high-strength fabric glue and use it to spread the glue into the crevice formed by the torn edges of the leather.
Use just enough adhesive to fill in the gaps in the material. If you overdo it, you could end up with noticeable crusty spots on your jacket after the glue dries.
Be sure to pick up a type of fabric glue that’s specifically intended for use on leather.
Like the tape, a preliminary application of glue will help hold the edges of the tear together as tightly as possible.
Allow the glue to dry for at least 30 minutes. Most leather-suitable fabric glues are designed to cure in a matter of minutes, but it’s a good idea to give it a little longer since you want the bond to be nice and secure. In the meantime, hold off on touching your jacket so as not to compromise the glue’s hold.
Find a cool, dry place to leave your jacket where it won’t be disturbed or exposed to environmental moisture.
If you’re working with a heat-set type of adhesive, wave a hair dryer or heat gun over the glued tear for 20-30 seconds to speed the process along.
Cut a patch big enough to cover the damage from a matching piece of leather. While you’re waiting for the glue to finish setting up, grab a utility knife or sharp pair of scissors and carefully cut out your patch. Size the patch about larger than the hole or tear on all sides, and make sure it has a regular shape to make it easier to sew on later.
To reinforce a round hole, for instance, you’d want to use a patch that’s roughly round or square.
Circular, square, or rectangular patches will work just fine for the majority of holes and tears.
Glue the patch into place on the underside of the damaged area. Once the glue has had time to dry completely, turn the jacket inside-out one more time and apply a small amount of glue onto the backside of the patch, using a zig-zag pattern for better coverage. Peel off the tape holding the tear together from the inside of the jacket and press the patch onto the leather in its place. Keep pressure on the patch for 20-30 seconds, or until it’s set enough to stay put on its own.
After sticking on your patch, let the glue dry for another half hour before moving on.
Stitch around the edges of the patch to secure it. Thread a sturdy needle with nylon or waxed linen thread and guide it back and forth through the outer edges of the patch in a standard straight stitch pattern. When you’ve made your way all the way around the patch, snip the excess thread and knot the loose ends to prevent them from slipping out. Your jacket will now be ready for a night out on the town!
Start and end your stitches on the inside of the jacket so your finished knots won’t be visible.
For an even more durable and long-lasting repair job, consider combining a leather patch with leather repair compound and a coat of fresh leather dye.[Edit]Hiding Mended Areas with Leather Repair Compound
Spread a thin layer of leather repair compound onto the repaired area. Scoop up a small amount of compound with the included applicator tool and smooth it onto the seam left behind from the hole or tear you just fixed. Be sure to brush a little compound onto the surrounding area, as well—this will help produce a more consistent-looking finish when it comes time to blend it.
Use just enough compound to fill in the seam before working your way outward. The heavier you apply it, the more noticeable it will be.
If the leather repair compound you bought didn’t come with an applicator, a plastic knife or similar utensil will work just as well.
Heat-set the compound with a hair dryer or heat gun for about a minute. Switch your heat tool on to its lowest heat setting and wave it back and forth over the fresh compound, keeping the nozzle roughly away from the leather. The majority of leather fillers on the market are formulated to set within 60-90 seconds with constant exposure to low heat.
The compound will take on a dull matte finish once it’s fully set.
You can also let the compound air dry if you don’t have a hair dryer or heat gun handy, though this could take up to an hour under ordinary conditions.
Buff the compound with a sheet of high-grit sandpaper. Go over the dried compound lightly using smooth, circular motions. As you do, you’ll notice it growing more and more faint in appearance. The idea is to gradually blend the compound into the leather around the tear so that it’s not quite as obvious.
If your leather repair compound came as part of a kit, it will most likely contain sandpaper for blending. If not, look for a sheet that’s 220-grit or higher.
Be careful not to remove any of the compound within the repaired area itself.
Apply 1-2 coats of leather dye to camouflage the repair compound (optional). If you can still see the dried compound after blending it into the leather, one thing you can do is purchase a bottle of leather dye for a quick and easy cover-up. Just grab a lambswool dauber or an old cloth or sponge and rub on enough dye to cover the repaired area entirely, setting aside at least an hour of drying time between coats. Once it’s dry, you’ll hardly be able to tell that your jacket was ever damaged in the first place!
If the dye is running or beading on the leather, gently blot it with a clean part of your cloth or sponge to remove the excess and work the remaining dye deeper into the natural textures of the leather.
Leather dyes are available in a wide range of colors. Be sure to select a shade that most closely matches your jacket’s original color.[Edit]Tips
If you don’t want to risk doing any more harm to your jacket, your best bet is to take it to a qualified leather expert and spend a few extra dollars having it repaired professionally.[Edit]Things You’ll Need
[Edit]Fixing Small Tears with a Leather Repair Kit
Leather repair kit
Thin piece of wood or cardboard
Needle and thread
Seam ripper tool (optional)
Clean cloth and mild soap solution (optional)
Palette knife (optional)
Clear tape (optional)[Edit]Patching Large Damaged Areas
Scrap leather patch
Sharp scissors or utility knife
Toothpick or similar tool
Needle and thread
Hair dryer or heat gun (optional)[Edit]Hiding Mended Areas with Leather Repair Compound
Leather repair compound kit
Hair dryer or heat gun
High-grit sandpaper (220-grit or higher—optional)
Plastic knife or similar tool (optional)
Leather dye (optional)
Lambswool dauber, sponge, or cloth (optional)[Edit]References↑ https://ahjoo.com/top-best-leather-repair-kits-reviews/