A tear in leather clothing is often a serious source of stress for people. If you sew it back together, it’s visible to anyone who looks closely. Leather is expensive, so just replacing the clothing item is often more expense than anyone wants to go through.
There is an alternative. You can mend that rip with glue. You’ll want to use the right glue and the right techniques. If you do, you can mend your clothing and make it looks as good as new.
That’s where we come in. We took a look at what to use and how to do it, and put what we found in this article. We hope you find value in it, and that it helps you keep your leather clothing in tip-top shape.
In This Article We'll Discuss
How to Glue Leather Step-by-Step Guide
Gluing leather to repair a cut isn’t just a matter of lining up different parts of a tear, gluing them together, and holding them fast until the glue sets. For starters, that is unlikely to produce a viable seam.
Leather’s real strength comes from the fact that skin is a significant source of protection as a single sheet. When you get cut, you need to bandage it until it heals from inside. That doesn’t work with clothing.
If you just glue a leather rip back together, it is likely to just tear again once stress is placed on it. The glue might also stain the leather.
To glue leather back together, you’ll want to get leather glue and also a piece of fabric to put behind the tear. Another piece of leather would work best. If you don’t have leather glue or another piece of leather, you can use super glue and denim, respectively.
Start by trimming any loose fibers around the rip and cleaning it with a mixture of vinegar and water. This will help remove debris that might weaken the bond.
Trim down the leather or denim patch to fit around the cut. You’ll want to large enough to cover the entire cut, but not much larger.
Slip the patch in behind the cut. It doesn’t go in front like a traditional patch, but in the back so that it’s hidden.
Apply glue to the patch when you have it behind the cut, and press the leather down so that it covers the patch. Align the two sides of the seam as best you can.
If excess glue comes up through the seam, clean that as soon as possible. This is why leather glue is superior to super glue. Super glue forms a hard bond quickly and might be difficult to clean.
Press the seam down by first layering paper towel over the top and then placing something heavy and flat like a book on top. Allow it to dry completely.
Once it’s dried, then remove the book and paper towel. If the repair is noticeable, use a filler cream to fill in any gaps and buff that to a uniform appearance once it has dried.
What is the Best Glue to use on Leather?
Advancements in glue technology have allowed for the development of adhesives tailored to just about any kind of material. That includes leather. So, the best glue to use on leather is leather glue.
You can also use cyanoacrylates, a family of glues that includes Gorilla glue and super glue. Those form strong bonds in a hurry.
Using one of these glues comes with two drawbacks. The first is that it dries quickly, so you have little time to make adjustments. The other is that if you get it on top of your leather, it can create a stain. It’s also difficult to remove.
Can you Repair Leather with Super Glue?
Super glue belongs to a family of adhesives called cyanoacrylates. These adhesives are notable for their fast, hard bonds. They can also work on a wide range of materials, which includes leather.
If you can find proper leather glue, you’ll want to use that. However, in a pinch super glue will work as long as you don’t try to glue two seams directly together.
Two drawbacks to using super glue are that it dries so fast that you might not have time to adjust the seam and that it can stain leather. For those reasons, it’s advisable that you not use it to repair expensive leather.
Does Fabric Glue Work on Leather?
The question of whether fabric glue works on leather depends a lot on what you want out of it. If you want a permanent bond to hold it firmly in place, the answer is no. If you want a temporary fix until you can get something stronger, then it might be worth a shot.
Much of your success in getting fabric glue to work will depend on the quality of the glue itself. Fabric glue isn’t intended to create a very strong seal, and low-quality fabric glue just won’t bind it.
Does Rubber Cement Work on Leather?
Rubber cement won’t bind two pieces of leather together, but that doesn’t mean it has no application in repairing leather, especially shoes.
What it can do is create a waterproof seal over a repaired tear in leather. Once you have the tear repaired, swipe some over the top of the seam and allow it to dry completely.
A tear in your leather doesn’t need to give you fits. Glue is a great way to mend a tear in leather. The trick is knowing which glue is the best to use and the best technique. If you know those, rescuing a torn piece of clothing is a snap.
We think the best way to glue leather back together involves using a patch glued in behind the tear to hold the seam together. Directly gluing to pieces of leather together is likely to result in a weak seam and maybe even a stain.
Hopefully, this article gave you some helpful tips on how to glue leather. If you found it useful, we’d love to hear about it in a comment. We’d also love to hear any tips you have from your own experience. You’re also invited to share this on your social media networks.