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How To Repair a Tear In Leather

How To Repair a Tear In Leather

This guide will show you how to fix a tear in leather. The same procedure applies to tears in all type of leather: furniture, car interior, clothes and all other leathers.

Step by Step Guide: Repairing a tear on a leather sofa

Torn Leather

This photo shows a tear in a panel from a leather sofa. To fix the tear you will need the following products:

For areas larger than a tennis ball:

  • Tear Repair Bundle

For damage larger than a tennis ball:

  • Tear Repair Bundle

Tear in Leather 1

Step 1. Assess damage & choose suitable product

The tear we are fixing is no larger than a tennis ball, so we have chosen the small area bundle that includes the Leather Repair Touch Up Kit.

If the damage covers an area larger than a tennis ball, you would need the large area bundle, that includes a Leather Colourant Kit.

The process for both sizes are the same, the only differences are the volume of colour used to cover the repair and the tools used to apply it.

How to repair a tear in leather 2

Step 2. Trim/prep the area

The next step is to take a scalpel or a pair of sharp sciscors and trim the worn edges off the tear, making for a cleaner edge and smarter repair.

If repairing a large area, using the large area bundle, at this stage you will need to apply Leather Prep from the Leather Colourant Kit and then alcohol clean the tear and the surrounding leather. This cleans the surface making the colour (later applied) adhere better. This is not required if only repairing a small area however.

How to repair a tear in leather 3

Step 3. Insert Sub-patch behind the leather

Using the tweezers and canvas cloth supplied in the leather repair kit. Insert the cloth behind the tear.

How to repair a tear in leather 4

Step 4. Apply glue to secure sub-patch

Once the cloth is behind the leather, use the spatula included in the Leather Repair Kit to apply the Leather Glue onto the underside of the leather. Basically - put the glue inbetween the cloth and the leather.

Press the leather down onto the cloth once the glue has been applied to all the edges and leave it to dry.

This technique re-creates the backing of the leather making for a very strong repair.

Repairing a tear in leather - adding filler

Step 5. Apply heavy filler to the tear

The next step is to apply the heavy filler into the tear. This will fill the gap in the leather making it level with the rest of the leather.

The filler is applied in several thin layers and a grain pattern can be embossed into the final layer to further blend the tear in with the rest of the leather.

Repairing torn leather - drying filler

Step 5. Build up heavy filler, drying each layer

Apply one thin layer to start with and then dry it off with a hair drier for a few minutes. Repeat this process until the tear is about 3/4's full.

Then apply one last layer to the tear and smooth it off with the palette knife making it level with the leather.

For a perfect repair you can use a Grain Pad to emboss the grain pattern into the filler.

Alternatively, you can use Grain Repair to manually recreate the grain before applying colour.

How to repair a tear in leather 5

Step 7. Apply Colourant

When the filler is dry, the next stage is to apply the colour. To do this, simply take the colourant and apply a small amount to a sponge. Use this to apply the colourant to the repair, blending it with the surrounding leather.

If using the large area bundle, after applying the first layer of colourant with a sponge, the remaining layers should be sprayed on using the airbrush.

Apply the colourant in multiple thin coats, allowing time for each to dry before moving on to the next. Apply as many coats as it takes to conceal the repair.

Tear in leather repair - Applying finish

Step 8. Apply Leather Finish

When the repair has been coloured sufficiently and the colourant has been left to dry, the final stage is to applly the finish.

If using the small area bundle, this can simply be applied using a sponge, again in multiple thin layers, allowing time for each to properly dry before moving on to the next.

If using the large area bundle, you should apply the finish using the airbrush. Applying the glossy superseal first, in 3-5 layers, before moving on to spray on the Leather Finish.

Around 8-10 coats of finish should be sufficient to ensure a good, robust repair.

Tear in Leather 1


Tear in Leather - Repaired



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2 years ago

David Campbell

Very clear and helpful. Thank you