How to Restore a Cracked Leather Jacket

Written by shae hazelton
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How to Restore a Cracked Leather Jacket
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A leather jacket can add a lot of character to your outfit. Unfortunately, leather can age and crack, creating an unattractive effect. Don’t throw your old leather jacket out when it reaches this state, though. It is possible to restore the jacket to a near new condition. This could save you a lot of money and help you to preserve a memorable leather jacket.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Brush
  • Saddle soap
  • Leather repair compound
  • Leather repair glue
  • Scrap material
  • 4.54kg. weight
  • Leather conditioner

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  1. 1

    Lay your jacket out on a hard, flat surface, such as a table. Brush down the leather jacket using a stiff bristled brush. Remove all dust, dirt and loose leather particles.

  2. 2

    Rub some saddle soap onto your hands and massage the soap into the jacket. Do not soak the jacket all the way through. Let the jacket dry naturally. Do not use any heating products, such as a hair dryer, to make the leather dry faster.

  3. 3

    Apply a leather repair compound to damaged parts of the leather jacket. Gently rub the compound onto the jacket until the cracks look less pronounced.

  4. 4

    Glue cracks that go all the way through the leather jacket’s material with a strong leather glue. Only use glue specifically designed for leather. Lay a piece of material under the crack. Apply a thin layer of leather glue to the inside of the crack and connect the other side of the rift to the glued side. Lay a weight on top of the glued crack and set aside to dry.

  5. 5

    Remove the weight from the glued crack of the leather jacket. Tug the scrap material away from the inside of the crack. Use extra care if the glue has bonded the fabric to the leather jacket. Gently sand away any glue remnant that may have seeped from the crack. Do this for the front and back of the crack.

  6. 6

    Apply leather conditioner to your entire jacket after the leather repair compound dries. This softens up the leather and makes it more pliable for future use. Continue to apply conditioner to the jacket once a week to keep it soft and flexible.

Tips and warnings

  • Wipe shoe cream (not polish) over the entire jacket. This gives your jacket a uniform colour in case it has faded in some areas.
  • The elbows are one of the most susceptible locations for cracks and fading. Pay extra close to these locations to ensure they do not crack. Use conditioner on any cracks in the elbows as soon as they appear.

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