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How to Make Patent Leather

Updated February 21, 2017

Patent leather is made from premium high-grade leather and is used in high fashion as a material of luxury and status. It is used in handbags, clothing, fine time pieces, and footwear. The quality of patent leather is based on its pliability and level of glossy, mirror-like finish. If a patent leather does not flex well and instead of appearing glossy looks translucent, the leather is of low quality or the patenting process was not done well. The process of creating patent leather began in 1881 and has not much changed much with time. The process has led to the creation of some the finest luxury fabrics in the world.

Coat tanned leather with a polyurethane/acrylic solution.

Vacuum dry to seal the polyurethane/acrylic solution on the leather.

Add dye to a separate batch of polyurethane/acrylic solution.

Coat tanned leather with a polyurethane/acrylic solution with added dye.

Vacuum dry for a second time.

Coat tanned leather for a third time with a clear, polyurethane/acrylic solution.

Vacuum dry for a third time. Once dry, the final polyurethane/acrylic solution coating will leave the leather with a firm, glossy and waterproof finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Tanned leather
  • Polyurethane/acrylic solution
  • Vacuum
  • Dye
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About the Author

Sarah McLeod began writing professionally for the federal government In 1999. In 2002 she was trained by Georgetown University's Oncology Chief to abstract medical records and has since contributed to Phase I through Phase IV research around the country. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Arts in human services from George Washington University and a Master of Science in health science from Touro University.