When a leather ottoman's stitching breaks apart, it can sometimes be repaired without removing the leather upholstery. If the leather remains intact and only the thread is damaged, you can use a special hand-sewing upholstery needle and coarse natural fibre thread to fix the stitching. Inspect the exposed seams, looking for raw edges that appear to be ripped or crumbling; as long as at least 6 mm (1/4 inch) of the raw edge remains intact, you can hand sew the ottoman upholstery.
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Things you need
- 1 spool 5-gauge waxed linen thread
- Curved upholstery hand-sewing needle
Thread the upholstery needle and tie the ends together by making a tight double knot with a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) tail. A double knot is big enough it should not pull through the original needle holes, but small enough it should not show from the outside.
Hold the curved needle in your fingertips, as if you are holding a tiny pencil, close to the needle's eye with the curve pointing downward.
Slip the needle's point under the raw edge of the leather and bring the tip out through the first empty original needle hole. Using the original needle holes reduces stress on the already weakened leather.
Pull the thread until it is tight and hold it straight across the open seam. Find the original needle hole that lines up with the one you just used; poke the needle into that hole.
Roll the curved upholstery needle in your fingertips until the point lines up behind the next empty original needle hole. Push the needle through and pull the thread tight.
Repeat the straight-across and then one hole forward stitching until you reach the end of the gap.
Make at least three stitches beyond the end of the gap to secure the repair work. The last stitches will be a little bit awkward to make, but turning the curved needle in your fingertips will allow you to keep sewing without the stitches showing.
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