How to repair split leather

Written by rachel turner
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How to repair split leather
Repair splits in leather with a leather repair kit. (Arthur S. Aubry/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Leather is a very flexible and durable material that is used in many products, including clothing, shoes, car upholstery and furniture. Many things contribute to leather splitting, such as common accidents with sharp objects, older leather drying and splitting open and damage due to normal wear and tear. Do not take the leather to a professional unless you want to spend a lot of money and time waiting for the leather professional to finish. You can repair split leather easily yourself with just a few simple tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Soft cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Fine tweezers
  • Cuticle scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Leather repair kit
  • Helper
  • Hair dryer

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  1. 1

    Dab a soft cloth into a small amount of alcohol, and rub the cloth over the split leather and the surrounding area. The alcohol will clean dirt and debris from the leather, making the leather easier to repair.

  2. 2

    Grasp the edges of the leather split with fine tweezers. Turn the edges toward you slightly, and use a sharp pair of cuticle scissors to cut away all the frayed edges. Trim all the worn edges so they are clean and flat.

  3. 3

    Measure the leather split with measuring tape, and add one inch on all sides of the measurement. Use these measurements to cut one piece of canvas in the kit with scissors.

  4. 4

    Hold the canvas piece with the tweezers, and gently insert the piece into the leather split. Make sure the canvas piece lies flat inside, and behind the leather split.

  5. 5

    Dab the end of a toothpick into the included leather glue, and apply the glue to the back of the edges of the split, in between the canvas and the leather. Grasp the leather on either side of the split with your fingers, and press the leather edges together. The edges of the split do not have to come perfectly together as you will later fill this gap with leather filler.

  6. 6

    Hold the edges of the split together while a helper holds a blow dryer at least four inches away from the leather split for five to 10 minutes, drying the glue.

  7. 7

    Fill the leather split gap with the included filler, using the included filler tool. Apply a thin first layer, and then dry the split for five minutes with the hair dryer. Continue to fill the gap between the leather split, applying one layer at a time until the gap is 3/4's of the way full.

  8. 8

    Apply the last layer of filler to the split gap, and smooth the top layer into the surrounding leather with the included palette knife.

  9. 9

    Emboss a matching grain pattern onto textured leather with the included grain pad.

  10. 10

    Mix the desired matching leather colour according to the included colour chart. Apply the first layer of colour with a sponge, only applying the colour to the filled split. Continue to apply the colour onto the leather split until you achieve the desired match.

  11. 11

    Seal the leather with one thin coat of the included finish spray, and allow it to dry completely before use.

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