How to Mend a Tear in Luggage

A tear in your luggage, especially during an actual trip, shouldn't hamper you from travelling or cause you much time-consuming effort. Although you may get a refund or repair service for your damaged luggage from your travel or airline company, you may have to fill out a number of forms, which may further delay your travel. For any minor damage or tear, you can actually avoid inconvenient unpacking and repacking by doing on-the-spot and do-it-yourself luggage repair.

Clean the surface of the luggage needing repair, or better yet, if you can, clean the entire luggage. Use a compatible cleaner for the material your luggage is made of. For instance, you need a leather cleaner for a leather luggage. At the very least, if no specific cleaner is readily available, use soapy water. Apply the cleaner in small amounts using a rag, then wipe each part clean prior to moving to another section.

Prepare your repair kit. In case you don't have a ready repair kit to use, gather the following materials: rag, scuff remover (for a scrape or scuff) or a leather sealer that matches the colour of your luggage (for a tear). You may also use a fabric glue, rubber cement or vinyl cement, depending on the type of luggage you have. Repairing a scuff requires applying the scuff remover and wiping it clean with a rag. Repairing a tear requires applying the leather sealer and working on the solution over the damaged area outwardly. Polish and rub the torn area until the solution becomes barely visible.

Apply a luggage conditioner or polish to the repaired area of the luggage. This is typically a part of most luggage repair kits available in the market. Polish and rub in small amounts per section. This brings back the lustre and shine of your luggage, while also working as a sealer that protects the repaired part from further wear and tear.


If the tear is too large, try to get a matching leather to patch up on the inner and outer areas of the luggage's torn part. During emergency situations, you may use any durable material you have access to for temporary patching. Patching is best done using rubber cement or vinyl cement.


Do not leave any form of liquid on a leather luggage for too long as this could damage its surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Luggage cleaner (or soapy water)
  • Scuff remover (for a scrape or scuff)
  • Leather sealer, fabric glue, rubber cement or vinyl (for a tear on a specific type of luggage material)
  • Luggage conditioner or polish
  • Rag
  • Patch (if needed)
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About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.