The leather strap that holds together a purse or backpack often succumbs to rips, tears or complete breakage. Due to the thickness and toughness of leather, it may prove difficult to repair. Yet most modest rips and tears can be taken care of with careful stitching you can do at home. If your bag's leather strap suffered severe damage, send it to a professional repair shop. Many designer brands, such as Gucci and Prada, offer a repair service for handbags.
Examine the leather strap and assess the extent of the damage. If a strap is completely torn or otherwise beyond repair, take the leather bag to a professional.
Repair a scratched leather strap. Clean the leather strap with a damp cloth and dry it with a clean towel. Apply clear shoe polish to the strap using a paintbrush or duster.
Remove the strap from the metal ring, if necessary. Pry the metal ring open with a pair of pliers and slide the edge of the strap over the end of the ring.
Cut off a frayed or broken portion of the strap using a pair of sharp scissors.
Sew a ripped part of the strap together. Thread a needle and tie a knot in the thread. Pierce the ripped edge of the leather strap with the needle. Pull the needle to the opposite side of the rip and pierce the strap again.
Continue sewing the strap together until you complete a seam all the way across. Knot the thread again and remove the needle.
Return the strap to the ring, if necessary. Slide the strap over the ring and close the ring with pliers.