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How to shrink leather pants

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather trousers are a timeless fashion staple. They've been worn by rockers, movie stars, cowboys and average Joes for decades. After wearing them for a certain amount of time, leather trousers tend to stretch out a little. If you can't bear to part with your beloved trousers, you can try several techniques to shrink them back to original size.

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  1. Soak the leather trousers in hot water until completely wet. Then, allow to air dry. The water will shrink the leather trousers temporarily. Wearing them a few times will stretch them out again, but you can always wet them and do this process all over again.

  2. Put them in the drying machine. The heat from the dryer will shrink the leather trousers just like it shrinks many other fabrics. Let the leather trousers stay in the dryer for about 20 minutes, then take them out.

  3. Take them to the tailor. This is the traditional method to shrink them without risking any damage. A tailor will take the proper measurements and tighten the leather trousers for a better fit.

  4. Have them dry-cleaned. Contrary to its name, dry-cleaning is not entirely a dry process. Solvents and liquid chemicals are used to remove stains, and also work to tighten the leather.

  5. Take the trousers to a leather shop. Trained leatherworkers will be able to shrink, tighten or resize your trousers without causing any damage. They will also offer tips on how to take care of your leather trousers.

  6. Tip

    To prevent your leather trousers from getting water-damaged, rub some beeswax all over them. The beeswax will protect the leather from getting stains. Consider buying a new pair that fit better; sometimes alterations end up costing more than purchasing a new pair.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hot water
  • Tailor
  • Dry cleaners
  • Beeswax

About the Author

Maggie Hira has been writing professionally since 2006. She has written for numerous websites and print publications, including "LA.Direct Magazine" and The Budget Fashionista. Hira holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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