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How to Flatten Leather

Updated April 17, 2017

Leather can quickly become curled or bent if it is not taken good care of. The way to avoid leather becoming curled is to keep it clean and dry it as soon as possible when it becomes wet. Lightly oiling the leather at regular intervals will help to keep the leather resistant to water. Once a piece of leather has become curled you may want to flatten it. Curled leather can be taken to a leather store for flattening or it can be done at home.

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  1. Place the piece of leather you want to flatten on to an ironing board. Make sure the rough side of the leather is facing up toward you.

  2. Cover the side that is facing up toward you with brown paper. This acts as a press cloth between the leather and the clothes iron.

  3. Plug in the clothes iron to main electric and wait for it to heat up. Begin with a low heat setting.

  4. Press the clothes iron onto the brown paper covering the leather once it has heated up.

  5. Move the clothes iron slowly over the piece of leather, ensuring that the brown paper is always acting as a barrier between the leather and the clothes iron. Stop when the piece of leather has become very warm.

  6. Remove the brown paper covering the leather. Place a heavy book, or a number of heavy books, so that the entire piece leather is held down flat by the weight.

  7. Leave the books in place until the piece of leather has completely cooled down. Remove the books and the piece of leather will be flattened.

  8. Tip

    Try this method on a scrap piece of leather first to practice.


    Do not try to heat up the leather too quickly, it could become dry and susceptible to cracking.

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Things You'll Need

  • Leather
  • Ironing board
  • Clothes iron
  • Brown paper
  • Heavy Books

About the Author

Based in the U.K., Jack Taylor has been writing environmental, sports and travel-related articles since 2006. His writing has been featured in publications such as "Drift" magazine, the "Journalist" magazine and the "Newquay Voice" newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from University College, Falmouth.

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