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Mending a tear in leather

BR3060 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Any suggestions on how to “patch” a long tear in a black leather jacket?  My son recently acquired about a 12″ clean tear down one side of the front of his nice black leather jacket.  The lining is untouched & can, with the usual bit of work, be opened up to give me access to the back of the leather.  He’s not fussy about it being mended so it doesn’t show, but would like the gaping edges held together.  It’s a tanned, lighter-weight leather so the fix should be pliable.  Thanks.

Replies

  1. Marionc032 | | #1

    Good thing its a clean tear! Is it a fairly straight tear? Doesn't matter, here's what I would do. Get some masking tape and from the OUTSIDE bring the edges of the tear as close together and tight as you can, then tape the tear to hold the edges together tightly. Get a strip of lightweight leather or suede and cut it to match the tear, and on the INSIDE of the garment spread some contact cement on both sides of the tear and then on the repair strip (the sueded side if you're using smooth leather). Let the contact cement dry to the touch and then press the repair strip over the tear... voila!

    If you can't find leather for the repair strip, try ultrasuede fabric or fake leather, but use the glue on the rougher side of the fake leather, or rough it up with sandpaper before applying the cement. Once you bring the two glued surfaces together you CANNOT reposition them, so if you want to check the placement of the repair strip over the tear before you commit to pressing the glued sides together use slipsheets: get two pieces of waxed paper and place them slightly overlapped over the tear, with the overlap at approximately the centrepoint. Place the repair strip on top of the waxed paper and check that everything is positioned properly, then lightly holding down the bottom part of the repair strip and sheet, slowly pull away the top sheet and press down the repair strip as you pull the top sheet away bit by bit. Once the top is in place and pressed down, move the bottom sheet away bit by bit and press down the glued strip as you go along.

    Be careful when you remove the masking tape from the outside of the garment, or better yet, use low tack painters tape, and don't let the tape stay on the garment for more than a couple of hours.

    Hope this is clear enough,

    Marion

    Edited 11/8/2005 5:41 am ET by Marionc032



    Edited 11/8/2005 5:43 am ET by Marionc032

    1. BR3060 | | #2

      Excellent!  This sounds very sensible.  I'll give it a try.  Thank you.

      1. nance | | #3

        THAT SOUNDS LIKE IT WOULD BE JUST THE SOLUTION...I WOULD JUST CAUTION TO USE A SUPPLE ENOUGH PIECE OF LEATHER TO MEND WITH , OTHERWISE THE MENDED AREA WILL BE TOO STIF.
        NANCE

        1. user-51823 | | #4

          ditto nance- all you need is something strong enogh to hold the tear together. in fact, no reason a scrap piece of black polyesther chiffon wouldn't be fine. have you ever tried to rip that stuff? it's strong. no reason to use a bulky patch that might stiffen or show a profile on the outside of the jacket

          1. Marionc032 | | #5

            I'd be careful about using a material that is very thin as a patch no matter how tear resistant it is, just as I wouldn't want to use a fabric or leather that is too heavy. This is a men's (or boy's) leather jacket so its probably got some "body" to it. The tear is right down the front of the jacket so its subject to a lot of movement. I think that if the repair strip is too thin, the jacket front will "kink" along the tear because its the most bendable area (for instance when the wearer's arms are brought together in front) exposing the torn edges and the edges will then curl. So, the patch material has to be heavy enough to support the tear itself and minimize the kinking. If I was concerned that the profile of the patch would show on the outside, I'd probably bevel the patching strip (if its leather) so that the thickness of the strip graduates to paper thin at the outside edge. You can do this with a wood file or fine rasp. Or, I might use two strips of a thinner material like ultrasuede: a wider strip down first, then a narrow strip to provide the extra support to keep the leather from kinking.Its hard to say exactly what to do without seeing the jacket itself.Marion

          2. user-51823 | | #6

            excellent points, but i feel that the near-indestructability of the poly ;-) coupled with the strength of the glue impregnating it (i'm thinking something like fabri-tac spread on top and through the chiffon from the inside with a flat knife, and driven through the weave into the leather from the inside) would be a safe bet. am also assuming that the tear was a fluke, and not in a place that would ordinarily get lots of strain.

            Edited 11/14/2005 9:44 pm ET by msm-s

          3. BR3060 | | #7

            Thank you all for your help.  I did mend the tear (all 14 inches of it) with a fabric glue & black poly chiffon on the backside & a bit of superglue on the front to hold the edges of the leather together.  My son thinks I'm a genius.  Little does he know what a group of experts I've got behind me.

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