DIY Leather Repair Kits
How to Repair Leather
Leather World offers four classes of leather repair kits:
- Leather / Vinyl Recoloring Kit - targets situations when the finish needs to be restored or recolored on pigmented/top coated leathers and vinyl.
- Deluxe Leather Repair Kit - targeted at protected leather and vinyl that require physical repairs such as holes, tears, and deep cracking
- Aniline Leather Recoloring Kit - designed for restoring faded and dry aniline or unfinished leather
- Touch up Kits - The touch up leather repair kits are meant for small economical repairs where the need for extreme durability is not a concern
Below you can read into the important factors that must be considered when doing a leather recolor or repair
Know Your Leather Type
Both the Deluxe Leather Repair Kit and the Leather/Vinyl Recoloring kit have the common components for repairing pigmented leathers. Pigmented leathers have a distinctive paint-like coating. This type of leather is used on nearly all auto and most furniture applications. A droplet of water will bead on pigmented leather and not be absorbed.
Contrast this with aniline leather, found on high end furniture and a few expensive auto models, which has a true stain finish and no protective coating. A droplet of water will readily absorb into an aniline finish.
If you are unsure of your leather type please see our Leather Identification manual to help or reach out to us with questions.
The two key recoloring products for pigmented leather or vinyl are the prep and cleaner and the dye colorant. The prep and cleaner is used to remove enough of the prior finish to get good binding with the new finish. The dye colorant is available in a wide assortment of colors – hundreds of colors cataloged by make, model and year for auto. The dye colorant consists of a base and pigment. The base for auto colors imparts additional UV protection but otherwise is the same as our furniture dyes. Glass filters out the bulk of UV-B rays but permits UV-A rays to pass. While they are not as damaging they do photo-age or fade the leather color over time.
When recoloring Aniline leather you must understand and consider the type of products used. Cleaning is extremely important, especially areas where body oils are present. We recommend Leather Master Leather Degreaser for removing those oils. Aniline leather dye is semi-transparent, which allows for the leathers natural markings to show through once recolored. Conditioning also may be necessary if your leather has dried out. Our Aniline Leather Recoloring Kit gives you all the products you need that will not damage or harm your leather.
Leather Damage Repair
The Deluxe leather repair kit adds items to perform a physical repair to pigmented leather and vinyl. The primary products are the leather adhesive, sub patch material and the leather filler. The leather filler produces a flexible, pliable repair that bonds tightly to leather.
Repairs such as tears and holes are a bit tricky with aniline leather as the filler needed to make these repairs will not absorb the leather dye. Please contact us if this is the issue your dealing with.
Extensive directions and how-to videos are available with leather world technologies kits. The product listings also provide guidance on the options to select to make leather couch repairs and leather seat repairs and other common scenarios. You are in good hands with these professional kits.
Leather Repair Kit Reviews
The reviews are in and our loyal customers think we have the best leather repair kits! Witness the positive reviews and testimonials on our site. We have the best because we build the best – leather repair kits done right.
What sets us apart? First, we offer a broad range of leather cleaners, conditioners, protectants, dyes, coatings, adhesives, and specialty leather products. We are not a one trick pony. We can solve just about any problem relating to leather. We specialize in leather furniture and automotive interiors. We know our stuff. Some leather repair kits are the sole products sold by companies with no apparent connection to the leather industry. Not us! The industry is our livelihood.
Second, a significant part of our customer base are leather professionals offering leather care, repair and dye services to communities such as yours. We supply the pros. The components in our leather repair kits use the same professional grade compounds we supply to the leather professionals. The techniques we recommend are the same techniques these professionals employ.
Finally, our leather repair kits are the distillation of our deep knowledge and extensive experience with leather products. We offer training classes both remote and on site to leather care professionals. Whether repairing a leather sofa our needing one of the hundreds of colors in our database for your automobile seat – we have the products and the expertise to assist you.
Why do we have the best leather repair kit? Because we try to have the best leather product in every category. Period.
Leather Patch Kit
The most common type of leather repair kit is what could be referred to as a leather patch kit. This type of kit can take various forms. It could be a colored material, typically a vinyl sheet with pre-applied adhesive. This solution does not yield an ideal cosmetic solution, but can cover small holes and prevent further tearing. Holes and tears up to about an inch can be effectively repaired. No kit type is as effective for larger holes and leather tears.
A second type of leather patch repair kit will include some patch material to serve as a backing behind the tear or hole, filling compound, adhesive, and leather dye as the main components. Some of these may be pre-mixed. These kits may be further divided into heat process and non-heat process kits – depending on whether the filler requires heat to cure.
For heat process leather repair kits a small heating iron may be supplied to cure the leather / vinyl filler. Excessive heart may damage the leather at the margins of the repair.
For leather repair kits that do not use a heat process, the quality of the leather filler often determines the quality of the kit. A filler that is brittle, inflexible or that establishes a poor bond will fail too soon. Cheaper fillers are little more than colored glue. Premium fillers flex with the leather yet establish a strong bond and give a more natural repair. This does not come cheaply but is well worth the additional premium.
As Seen on TV Leather Repair
There are many innovative ideas in “As Seen on TV Products”. Unfortunately, most of these products are poorly produced. Air time isn’t cheap. The products are very aggressively priced. The brand owners and the producers both want to make excellent profits. So, the products are cheaply made.
"There is no free lunch." "If it’s too good to be true it isn’t." "Buyer beware." These are all good sayings to bear in mind for TV products. Many TV leather repair kits are priced so low that it seems you have little to lose. But, you buy it and it doesn’t work. You endure the hassle of trying to return it. You may even have made the problem worse. You waste your valuable time.
Leather World routinely evaluates these products. We see formulations that don’t dry properly, compounds that don’t adhere, and poor instructions and advice. The “As Seen on TV campaigns” run their course. The products then appear deeply discounted on line. Even worse they are imitated. Just because you see multiple products that do the same thing doesn’t mean they have the right approach.
Why not elect for a professional solution? It may cost a little more but you will extend the life of a valuable possession.
DIY Leather Repair
Home remedies for cleaning your leather couch or your leather car seat abound. From the use of windex, nail polish remover, hair-spray, soap, toothpaste or beeswax someone somewhere has a suggestion to use a readily available product for leather cleaning, conditioning or stain removal. Some are innocuous and some are damaging but few work. Nearly all are unproven.
Ill-advised remedies may damage the finish or even the underlying material. While leather is both tough and durable physically, it is susceptible to incompatible chemicals which may erode the finish or penetrate the leather itself. If a protective coating is compromised, the leather is left exposed to environmental conditions and its beauty diminished.
While leather may be colored by immersing in dyes, the most common finish is pigmented, consisting of a paint-like coating that is applied to its surface. This coating type is used for nearly all autos and most furniture. A home remedy to clean or remove a stain could easily dissolve (at least partially) this coating, marring the finish. One must be particularly careful when using strong cleaners or solvents with leather.
Professional leather cleaning and stain removal products are targeted to particular types of leather and their finishes. Pigmented leathers require a different product than Nubuck or Suede, for example. Forgo the home leather cleaner remedy – seek the product for the leather type and finish you need. We can help!