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Caring For and Mending Leather Furniture

Caring For and Mending Leather Furniture

Purchasing leather furniture over cloth pieces has major advantages–for one, leather furniture typically lasts about 4 times as long. Leather is a material that has been along forever. We haven’t been able to replace it because it’s so useful. People attempt to make leather alternatives for sustainability reasons, but nothing on the market right now compares to the real thing. It’s tough but flexible, resists tears, is waterproof, and resistant to dirt. The best part about leather furniture is that it can grow with you throughout all interior design changes–its neutral and classic enough to fit in anywhere.


A great alternative to purchasing new leather products is buying them from estate sales. You can get all the benefits of leather without feeling guilty about the environmental impact. Leather holds up really well, but after a few generations, you can see the wear and tear. Here’s what to do if you find that perfect piece and it looks a bit shabby. 

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See a small tear? That can be easily fixed with a leather repair kit, and it’ll only take about an hour to complete. When searching for a leather repair kit, read the reviews, because the quality can wildly vary. We’ve linked a great one here. Clean the leather with water and mild dish soap and use sewing shears or an exacto knife to cut away any frayed edges. Then, take a leather backing fabric and cut it so it extends a half inch longer than the tear on all sides. The difficult part is inserting it underneath the tear–you want the adhesive side to cling on to the leather from the inside. This gives you a flat canvas to build onto. The kit will include a plastic tool to help you with this process, but you can use anything. 

Now that the backing fabric is in place, let it sit for a few hours to fully adhere. Your next step is going to be using the liquid leather repair. Apply the compound in thin sheets, allowing it to dry before applying the next. Pour it then smooth it out with your plastic tool, making sure it’s even. Feather the edges so it’s not as noticeable. Put on your final application, then look at the grain sheets provided in the kit. These are stamps that will mimic the texture of the existing leather–choose the closest to your grain and press it into the final drying layer. Once it is fully dry, use a sponge to apply a sealer. 

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Now comes the trickiest part: mixing the leather dye. It’s difficult to get an exact match, and it’s a good idea to test a swatch on a hidden area to check what it looks like as it dries. Once you get a match, apply in thin sheets similar to the repair fluid. The dye will leave a matte finish, so you need to use a sponge to apply a sealer on top. 

If all else fails, call a professional. It’s worth it to pay a bit of a premium to restore a project perfectly. They even have services that will custom match your leather so the dye is exactly the same color. If you can see a piece of furniture being a family heirloom, splurge for it to be done right.

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