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Leather Repair Kit – The Tools and Materials to Have on Hand

Leather is incredible in that it can look great and perform well for decades. Sometimes a small repair is needed to keep an item in great shape, so I researched leather repair kits to become more educated on which ones to use for different projects.

Leather repair kits are a collection of materials and tools used for fixing a variety of marks, tears, rips, and discolorations in leather material. They can include glues, dyes, tools, threads, fillers, needles, and extra leather material for repairs on upholstery, clothing, goods, and personal accessories.

It can be really helpful to have the right leather repait kit on hand when the need for a fix comes up. Let’s explore what to keep in mind when choosing a useful one and what to look for based on the types of items that will be repaired.

What Is a Leather Repair Kit?

A leather repair kit is a grouping of the necessary tools and supplies to restore leather products. Some will include chemicals to prepare the area for attaching included leather patches, while others may contain color matched liquids that can be applied to mask unwanted abrasions.  Most of the mainstream repair kits do not come with sewing accessories like needles and thread.  The kits are designed for a relatively simple process to quickly repair leather damage.

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Leather repair kit

What To Look For in a Leather Repair Kit

Color to be Matched

Color is the most important factor when choosing a leather repair kit.  It is imperative that the color matches the area one is repairing or at least be a close match in order to ensure the repair is not obvious. 

Type of Repair

One will want to purchase a kit for the specific repair application as well.  What type of repair will dictate the kit one purchases. If the repair is a large missing section, one will need to purchase a kit with color matching patches and adhesives for attaching them.  Small scratches may be repaired using colorized chemicals.  It solely depends on the type of repair being made that will determine the type of kit one purchases. There are kits for cut and tears, abrasions and scratches, crack repair, burns, or color fade repair. 

Adhesives

Most of the larger patches will come with a self-adhesive backing.  Simply remove the protective sheet to expose the adhesive.  Other kits, for clean cuts as an example, will come with a small container of adhesive to apply to sub-patches which will attach under the surface of the leather.

Filler / Dyes

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Small scratches may be repaired using colorized chemicals. These can vary from dye pens, dye creams, as well as top coatings.  These are available in a multitude of colors to ensure the best possible match of the area being repaired.  Some kits include sponge applicators and dyes allowing one to completely restore original coloring to an article as large as a couch.

Type of Leather Being Repaired

Repair kits can be used on leather, pleather, vinyl, faux leather, or Italian leather.

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Leather on cutting board

Types of Leather Repair Kits

It’s helpful to have the tools and elements necessary to successfully complete the project one is working on. Let’s review some of the more popular types of leather repair kits for projects that most folks might come across.

General Leather Repair Kit

General Leather repair kits have materials to cover an array of leather repairs.  They will usually contain more than a dozen items including different colored leather panels in varying sizes, glue or adhesive, dye, swabs for applying dyes or adhesives, cleaning pads and cloths, sandpaper, dye markers, paints, containers for mixing dyes, sponges, and instructions.

These kits have the most versatility to cover a wide range of repairs, especially if it contains dyes that can be color mixed to match the specific application.  One of the most versatile general leather repair kit is offered by Fortivo.  Their professional DIY kit is made to address tears, scratches, cracks, burns or rips.  It can be used for automotive, furniture, couches, motorcycle seating, shoes, jackets, luggage, gloves, seating surfaces in cars, recreational vehicles, boots, recliners, etc. 

Leather Couch Repair Kit

There are several types of leather couch repair kits one can purchase.  The kit selected will be dictated by the type of repair needed. For repairing holes or tears, one will want to purchase a kit containing color matching patches large enough to cover the defect.  If the repair needed is to cover mars, cracks, or light scratches, dyes alone may do the trick. 

Most couch leather repair kits can be used on italian leather, faux leather, pleather, or vinyl.  For a value solution, one may use a Numola Patch repair kit. For covering light scratches, discolorations, or scratches, one might want to try Leather World Technology’s kit.

Leather Seat Repair Kit

Leather seat repair kits vary by the type of repair needed.  Scratches can be addressed with fillers and dye kits – here are some of the fillers I’ve found work great.  For larger rips and tears, one will need to use color matched patches, cut to size, to make the repair.

Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit

Leather and vinyl repair kits are available in multiple configurations, depending on the type of repair needed.  For light scratches, kits will typically contain dyes and applicators. Some include multiple dyes so they can be mixed to better match the area being repaired, such as this Leather Max kit.  If there are large tears or holes, there are kits that contain patches that can be color matched to blend in so the repair is not visible, such as with this Numola patch.

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Leather Working Tools

Faux Leather Repair Kit

Faux leather repair kits are available for tears, rips, holes, scratches, color restoration, mars, abrasions, and imperfections in the finish. If there are clean cuts, there are kits available with a sub-patch and adhesive that can be applied under the surface, leaving a perfect repair with no need to match colors.  When using patches or dyes for repairs, it is important to match colors so the repair is not noticeable. Scratches can be addressed with fillers and dye kits. For larger rips and tears, one will need to use color matched patches, cut to size, to make the repair.

Car Leather Repair Kit

Car leather repair kits come with a variety of supplies, depending on the type of repair that is required.  Kits for deep scratches and  gouges, will contain dye paste used as fillers. For non-heated / cooled seating surfaces with tears or holes, there are patch kits that can be color matched to make the repair.  It would be difficult to patch heated / cooled seats since most of these surfaces have small perforations in them for air flow.  Small scratches and abrasions could be addressed on them, but patches may change the airflow built into the seats.

Leather Steering Wheel Repair Kit

In most cases, leather steering wheels are damaged by scratches or fading.  These types of damages are easily fixed using a scratch repair kit which will include several dyes, top coat finishes, cleaning agents to prepare the leather, an applicator, and several mixing tools.  The dyes included will be similar in nature and allow one to mix them together as necessary to ensure a proper color match, like in this Leather Max set.

Leather Scratch Repair Kit

Leather scratch repair kits typically contain a dye cream, or liquid dye along with an applicator, mixing container, and swabs.  Most scratches can be repaired with a simple addition of dyes or compounds that will fill in any indentation or recess in the leather surface caused by the scratch, to help hide the scratch.  The key to these repairs is to ensure the dye color matches the area being covered.

Helpful Leather Repair Kit Insights

What Can I Use to Repair Torn or Ripped Leather?

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If one has torn or ripped leather, it can normally be repaired. If the tear or rip is a clean cut, one can use a sub-patch (an old piece of t-shirt, etc.) placed under the leather surface right below the cut. 

If the tear or rip is ragged or non-uniform around the edges, a patch will most likely be required.  

Do Home Leather Repair Kits Work?

Home leather repair kits are an economical way to repair leather without having to replace the item that is damaged. Whether one is applying a patch or simply adding some color to a worn or scratched area, the most important thing to keep in mind is matching the color.  

The informative video below shows how you can repair a leather seat using a vinyl and leather repair kit.

Can You Patch a Leather Couch?

Yes. A leather couch can be patched.  Patches come in a variety of colors and can be cut to perfectly cover the area needing repair.  Some patches have an adhesive on the back while others will provide a “glue” to be added to the patch before applying it to the damaged area. 

What Kind of Glue Can I Use to Repair Leather?

The best type of glue to use is a liquid leather glue.  In general, do NOT use Super Glue or Crazy Glue for sub-patches or regular patches.  If a regular patch is being used, one could use contact cement to adhere the patch to the torn surface.

How Do You Cover Scratches on Leather?

There are a couple of methods one can use to cover scratches on leather. The easiest method would be to use a dye pen. Dye pens are available in numerous colors and will be easy to match, especially if the original color is a brown or black color. Another method involves applying a liquid dye solution that may come in a tube or in a paste form. 

Final Thoughts

Crafting with leather is a lot of fun, repairing leather can also be enjoyable as one can help fix up a great piece to be functional and looking great again. This is usually an easy task with the right leather repait kit, which is also another fun reason to add something new to the shop 🙂

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