Leather items can be expensive, and when a hole or tear occurs, one might think the item must be discarded and replaced — but that’s expensive! I’ve learned that leather repair patches and kits can fix holes and tears and save a great deal of money.
A leather repair patch is a material used to repair damage in leather furniture, clothing, and car interiors. They are easy to use, have many different options for a perfect match, and save money in the long run. Prices range from $3 for a small patch to $119 for a large roll.
If you have a nice leather couch with a small tear, would you rather repair the damage or buy a new couch? Are you looking for a way to fix the damage in your favorite leather office chair? Let’s explore the types of leather repair patches for easy fixes that look great.
What Is a Leather Repair Patch?
A leather repair patch is a material that repairs holes, tears, and worn spots in leather furniture, clothing, and car interiors. A leather repair patch is made of leather or faux leather and can be applied by adhesive backing or glue.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- When You Might Use a Leather Repair Patch
- Leather Repair Patch Quick Reference Table
- Leather Repair Patch Types and Variations
- Leather Repair Patch Characteristics
- Leather Repair Patch Pros
- Leather Repair Patch Cons
- Leather Repair Patch Manufacturing Process – How They’re Made
- Leather Repair Patch Costs
- Alternative Options to a Leather Repair Patch
- Experienced Tips for Working with a Leather Repair Patch
- My Personal Research With Leather Repair Patches
- Leather Repair Patch Care and Maintenance
- Helpful Leather Repair Patch Insights
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
One myth about leather repair is that superglue can be used to fix tears. This is false. Super glue ruins leather because it is inflexible and will cause discoloration. Another myth is that cuts in leather are not repairable. This is also untrue because even though tears in leather are difficult to repair, they can be fixed with leather repair patches or by a professional.
When You Might Use a Leather Repair Patch
Scientists are working on self-healing polyurethane coating to apply to leather for scratches and other damage to repair itself at the molecular level, according to researchers Liang, Wang, Fan, Xiang, and Chen. Until this product is widely available, we must use other means.
Leather repair patches are of great use for several different types of damage. They’re easy to use and can fix cuts, punctures, and worn spots in leather. This includes:
- Car interiors
- Faux leather
Leather Repair Patch Quick Reference Table
|Tool||Leather Repair Patch|
|Component Materials||PU faux leather, leather, vinyl, adhesive|
|Common Sizes||3 in. x 6 in., 8 in. x 11 in., 12 in. x 60 in., 1ft. x 2 ft., 3.5 ft. x 4.5 ft.|
|Cost Range ($)||$3–$119|
|Recommended Maintenance||Keep dry, clean, and condition like leather|
|Recommended Storage||Keep in a cool, dry place until ready for use|
|Common Uses||Repair punctures, rips, tears, cuts, burns, and worn spots|
|How Long It Lasts (on average)||2–20 years|
Leather Repair Patch Types and Variations
Leather repair patches come in many different leather types including:
- Genuine leather
- Polyurethane (PU) leather
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) leather
They also include:
- Custom patches
- Self-adhesive patches
- Glue-on patches
- Leather fillers
- Leather glue
Variations of leather repair patches include varied sizes, colors, and textures for easy matching:
- Office chairs
- Car interiors
- Purses and bags
Leather Repair Patch Characteristics
Leather repair patches often come in genuine leather, PU or PVC leather, and vinyl. Some will have adhesive backings, while others require glue for application.
There are many sizes of leather repair patches available, including 3 in. x 6 in. single or multi-patch, 8 in. x 11 in., and rolls of 3.5 ft. x 4.5 ft. All sizes can be cut for a custom leather patch.
Variations of leather repair patches include the different sizes available, colors from brown and black to every color of the rainbow, and even different textures to get that custom match to whatever leather piece needs repair.
Leather Repair Patch Pros
Leather repair patches can fix the damage quickly. They’re relatively cheap, certainly less expensive than buying new furniture or replacing a car seat cover. Leather repair patches are easy to use and made to last. A small repair patch can last for up to 20 years!
Leather repair patches work well especially when used for small tears, punctures, or rips.
Leather Repair Patch Cons
Some leather repair patches can be challenging to work with, and colors and textures can be hard to match precisely. In some cases, there is extensive damage, and using a great deal of leather repair patches can look shoddy.
Larger repair patch areas don’t last as long as smaller areas. With some fillers and glues, there is a firmer spot left behind due to some degree of inflexibility, although they prevent further damage.
Leather Repair Patch Manufacturing Process – How They’re Made
Leather repair patches are made from either tanned and preserved animal hides or plastic fibers interwoven with natural materials to mimic leather. Once placed, these patches are reinforced with fiber backings to provide stability and durability. The leather and faux leather material are then trimmed into smaller patches or rolled for shipping to leather craftsmen and stores.
Leather Repair Patch Costs
Leather repair patches and kits range in price depending on the size of the patch/material and what the kit includes. For example, one can find a self-adhesive PVC leather patch 1 foot by 2 feet for around $3, available in several colors.
On the other end of the price scale is a roll of self-adhesive PU faux leather that is 3.5 feet by 4.5 feet in eight different colors for $119. Leather repair patch kits with adhesive and colorant range in price from $9–$50, depending on the number and product quantities. Simply put, the smaller and simpler the repair, the lower the price.
Alternative Options to a Leather Repair Patch
There are some cases where a leather repair patch may not be the best choice for some repairs, or one needs to work with what is available. Some alternatives to a leather repair patch include:
- Liquid vinyl and leather repair – for small tears, holes, and rips that is painted on and dries clear
- Fiber filler kit – for fixing small and large burns, holes, tears, and rips
- Fabric and leather adhesive – to glue rips and tears in anything leather
- Leather repair expert – professionals can repair any damage to anything leather or faux leather. If you are uncomfortable using any repair products or if the damage is too significant, leave it to the professionals!
Check out this helpful video from DakotaBusy for the demonstration of a leather repair patch to fix a rip in a car interior.
Experienced Tips for Working With a Leather Repair Patch
Leather repair patches are made to be very easy to work with, but there are a few things to keep in mind when applying them to damaged leather. Here are some experienced tips for working with a leather repair patch:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They are the experts in their products, and their instructions are most helpful for the best repair.
- If complex tears or loose leather pieces are on the item needing repair, trim them off for an easier application. This will leave a smoother result when applying a leather repair patch.
- Trim the patch to cover the damaged area with at least a centimeter or two of overlap. This will prevent further damage by holding the material in place.
My Personal Research With Leather Repair Patches
There are several reasons for using leather repair patches on leather couches, office chairs, car interiors, and more. But what are the most common issues that lead to the need for using a leather repair patch? After researching various top manufacturers, I learned the most common types of damage for leather repair patches:
|Leather Damage||Percentage of Recommended Use|
|Cat/dog claw punctures||29%|
Leather Repair Patch Care and Maintenance
How to Clean a Leather Repair Patch
A leather repair patch can be cleaned with a leather cleaner, soft cloth, or soft-bristled brush. Avoid using too much cleaner and allow it to dry thoroughly. Use a microfiber towel or old t-shirt to clean but don’t rub over the repair patch to avoid disturbing any adhesive.
How to Maintain a Leather Repair Patch
Regular cleaning and conditioning a leather repair patch along with the leather piece will keep it looking soft and supple. Use a leather conditioner or follow the leather repair patch manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance.
How to Store a Leather Repair Patch
Leather repair patches should be kept someplace cool and dry until ready for use. Keep the patches away from extreme temperatures to avoid cracking and drying out of the material.
Helpful Leather Repair Patch Insights
Do leather repair patches work?
Leather repair patches work well, especially for small tears, punctures, or rips. Simply clean the area first, remove any loose material, and apply the patch following the manufacturer’s instructions. Leather repair patches can last anywhere from 2–20 years, depending on the extent of the damage.
How do you repair damage on leather?
Small leather rips, tears, cuts, punctures, and burns can be covered with leather repair patches. The easiest method is to use an adhesive patch which can be trimmed to cover the damage with at least a 1 cm border allowance around the damage. Clean the spot around the damage to ensure proper adhesion, then stick on the patch and rub it firmly into place.
What is a leather repair patch kit?
A leather repair patch kit usually contains a leather repair patch or fiber backing, adhesive, leather filler, colorant, and applicator. There are some variations in the leather repair patch kits available, and most are made for multiple uses.
- Leather repair patches are great for covering small rips, tears, cuts, punctures, and burns in leather.
- Leather repair patches are easy to use and a great alternative to buying new leather pieces.
- Various leather repair patches are available for many types of damage.
Every leather piece is an investment that should be cared for to the best of one’s ability, but life happens, and that’s why there are so many options for leather repair patches and kits. Leather repair patches are a small price for a big return-in saving money on not buying new! With so many repair options for the perfect match, it’s easy to choose to repair rather than replace.