As part of a project, sometimes we’ll want to join leather temporarily or permanently. Leather glue is an excellent and fast way to do this. Some recommendations include paid links to products that I trust.
The best glue is usually based based on the type of project and specific application it will be used for. Here are the best:
For Natural Leather
The best leather glue, for most applications using natural leather, is the Tandy Leather Eco-Flo Leather Weld (click here to view it on Amazon). This adhesive dries clear and flexible, is water-based, and low V.O.C.
For Permanent, Waterproof Bonds
The best leather adhesive for applications that need extreme, permanent bonding, is Barge All Purpose Cement (click here to view it on Amazon). It is strong, flexible, and waterproof.
For Faux Leather
For faux leathers, most commonly made from plastics, the E6000 Craft Adhesive (click here to view it on Amazon) is an excellent choice for a strong, flexible hold.
For Temporary Hold
For temporary placement of pieces and light, removable bonds, Elmer’s Craftbond Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive (click here to view it on Amazon) is a great option. It is sprayed-on, and quickly dries to a tacky hold.
Let’s briefly explore a few factors that might help in choosing which glue will help the most. Also, here is a video testing some of these glues, with results and recommendations:
When to Use Leather Glue
We’ll usually encounter a few different main needs when using leather glue on a project.
Sometimes, we’ll use leather glues to join two pieces temporarily. This can be done, for example, when we’re using a pricking iron or chisels to mark holes for sewing. In this case, it’s helpful that the two pieces are lined up, so that the holes are aligned when we sew them. a temporary hold can help keep things in place. Then, we can separate the pieces and continue working on them.
In other cases, we want to use glue to provide extra strength, or as the sole way to join leather pieces together. For example, if the stitching came loose and we’re repairing a watch band without sewing, or if a previously-glued leather item came loose, a strong bong that will last a long time (potentially years depending on the item and how roughly it is used) can be helpful.
If we’re looking to permanently join leather, such as we want to make a very thick piece of leather by joining two thinner ones, with the finished sides visible on top and bottom, or securing the ends of leather together in a wearable piece (such as leather cuffs), a near unbreakable bond will help most. Also, being waterproof, this really helps for items that will see outdoor use. Of course, we’ll need to be aware of the leather being used and that ut’s finished properly to be water resistant. Thus, a permanent, waterproof bond is an excellent option to have available when needed.
Many faux leathers are made from plastic. Thus, different glues can work great on faux leathers than they can on natural leathers (made up of natural fibers). In this case, many common or industrial strength glues can perform well, depending on the intended project they’ll be used for. In most cases, make sure that the glue will be flexible when dry. While not every project will need this, a fair amount of leather goods flex and move during use, thus a glue that dries flexible will help ensure it provides adhesion while still allowing for that essential movement during use.
Types of Leather Glues
These are glues primarily designed for use on leather and leather goods, made up of natural fibers. Their composition and properties allow for good adhesion to these natural surfaces.
Contact cements are made for a variety of adhesion uses, one of which is leather. A unique element to many cements is that they bond very strongly to both the surface they are on, and to each other. Generally, contact cements are placed on both sides of the material that are to be joined, and when pushed together and dried, the surfaces (with the contact cement on them) fuse together. This makes the bond very, very strong and in most cases permanent.
These types of glues are generally multi-purpose and work well on a range of materials from fabric, to plastic, to rubber, metal, paper and many others. The holds can vary based on brand and composition. They usually hold effectively, though might not be permanent based on the specific make-up of the adhesive, and the surface they are used on.
What Works Best
Tandy Leather Eco-Flo Leather Weld (click here to view it on Amazon) is an excellent, all-around natural leather glue. It will provide a strong, flexible hold for most projects and applications, and is the recommended choice for best leather glue.
As a close second, for projects that need strong, permanent hold and a waterproof adhesive, Barge All Purpose Cement (click here to view it on Amazon) is likely the best way to go for a variety of applications (click here to view it on Amazon).
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