Leather car seats and interiors are lovely and very expensive. It is a costly choice and is pricey to replace as well. Leather can wear and crack over time and needs regular maintenance. And if you have old leather car seats, you are likely looking for ways on how to repair leather car seats with cracks.
This is a guide that will help you with leather car seat repair and how to repair large tear in a leather car seat. For large rips or holes on leather car seats, you may need to use leather car seat patches. Take note that you can avoid all these by maintaining your leather seats and car interiors with the help of a professional detailer or automotive leather seat repair expert.
No matter how expensive leather car seats and interiors are, this natural material will crack and tear in the long run. But thanks to discoveries in leather care, newer and better products are now available in the market. Here are some ways to repair cracked leather car seats.
The materials you will need
- Cleaning cloth or microfiber cloth
- Warm water
- Dish soap or mild soap
- Denatured alcohol
- Car leather repair product or kit – if with leather dye, the color must match the color of your leather seat.
- Sandpaper with the finest grit
- Paper towels
- Vacuum cleaner
- Leather patch
- Leather thread
Steps to repair leather car seats with cracks
- Read carefully how a leather repair kit is used. Leather repair kits are available in supermarkets, car repair shops, and hardware stores. Choose one that's easy to apply and has good quality ingredients. Read the instructions carefully; not all leather repair kits have the same application instructions.
- Clean the leather car seat. Before you apply the leather repair kit product, clean the seat first. Remove all visible debris, dirt, and oils. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove bits of dirt stuck in the nooks and crannies of the car seat. Use the vacuum crevice tool to efficiently remove dirt. Wet a small cleaning cloth with warm water and dish soap. Wash the area carefully using small circular strokes. When you’re done, wipe the seat with warm water only to rinse. Use paper towels to pat the leather seat surface dry.
- Use denatured alcohol. Use denatured alcohol if there are pesky, sticky, stubborn spots to remove. Apply a small amount using a cleaning cloth. Rub the alcohol using the cloth very slowly but maintain a firm stroke. Once you’re done, pat the area with paper towels.
- Use microfiber cloth. Use a dry microfiber cloth to remove all bits and dirt left behind.
- Use sandpaper to remove all cracked surfaces. Cut a small piece from a large sheet of sandpaper and use this to remove all rough areas of the cracking leather. You will use your vacuum cleaner to remove any bits that
- Apply the leather car repair kit. The cracking leather is ready to accept the leather car repair kit product. Apply liberally. Most products come with leather dye. Use this to hide the areas where the repair kit has been applied. Take note that when choosing the ideal leather car repair kit, it must match your leather car seat color.
- Open the car windows and doors. After applying the repair kit, open all windows and doors to dry the treated area.
How to fix minor cracks or tears in leather car seats
A leather car repair kit can also help remove minor cracks and tears. Meanwhile, torn leather edges may be stitched together using leather thread. You may also use a leather patch if the tear is too large.
- Cut away any loose material or thread. Use a sharp pair of scissors to remove all loose material and thread which may be left hanging along the area. Clean the affected area, just like the steps above.
- Stitch the torn edges. Use a special kind of upholstery needle and thread to stitch the open edges. Use an invisible stitch to join the two pieces together.
- Use a leather strip. If the two edges are too far apart to sew together, use a leather strip or leather car seat patches. This patch must be the same color as your car leather seat.
- You may use liquid leather. Some leather car seat shops or upholstery shops sell liquid leather. This product is synthetic leather that you just apply on the hole or rip. This works well for small rips and cracks only.
- Apply a leather dye to all affected surfaces. After you’re done with repairs, use leather dye. This will help restore cracked leather seats to their previous beauty.
Leather Repair Trick for Small Tears & Cracks YouTube Video
How to fix large rips or holes in leather car seats
For large rips or holes caused by people, pets, and children, you may use a patch instead. A patch will cover any hole and will also prevent holes and rips from getting bigger.
- Clean the affected area thoroughly. The best way to repair a leather car seat with a large rip or hole is to use a leather patch. But before applying a patch, make sure that the area is clean and free from any dirt or grime. Clean it just like the previous steps.
- Use leather patches. To apply a leather patch, cut a larger patch, about three times bigger than the hole. Insert the patch under the leather seat hole. Arrange the patch so that it covers the area. Use a strong glue or adhesive to keep the patch from moving.
- Sand the area. Use fine-grit sandpaper for sanding the area. Use a microfiber cloth to remove any dirt.
- Apply a leather dye. Apply the leather dye. And make sure to park the car with the door and window open to allow the treated area to dry out.
Repair a large hole in a leather car seat Youtube Video
Now that you know how to repair leather car seats with cracks, you may now repair cracked leather car seats to look just like new. If you're still unsure about a new leather repair kit, apply it first in a conspicuous area like the back of the seat before using it on the front part of your car seat.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.