How do I CLEAN my Leather Jacket? How do I fix my SCRATCHED UP leathers? How do I make it look new?
See How To Clean & Repair video below for more information. On finished leathers with a low to high luster a shoe polish of the same color will work. If you use a shoe polish (available at virtually any department and grocery store), please read the instructions on the label after reviewing this article. Keep in mind, leather is leather, shoes or jacket won’t matter. If using a shoe polish be sure to completely buff out the polish or it can rub off on your clothes.
We don’t recommend trying to touch up light color leathers or suede. Both of those are virtually impossible to match perfectly and you may just ruin the article. Colors are scary to repair in some cases. If you are daring… you can try this next trick below to repair your colored leather products but no guarantees… read on…
Another trick for your black leather is to get some black shoe dye (significantly different than shoe polish) from the local department or grocery store and create a hard wad of soft CLEAN cotton cloth and dab on the shoe dye (DO NOT use the sponge on the bottle directly to the product you are repairing) and first rub it on some piece of junk cardboard and get the wet dye more damp than wet. Then you are ready to rub it on the scratches and scuffs. BE CAREFUL, too much dye will show and be obvious (that’s why you don’t directly put the dye on the product). Now you should be able to buff it and it will almost look as good as new. Depending on how much you put on and the brand you used will determine if you need to apply a conditioner or wax to smooth out the finish to blend it better. The conditioner could be one of several products like a leather lotion, leather balm, leather wax or even shoe polish in clear or matching color. Be sure to read the labels on the products being used first. Here is an excellent video to help you decide where to start!
How do I repair my FADED leather jacket? What can I do?
Buy another! LOL! We realize you probably won’t want to give up old faithful. BUT there is hope to make your leather garment look almost like new again. In the video above we demonstrate how you can use a shoe polish or a leather food product that will bring that garment back to life. There is a trick you can try if the fading is not too severe…. read on…
Black leather and very dark colors can be rejuvenated with the magic of Mink Oil, preferably in a spray form which makes it so much easier to apply and rub in. If the fading is not too severe, this might work. The mink oil will slightly darken the hide by naturally adding the oils into the pores of the hide. This had a dual benefit, not only will it darken the leather but Mink Oil is a natural waterproofer and conditioner. You should avoid mink oil on medium and light color leather mainly for the reason that it may darken in an unflattering way. Furthermore…. If you spray it on, be sure to spray it evenly and on every inch or it may be noticeable where you touched it up. After spraying you will need a clean soft cotton cloth to rub it into the leather. You might, after all, get some more life out of that old faithful!
If you are trying to fix colored leather that has faded I strongly believe that it is hopeless. In very limited cases you can fix a faded area of colored leather garment with a matching shoe polish or dye, but with over 35 years of experience you are not likely to ever get a positive result where it matches perfectly. The way I look at this is for you just to consider the fade and blemishes as a “vintage” look and leave it alone. Maybe even roughing it up a bit more and sell it on ebay for 3X what you paid for it!
We DON’T know of any places that can redye leather garments but we have heard that they are out there. We tend to think that you should contact your local dry cleaners since I think they will have better resources for this kind of repair or fix. I my experience going to black color when you redye it. That is only one solution for an old garment that you refuse to give up on. We have redyed garments before, but will NOT do it for a customer since the result is unknown and too time consuming. In other words, it might cost too much to fix or redye it especially if you won’t like it when it comes back.
As for suede leathers… fading on suede is not only common but never reversible, even black and dark colors. Most suede garments are inexpensive and almost considered disposable. If the suede is an expensive lambsuede or cowsuede I would explore the option offered above with the redye process. But personally I would not bother or use my eBay suggestion earlier!
How do I repair my leather that has shrunk? What's really going on?
Shrunken and crusty stiff leather is often the death of your garment. Either you gained a lot of weight or it was stored in a very hot place. I.E.: trunk of a car, back seat of a car, on radiator or heating element, or outdoors. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do except replace it. Heat is an enemy of natural leather. It will not only dry up all the oils that the skin has naturally but will deform the hide and make your garment unwearable. Sorry if this brings bad news.
If your jacket or vest has just overall simply shrunk, I can assure you, most of the time, you simply grew out of it. Style, that is! Truth of the matter is that the leather garment you wore in the 60’s 70’s or 80’s was far different fitting that those that are more recent. Patterns changed dramatically since then and more and more people wanted to be comfortable and for the jackets to be roomier. I am also more convinced that everyone of us that can remember the 60’s 70’s and 80’s were, at that time much more svelte than they are today, on top of the fact that the styles have changes… I recommend that it’s time for a new leather outfit! 😉
I need a SNAP Replaced. Can I do it myself?
Why YES you can… and we have a video to help you with that. Jamin’ Leather will gladly send you parts to experiment with (limits may apply), even if you didn’t buy the item from us, just by mentioning this article. We stock a variety of snap parts for most all common snaps use on todays leather garments. We will also send you instructions with the parts if you wish unless you care to check out this video that may explain it all.
How do I repair the STITCHING in my leather jacket? What can I do?
Most stitching can be easily repaired by almost anyone who can sew. On extra heavy leather garments you will have to go to a local shoemaker or dry cleaners for the service. They both have got the right equipment or at the very least know where to send you. Most light weight garment leathers can be sewn on conventional household machines with a leather needle. The person repairing may need to separate the liner first to get inside. We recommend a professional to repair leather since most of the time they will need to match the stitch holes from the original stitching. Unfortunately not all repair can be un-noticable so be sure you know and understand once you get a chance to meet up with the person that is repairing your garment or leather jacket.
Lamb and sheepskin leather often can be so soft that is can easily tear. That is not the fault of the garment or the manufacturer but the owner of the garment will need to take special care with those type of garments not to horseplay or get snagged on anything.
Lastly, the leather in apparel is generally pretty strong, and with that in mind the thread needs to be strong as well. Be sure that the repair is done with nylon thread only and not cotton. Cotton thread will not last long and can deteriorate much sooner than the leather itself.
How do I repair a TEAR or HOLE in my leather jacket? What can I do?
A tear or hole in your leather garment may or may not be repairable that it will be totally unnoticeable. Most tears and holes on leather garments in our experience is in the leather seams where the panels come together. Any professional leather repair shop will be able to put that garment back together. Just find a repair house that won’t flinch when you show it to them. That might just mean they don’t have the experience to get is done correct. Though it is more and more rare but sometimes the seams come apart for more than one reason. Either cotton thread was used on the original construction, which easily can be restitched and work fine for years to come. Otherwise you may have a garment that does not fit you properly or the pattern is wrong for your body type. Either way, stitching it back together may never fix the problem and it may rip out again. With that in mind, it may be time for a new garment and save your money on repair.
Depending on the leather thickness and type, the leather is often weakened by the stitching and softer leathers will tear where panels are attached, such as a pocket, near a zipper or any stress seam near an opening. Special care should be considered on stress points for softer leather garments as you wear them.
Just FYI, It is true, leather apparel industry, prior to the new millennium, made a lot of garments with crappy patterns, especially for the biker community and those garments are generally the ones that have fit problems and often pop their seams.
Lamb or sheepskin leathers are very week, just as some pigskins, goatskins and suedes. If these garments rip out it is generally not because of the quality of the garment or the manufacturer’s defects. These kind of problems Jamin’ Leather repairs these problems within our warranty period but keep in mind that those kind of leathers may not stand the test of time and are not that durable. I must say though premium lambskins and sheepskins can be quite expensive, you must keep in mind that they are highly sensitive to tear (as you may have already discovered). Sometimes a good and talented seamstress can repair the garment to be somewhat undetectable. So find a quality repair service in your area and carefully discuss what the outcome can look like.
Replacing or patching leather parts in a leather article is not really a good idea since leather that can be available to whoever is doing the repair will find that it will never match your garment exactly. Not only for the matching color but the texture, grain and thickness of leather. Patching a leather garment can a good thing or bad. One person might say that a leather patch or two will give their garment character and another will be considered a pauper and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it. So you might just want to keep that jacket around for house painting.
How do I repair a ZIPPER in my leather jacket? Can I do it myself?
Depends…. Jamin’ Leather has prepared a YouTube video for you to replace your zipper slide without a lot of effort. The video explains that a weak zipper slide can cause zipper teeth to separate and that replacing that slide will solve all your problems. This kind of repair is very easy with a needle nose pliers or two. In the video we also show you how to repair a slide when it is loose and causes the teeth to separate.
A zipper with missing teeth or the molded tip of the zipper can not be fixed. That kind of problem requires you to replace the zipper.
Jamin’ Leather has zipper slides and stopper in case you can’t find any to purchase at your local sewing supply store or department of a local department store. These slides and stoppers, as you will see explained in the video, are available free of charge for customers that have purchased the garment from us. Please watch the video first to see if you can repair the zipper slide before dissecting the problem (or zipper) further.
What is the difference in the LEATHER types?
We have dedicated a whole page on leather types and explain each type in detail as well as a comparison to each other types when trying to make a decision on what is best for your application. Here are some videos that will help you in that as well.
Does Jamin' Leather do LEATHER REPAIR?
Yes, we do, but only mail-order warranty repairs and on products purchased from Jamin’ Leather as long as you can visit our superstore location in Myrtle Beach SC. Keep in mind these repair may need to be left for a few days depending on our workload. Some non-Jamin’ Leather products can be repaired in house but our workload can restrict the ability to do so. Jamin’ Leather sewing staff not only install club patches but we also manufacture many Jamin’ Leather accessories in-house.
Jamin’ Leather WILL NOT CHARGE for some repairs beyond our warranty repairs, even if you didn’t buy the item from us! Our sewing staff will gladly repair snaps and rivets needing simple replacement, cut a pair of chaps or leather pants, and some simple tack stitching. Contact Jamin’ Leather sewing department at 843-294-1222 for any repair concerns or questions. Our knowledgeable sewing staff will assist any way we can to get your garment back to normal. See these videos on some of what Jamin’ Leather is manufacturing in-house.
If you need some insight on whether or not to repair / alter by Jamin’ Leather sewing staff vs buying a replacement, check out our Pros and Cons…
- Items purchased within 90 days or 1 year will be repaired under warranty.
- Standard snaps and rivets can be replaced FREE of charge regardless where you bought it.
- We will cut down leather chaps or leather pants FREE of charge regardless where you bought it.
- We can try to repair or replace zipper slides and stoppers if available FREE of charge regardless where you bought it.
- We will pay for return shipping back to the customer on Warranty repairs.
- We promise to do the best possible repair job to your item.
- We may be able to repair or alter items not purchased from us that are brought into our Myrtle Beach superstore location only.
- Warranty does not imply replacement.
- Repairs may not be totally unnoticeable.
- Repairs can take a few days turn-around.
- You are responsible for postage to return the product to us.
- You are responsible for all postage on merchandise out of warranty.
- Specialty hardware may delay any repair if available (please call in advance)
- We can not repair or alter merchandise we did not sell to you.
- We can not repair shoes, furniture or other products requiring special equipment.
- We can not do alterations via mail-order