leather car seat repair

Leather Car Seat Repair Tips

Leather seats are luxurious, comfortable, and pleasing to all of your senses, but they require consistent upkeep and are prone to damage and cracks. But can leather cracks and tears be prevented? Yes! 

Preventing leather damage is pretty easy if you have a garage or carport to keep your car under. This is because the most common cause of damage is the sun! This is due to the sun heating up and drying out your leather. Prolonged exposure will cause fading and, over time, cracks to appear. If you can’t keep your car covered, try tinting your windows and using a sun shield on your windshield. 

You can also avoid transporting bulky and sharp objects in your car. Doing so will lessen the chance of something scraping your seats and ruining the leather. Do not put tools, pet carriers or sharp objects directly on the seats. That also includes sharp or pointed objects in your pockets such as keys. Always put bulky objects in the trunk if possible. When putting any other objects on the seats, place a padded protective blanket over the seat first.

And finally, cleaning and treating your leather seats regularly will help keep them strong, durable, and looking good. Be sure to vacuum the seats first. Always clean seats with a gentle cleaner that is designed for leather interior. Finish the job with a conditioner that is made for leather. The conditioner will help the clean seats keep their pliability and will prevent cracks and signs of wear.

Repairing Leather Seats

You can purchase a leather repair kit for minor cracks and tears. The results should hide the tear, though it won’t be a perfect or seamless fix. 

The kit will come with cleaning instructions too. Follow those closely to ensure the best results. 

Trim the damaged area to remove any frayed edges. Then cut the backing fabric so it extends under the tear by at least 1/2-inch. Glue it in place and let it dry for the recommended time.

Cure the Leather Repair Patch With Heat

Then mix the heat-set coloured filler. This is the hardest and most frustrating part of the car seat repair. But take your time and get as close to the colour as you can. Apply just enough colourant to fill in the tear. Then cover it with the textured mat and apply heat.

Check the Results

Touch the heating tool (included with the leather repair kit) to the face of a hot clothes iron. Then press the hot tool onto the textured mat and hold it in place. Let it cool and remove the mat. The patch won’t be perfect. But it sure beats the look of a tear or burn.

Fixing A Leather Seam Tear 

Leather seats usually have exposed stitching. The stitching is known as the seam. If a tear occurs near the seam, it usually makes for an easy fix! Here’s what you have to do: 

  1. Cut a piece of denim (yes, denim) larger than the torn area
  2. Insert the denim into the hole, and center the patch under the torn area.
  3. Dispense Tear Mender into a paper bowl
  4. Use your finger to apply a thin layer of Tear Mender to the denim while the other hand holds the tear open 
  5. Press the leather down onto the denim and allow it to dry for 3 minutes!

How To Fix Tears And Cracks In Leather Seats

This tip works well for minor cracks and tears. For major damage, we recommend taking your car to a professional, such as us at VIP European Auto. We handle all makes and models and work diligently so your car looks like new again. But if the damage isn’t that bad, you can try these tips first. 

You’ll need:

  • Water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Mild sandpaper
  • Auto leather repair kit

Start by cleaning the seat with warm water mixed with the mild dish soap. Rinse out the cleaning cloth as necessary. After rinsing the rag well, use it to rub denatured alcohol on the cracked areas. Wipe the areas dry with a microfiber cloth.

Tip: Make sure the leather is dry before continuing! Too much moisture can stain the leather and damage it beyond repair. 

When the leather is dry, gently sand the cracked areas away with sandpaper. Use the microfiber cloth to wipe the seats dry again. 

Next, open the auto leather repair kit. Read the instructions carefully to understand how to use the contents of the package. Open the liquid leather sealant product. Use it to smooth out the cracks according to the instructions. 

Apply the leather dye carefully to the affected areas until it matches the rest of the seat. Let the seats dry completely before using them again. Unless the vehicle is in a clean and closed garage, it is best to keep the windows rolled up while the seats are drying to avoid debris entering the car.

Sewing Leather Car Interior Tears

If you’re handy with stitching, then you can try to sew the tears closed. 

You’ll need: 

  • Matching leather thread
  • Leather needle
  • Thimble
  • Sharp scissors
  • A strip of matching leather
  • Leather putty
  • Matching leather dye

To repair the tear by stitching the torn edges together, start by cutting away any threads that are loose with scissors. Thread the needle and put it on the underside of one torn leather edge. Loop it over the other side and pull the needle back through the thread loop to create a strong knot. Push the needle with a thimble. 

Carefully stitch the leather in even and small stitches to minimize the appearance of the thread. After finishing, tie the knot off on the underside of the leather.

Don’t Trust Your Skills? Try VIP

We refurbish everyday wear and tear, rips, burns, cracks, holes, fades, and stains in all makes and models. Whether it’s leather, vinyl, or cloth, we can make your interior new again!

From completely replacing a convertible top to installing new modern seats as well as updating upholstery and carpeting, antique vehicles and classic vehicles can gain considerably in terms of visual appeal by all that custom interior services have to offer. Replacing carpeting can be particularly demanding and often requires the assistance of professionals that routinely do this type of work. Having a professional custom carpeting and upholstery expert do the work can go a long way in adding value to your beautiful classic automobile. From leather to vinyl and a host of other materials, custom upholstery work is beyond compare. 
Give us a call today for a free estimate.