How to stretch leather
How to Stretch Leather
Leather is a material that will naturally stretch over time, but sometimes you want to quicken that process. Whether you want to stretch out your leather shoes, jacket, or accessory, there are several strategies you can follow. There are many ways you can stretch leather, from using a hairdryer to heat up the leather to applying alcohol to areas you'd like to stretch out. You can even use a stretching spray to achieve the perfect stretch. By choosing a tactic that works with your leather item, you'll be stretching out your leather in no time.
Stretching Leather Naturally
Stretch leather apparel by wearing the item around the house.Leather stretches out naturally when it’s being used, so by simply wearing your leather pants, jacket, or skirt around the house, it will begin to stretch. Shoes can also be stretched out by walking around in them, though it may lead to some blisters.
- This isn’t a quick method for stretching leather — stretching it naturally by wearing your leather around is going to take days or weeks, depending on your end goal.
- Wear your leather for 2 or more hours a day, and be sure to move around while you're wearing it. The more you wear your leather, the faster it will stretch.
Stuff leather accessories to stretch them out.If you have a wallet, coin purse, bag, or other accessory that needs stretching, try stuffing it. Use a material such as paper or cloth, making sure the material won’t damage the leather by being too rough. Fill your leather accessory with the material so that it’s as full as you would like. How long you let the item stretch will depend on its size and your personal preference.
- This method will work even better if you get the material slightly wet before stuffing the leather.
- Apply a leather stretching spray before stuffing the leather for it to stretch out even faster. These sprays can be found at a shoe or big-box store, as well as online.
Weigh down leather straps or accessories to stretch them.Stretch out pieces of leather by first attaching one end of the leather to a stable source. This could be a table, chair, shelf — anything that you can clamp the leather onto. Weigh down the opposing end of the leather using a rock, can, or other heavy source. Weighing down one end of the leather will help it stretch out faster.
- You can stretch a leather jacket or pants by weighing down the arms or legs of the article of clothing. Attach the clothing to a strong hanger at the top.
Using a Product Designed to Stretch
Apply a leather stretching spray for an easy fix.Buy a leather stretching spray that you can spray directly onto the leather to stretch it. The spray should cause the leather to become stretchy and soft. These sprays are often used on shoes and clothing items, so it’s important to wear the leather item after you’ve sprayed it to ensure it stretches properly.
- If you’re applying the leather stretching spray to something other than clothing or shoes, you’ll need to hang the leather and weigh down an end with something heavy to stretch it out.
- Leather stretching sprays can be found at most big-box and shoe stores, or you can buy them online. The sprays typically cost -.
Use a conditioner to make leather soft and bendable.There are leather conditioners that you can buy that will help soften your leather. They typically come in a liquid or cloth form, ranging in cost from -.
- These conditioners are great if you’re trying to make furniture, car interiors, or other accessories more pliable, but they also work well on leather clothing and shoes.
- Most conditioners will require you to apply the conditioner to the leather using a cloth. You’ll wait roughly 2 hours for the leather to absorb the conditioner before wiping away any excess residue.
Stretch out your shoes using a shoe stretching machine.Shoe stretchers are usually wooden or plastic inserts that you put in your shoe to stretch it out. You can buy shoe stretchers that will target specific areas of the shoe that you wish to be stretched. Shoe stretchers cost an average of .
- You can also take your shoes to a professional to have them stretched. Professionals will have better quality and more complex stretching machines, allowing them to stretch out your shoes in a much faster amount of time.
Using Liquid to Stretch Leather
Fill a sink or container with water.If your piece of leather will fit in the sink, great! Fill it up with enough water to submerge the leather. You can also use a container or tub, filling your chosen container up with water. Just make sure your leather will fit in the container without the water overflowing.
- You can use warm water or room temperature water.
Submerge the leather completely in the water.Once you’ve filled up a container or sink, place your leather in the water. You want the leather to be fully submerged in the water, so you may have to twist it around a little for the water to soak into the leather.
Let the leather soak in the water for 10 minutes.Make sure your leather is entirely saturated with water. A good way to check for this is to wait until there are no more bubbles coming from the leather. Once you think it’s saturated with water, let the leather continue to soak for 10 minutes.
Wear the leather while it’s wet to stretch it out.After the 10 minutes are up, put on the wet leather. While this may not be the most comfortable way to wear your leather, it’s important for you to move around with it on to stretch it out. Wear the leather for an hour or two, continuing to bend the parts of the leather you wish to be stretched.
- This works best when you’re dealing with leather clothing, shoes, or accessories, such as a belt.
Use rubbing alcohol as an alternative to soaking your leather.If you're wary of submerging your leather in a tub of water, you can use rubbing alcohol and water instead. This will simply be sprayed onto specific parts of your leather as opposed to saturating it entirely.
Mix 1 part isopropyl rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water.Combine the rubbing alcohol and water into a bowl, stirring it around. Once the solution is mixed, pour it into an empty spray bottle.
- If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also use a paper towel or cloth. Dip the paper towel into the mixture, making sure that it’s damp but not soaking wet.
Spray the mixture onto targeted areas of your leather.Spray the solution onto the parts of the leather that you want to stretch out. If you’re spraying an article of clothing, aim for the areas that will be bending when you wear them. You don’t need to completely saturate the leather, but it should be wet.
- If you’re using a paper towel, dab the leather with the damp paper towel to transfer the mixture onto the leather.
Put on the leather once you’ve applied the alcohol.Right after you’ve applied the mixture to the leather, put it on. Bend and stretch the parts that have the mixture on them. Wear the leather until the spots where you applied the alcohol are completely dry.
- Wear thick socks if you’re spraying the alcohol mixture onto your shoes before putting the leather shoes on to stretch them out.
- If you've applied the alcohol to something other than a wearable item, bend and stretch the item using your hands.
Heating the Leather
Use a hairdryer to heat up the leather.Heat helps leather stretch by opening up the pores and making it soft. Turn on a hairdryer and aim it at the leather you’d like to stretch, heating the leather evenly. Wait until the leather is warm and soft before turning the hairdryer off.
Wear thick socks if heating shoes.If you’re trying to stretch out your shoes, put on thick socks before using a hairdryer. Once your socks and shoes are on, use the hairdryer to heat up your shoes. Move your feet around in the shoes to stretch them out effectively. Make sure to wear your shoes as they cool off to ensure that they hold the stretch.
Put on clothing you’d like to stretch out after heating it.Use a hairdryer to heat up an article of clothing you’d like to stretch. This can be a leather shirt, jacket, pants, or belt. Once it’s warm and soft, put on the article of clothing. Move around in it to stretch the leather out, and keep the article of clothing on until the leather is cool.
Using Ice to Stretch Leather Shoes
Place a large plastic bag into your shoe.Line both of your shoes with a plastic bag, making sure that the bag is big enough to fill the entire shoe. Use a plastic shopping bag as opposed to a large Ziploc bag if you have larger shoes. Make sure the plastic doesn’t have holes in it and is strong enough to hold water.
Fill the bag up with water.Pour water into the plastic shoe lining you’ve created, filling it up to the top of the shoes. Make sure you seal the bag once you’re finished so that water doesn’t leak out. Check to see that water has reached the entire shoe, especially down near the toes.
Put both of your shoes into the freezer and wait for the water to freeze.Once the plastic bags are sealed, place your shoes in the freezer. Make sure they are sitting flat as opposed to on their side so that the water freezes correctly. Leave your shoes in the freezer overnight to ensure that the water freezes entirely.
Remove your shoes from the freezer and let the ice melt.Take your shoes out of the freezer after the water has completely turned to ice. The ice should have helped stretch out the leather, so now you can wait for the ice to melt. Once the ice has turned back to water, remove the water and plastic bags from your shoes.
- While you don’t have to wait for all of the ice to melt completely, let most of it melt before removing the plastic bag from your shoe to prevent your shoe from getting damaged.
QuestionCan water be used to stretch suede as well?Ginger BensonCommunity AnswerI have never tried it, but I am afraid it would make the fabric discolor and pucker. You never want to get your suede shoes or coats wet, but if you want to try, just get a small piece of suede (similar to the one you are wanting to stretch) and try it out.Thanks!
One way to stretch leather products is by using natural methods, like fillings or weight. If you want to stretch a leather article of clothing or shoe, try wearing the item around the house, which will slowly cause the leather to stretch. For a leather bag, stuff the item with newspaper or cloth to the capacity that you would like, and let it sit for a few days. You can stretch out leather belts by attaching one end to a stable source such as a table or shelf.
Video: Shoe Care : How to Stretch Out Leather
How to Be Entertained While on a Long Drive
You Can Now Buy Some of the World’s Most Important Watches Online
The Christmas clock
The Incredible Reason Why This 59-Year-Old Mom Trains For Ironman Races
26 Serenity Blue Wedding Dresses That Inspire
Everything You Ever Wanted (and Needed) to Know About Drunk Elephant
Happy Birthday, Coco Chanel Read the Fashion Icons Top 10 Quotes
Summer Berry Tiramisu Cake Recipe
Does the Runners High Exist
Kim Kardashian Has a Bizarrely Brilliant Trick For Getting an EvenTan