How to Repair a Rip on a Leather Sofa

Black Leather SofaLeather sofas are an increasingly fashionable choice when it comes to selecting comfortable, hardwearing furniture. Celebrated for their ease of cleaning and their stylish appearance, leather sofas can result in problems when ripped. A rip in a leather sofa stands out a mile away, and looks awful.

But do not despair; there are a number of ways in which a rip in a leather sofa can be repaired, or improved so it is less noticeable to the untrained eye. In this article we will show you how to repair a rip on a leather sofa in order to return the surface to its former glory.

Using a Kit

There are numerous kits available for repairing you leather sofa. If you do not want to have to pay for a professional to do the job, you can pick up these kits from most furniture stores, or from any good DIY store. It is also important to read the instructions thoroughly, as many kits differ in their approach to repairing your leather.

All repair kits will require you to clean and prepare the surface of the leather as a first step. The kit will usually contain an abrasive pad to scrub the leather and maybe a surface prep compound of some gentle solvent to remove body oils and other dirt that prevent a good adhesion.

Most kits provide some way of filling the ripped area with a patch. It is also important to get an exact color match to your sofa's material, so the kits come with dyes and instructions for mixing them to get a good match. The adhesive type will vary, from some simple bonding glue to heat-activated adhesives.

For smaller rips, scratches and cuts, there are clear liquid compounds on the market which you apply to the rips like a glue which make good repairs nobody will be able to notice. These, however, are more aesthetic in nature and will not hold up to daily use well. In time, the rip will open again in all probability, but if you're short on cash or in a hurry, it doesn't hurt to try.

It is also noted that if you are looking to achieve a professional finish, you really have to practice before hand to get it just right. Why not buy some additional leather fabric to practice on first before moving on to your sofa? That way, you can be sure to minimise the potential for damage to your sofa, as well as build up the skills necessary to make a really good job.

Professional Help

If you cannot work out how to repair a rip on a leather sofa, and you have tried the books and the kits, your best bet is probably to get on to the professionals. Look in the yellow pages under Leather Repair and Upholsterers, or consult friends and family for recommendations.

A good tip is to photograph the rip in context and up close to give potential contractors an idea about how best to repair it, and allow them to offer quotes based on the rip. This will also avoid the potential call out charge that some repairmen will levy, and will allow you to take your pick of quotes before getting the work sorted.

Although a professional may be expensive, it is definitely worth it if you are looking for an impeccable finish. Another useful tip, which applies to all professionals, is negotiate on a project basis, rather than per hour. You will find that the work takes far less time when there is a one off fee.

So now we have discussed the alternatives for repairing you leather sofa, it is time to consider your options. There are loads of resources to guide you through how to repair a rip on a leather sofa if you choose to go it alone, and there are also loads of people out there willing to help you for a fee. Balance up the desired results with the cost, and if you do choose professional assistance, it is always good to get two or three different quotes to help you decide.

See Also:

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Photo by Anssi Koskinen, Creative Commons Attribution License