A company called Fibrenew ranked 207 in Entrepreneur’s top 500 franchises. Their business? Vinyl and Leather Repair. Their success means that vinyl and leather, like any material, wears out eventually.
While some jobs require a professional, most of the time, you can repair your seat, jacket, or another personal item yourself with leather and vinyl repair kits.
Repair kits are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the price of replacing the leather or vinyl. You can find repair kits at the hardware store, home store, or auto parts store. They are, of course also available online.
These kits are for those small DIY jobs like minor rips and tears. Before you purchase your leather and vinyl repair kit, read this guide.
Repair kits are designed to fix damaged leather and vinyl. Though, they are not intended to restore your piece to like new condition. The goal is to mend a tear, then blend in the patch to hide the imperfection.
If you’re looking for flawless, you should consult a professional. Repair kits are essentially patch kits. They get the job done and hide damaged areas well. As the leather or vinyl wears over time, the blended area becomes less and less noticeable.
If you find a crack or a tear in your leather car seat or furniture, a leather repair kit can prevent additional tearing. The same applies to vinyl. All leather and vinyl repair kits have the same basic steps.
The first step in leather repair is to prep the surface. Follow the cleaning instructions found in your kit. The leather needs to be clean before you apply the glue or patches.
Otherwise, the adhesive bonds to the debris particles on the surface of the leather rather than to the leather itself. The patch begins to peel off soon after application.
Next, trim off any frayed edges. Then, cut the backing fabric long enough to extend under the tear by at least 1/2 inches.
Glue the fabric in place and let dry. The final step is to use the colored mix to smooth over the patch and blend it into the rest of the leather.
To minimize scratches and abrasions, leather and vinyl repair kits let you smooth the surface and then color over the mark to hid it. Essentially, you are polishing and waxing out the scratches with matching color dyes.
Repair kits also contain compounds that fill in cracks, while oiling the leather at the same time. This restores moister and elasticity.
For burns like those caused by cigarettes, leather repair kits allow you to remove the burnt leather, fill in the hole, and then blend it in with the original leather. You restore texture as well as color.
Leather repair kits are designed to work for a variety of applications, including repairing vinyl. A good, all-purpose leather kit should include several accessories to cover your needs.
You may want to cover a large area of damage. So, you’ll need more substantial quantities of the repair items.
Typically, the best leather repair kits come with 10 to 25 pieces, including the tools you need to complete the repair. Other common items are alcohol wipes and cleaning cloths, and grain paper and sandpaper for prep.
Leather adhesive, backing fabric, and leather patches will be there. As are the dyes and paints for recoloring, along with the needed mixing bowls, brushes, and mixing tools. And of course, you’ll also find dye pens and instructions in your kit.
Depending on the kit you purchase, you will receive varying quantities and style of these items. Adhesives, for example, can come as sticky patches or tubes. Look for a kit that contains an ample amount of adhesive.
The same applies to the backing. Even if you don’t have a large area to cover, it’s good to have room for error, especially if you are doing this for the first time.
Also, leather samples and backing fabric will vary in color. Be sure to choose a kit that contains the needed colors when it comes to dyes, paints, leather samples, and backing fabrics.
As an example, our Leather Repair Pro Complete Professional 25 Piece DIY Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit comes will all of the items mentioned above and more.
This kit is all-purpose, which means you can use it to repair torn vinyl or leather. Or, you can use it to restore leather to close-to-new condition with a few touchups.
Many kits come with a variety of colors so that you can match your leather or vinyl shade as closely as possible. Color mixing can be a bit of a challenge. Taking the time to learn how to mix colors is worth the effort. It makes the repair easier, and the result far more satisfying.
Any brand kit should contain enough paint to mix colors and get a large area covered. Look for kits with at least seven colors.
Using those colors, you can mix just about any shade you need from black and brown to burgundy, tan, and taupe. Many kits come with color charts that contain paint measurements to aid beginners with mixing colors.
Not every leather or vinyl repair requires a professional. In fact, most repairs are simple DIY projects. Remember, the best leather and vinyl repair kits are the ones that come with plenty of tools and materials. So, all you have to do is open the box and follow the instructions.
If you have any questions about leather or vinyl repair or repair kits, please contact us.