Do your favorite pair of leather gloves feel like they belong to someone with larger hands? Perhaps your ideal pair of leather boots feel a bit too loose for comfort? We’ll show you how to shrink leather materials back to the perfect fit.
Leather is standard in many everyday items, including belts, shoes, jackets, gloves, and clothing. This versatile material is a comfortable form of fashion when it fits properly. Unfortunately, leather tends to stretch over time and often needs a shrinking adjustment.
The good news is that leather is relatively easy to shrink once you learn how. Applying water and heat shrinks the material, and the process speeds up using additional ingredients and techniques. The result of the shrinkage depends on the type and the time length of the method.
If you purchase an item of clothing that is just a little too big, there’s no need to wear it looking baggy. There are several ways to shrink a sweater, jeans, your new favorite shirt, or leather, whether you desire a small or large amount of shrinkage. We’ll show you how to shrink everything from leather shoes and boots to jackets and gloves using a variety of shrinking techniques.
Before shrinking, give your leather pieces a good looking-over. Remove permanent market from leather or take care of other stains prior to starting the shrinking process so you can focus on one thing at a time.
The Easiest Ways to Shrink Leather
If your leather material only needs a minimal amount of shrinkage, there is a simple way to remedy the problem. The easiest ways to shrink leather are with lukewarm water and direct sunlight.
For one of the best ways to shrink clothes made from leather, fill a bottle sprayer with lukewarm water for minimal shrinkage. Using hot water causes the material to shrink more.
Spray the water onto the surface of the leather to soak it as much as possible. Using a spray bottle is ideal when shrinking materials that have buckles and snaps to prevent rusting.
Lay the wet leather item on a clean flat surface in a sunny area of your yard. Avoid hanging the material to prevent stretching. Flip the leather occasionally to ensure that all sides get dried by the sun.
Shrinking a Leather Jacket
Leather jackets are not only fashionable but provide a form of protection to your skin while bike riding. If your oversized jacket looks awkward, try shrinking it with hot water or heat.
Place your leather jacket in the washer machine on a regular cold water setting. Avoid washing the coat with other materials to prevent damage, and do not use any laundry detergent.
Before placing your jacket into the dryer, wring out as much excess water as possible to prevent water spots. Dry the coat on a medium heat cycle. After drying, slip the jacket on and test it for a good fit. If it is still too big, repeat the process.
If your coat is too large for the washing machine, use a bathtub for shrinking leather. Fill the tub with hot water and submerge the coat in the water for ten minutes. Wring as much water out of the material as possible.
Lay it out on a large towel at room temperature during the drying process. Replace the towel with a dry one as it soaks up excess water. Allow the jacket to dry for two days.
Shrink Leather Gloves with Water and Rubbing Alcohol
When they fit correctly, leather gloves are not only comfortable but keep your hands warm. They are not as effective at protecting your hands if they get stretched out. Use a combination of water and rubbing alcohol to help them shrink.
Pour equal parts lukewarm water and rubbing alcohol into a bottle sprayer, add a couple of drops of dish soap, and shake well. The rubbing alcohol helps strip away some of the leather’s oil, which allows the water to penetrate the leather fibers easier.
Lay an absorbent towel out on a flat surface and place the gloves on top. Spray the solution over both sides of the gloves until they are wet. Place another absorbent towel over the top of the gloves and press out excess water.
To help the gloves dry to the shape of your hands, wear them until they are dry. Otherwise, let the wet leather dry on the towel. Use a leather conditioner on your gloves after they are the right size.
Shrinking Leather Boots
A pair of boots that is too big cause your feet to slip in the heel and toe area, especially in cowboy boots and can lead to blisters and sore feet. Instead of using an insole, try shrinking your leather boots to fit your feet.
Fill a bucket with hot water. Use a bucket that is big enough to fit your boots and place them in the water until they are submerged. Leave them in the bucket for one hour.
Remove the boots from the water, put on a pair of socks, and dunk your feet into the water. Now comes the fun part. Use some elbow grease and slip your feet clad in wet socks into the wet leather boots. Go about your day walking in the boots until they dry.
While this shrinking technique feels a little awkward, the process helps the leather mold to the shape of your feet for optimal comfort. Once you shrink the leather to the perfect fit, use a natural leather conditioner recipe.
After the leather is dry and conditioned, try on the boots or shoes again. If you accidentally made them a little too big, know that you can stretch leather shoes back out if needed. Spritz the interior of the shoes with a vinegar and water mixture, put on a pair of socks, and wear the shoes around the house. Stretch leather boots this way, as well.
How to Shrink Leather Shoes
Finding the right shoe is not an easy task, especially when it is leather. It is disheartening to discover that your new leather shoe no longer fits you after it stretches out. No problem. It’s easy making leather shrink using water and a blow dryer.
Fill a bottle sprayer with warm water and spritz it onto the surface of your shoes. Focus the spray on the area of the shoe that requires the most shrinkage. Avoid getting water on the sole and base of the shoe.
Place the shoes in the sunlight to air dry or use a hair dryer set on the lowest temperature setting. Hold the blow dry six inches away from the leather material and dry the surface using constant motion to prevent burning the shoe. Use a leather conditioner and polish your shoes using natural shoe polish ingredients.
To shrink your shoe without using heat or water, sew an elastic band to the heel. Pin an elastic band to one side of the heel and secure it with a safety pin. Stretch the band to the opposite side and fasten it there as well. Stitch the band in place with a needle and thread.
Shrink Leather Clothing
Vests, pants, and other forms of leather clothing are not only fashionable but timeless. Unfortunately, thin leather clothing tends to stretch easily and no longer fits you the way it once did. Here is a simple remedy to shrink baggy leather clothes.
Fill the tub with hot water to cover your leather clothing. Place the clothes into the water and let them sit for about five minutes. Remove the clothes and wring as much of the water out as possible.
Place the clothing into the dryer on a low heat setting for 20 minutes. If they are still not dry, lay them on a flat surface to air-dry.
Slipping into your favorite pair of leather shoes only to discover that they are uncomfortably loose is disappointing. Fortunately, shrinking leather back to its original condition is as easy as applying the right amount of hot water and heat.
Use a little rubbing alcohol to make the process more efficient, finish up with leather conditioner, and wear that leather in style.
Now that you know how to shrink leather so that your shoes, boots, or jacket fit you well, why not share our leather shrinking tips with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?