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Leather repairs: What is involved?

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

We recently had to repair a rip in a leather seat. The seat was fitted into our customer's pride and joy: an 11 year-old Mercedes Vito Brabus that has done over 140,000 miles. He had quotes of over £500(!) to replace the section of the bolster that was ripped.

We were able to repair the tear and recolour the seat for £160. Due to the use that the seat had seen, replacing the piece of leather would have looked out of place and the cost was more than our customer was willing to spend. So, our solution was a perfect fit. Below I will show and explain the stages involved in the repair.

The seat as presented to us for repair.

Stage 1 of any repair is to ensure the leather is thoroughly cleaned to remove any grease and dirt that will stop the glue, filler, dye, and lacquer from properly bonding. For this we use COLOURLOCK Leather Cleaner and a brush. The little bottle has a pump dispenser that delivers the cleaning product as a foam, which gets into the material more effectively. Once cleaned, the seat is dried with a Microfibre Cloth.

Stage 2 was to expand the tear and cut away under the stitching to insert a strengthening pad which would also form a backing to the fillet of material that would fill the hole. The pad was a piece of leather that was tucked in and glued to the underside of the leather seat material. The pad was around 2cm bigger all around to ensure a large enough area for the glue to hold.

Stage 3 was to cut a fillet of Leather to fill the hole and to fill any gaps between the fillet and the seat material. The fillet of leather once cut to the right size and shape was glued to the backing pad that was inserted in Step 2. Then, using flexible filler and a pallet knife any gaps were filled. This was then left to dry.

Stage 4 once the repair had dried it was time to

recolour the seat to ensure a uniform finish

and then cover with a lacquer to protect it. We applied two coats of leather colour, and once these were dry, a liberal amount of lacquer was applied taking care not to get any runs. Once this had dried, it was time to inspect the work and let the customer know his vehicle was ready.

Below is the review our customer left for the work carried out above.

I had my rip in my drivers seat repaired as Mercedes’ can’t find me a new seat!!!! So anyway I am super pleased with the work Kevin at Polished SW has done to repair the rip, now 3 months on and still looks like the day my he made the repair. I also had my vehicle polished by Kevin which was a magnificent job as well couldn’t recommend Polished SW highly enough, get your vehicle booked in for a pamper I assure you will not be disappointed.

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