How to Repair a Large Tear on Leather Car Seats

leather car seat on the front seat
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    Leather upholstery in cars, particularly leather car seats, can remain in good condition for a long period of properly taken care of. Even with proper maintenance, leather car seats may still develop cracks and tears. Such rips don’t necessarily mean that you have to get the seat completely retrofitted.

    Actually, there are a number of ways you can repair cracks and tears on leather seats on your own. For instance, you may use a patch to repair holes, a repair kit for relatively large tears, or liquid leather to conceal minute cracks. 

    However, you should consider having larger gouges and rips fixed by upholstery professionals. Discussed below are some of the methods you may use to repair relatively large tears on your leather car seats. 

    Fixing a Leather Tear Using a Repair Kit 

    Choose a leather repair kit with a colorant that best matches the leather in your car. For the best results, it is advisable to get a repair kit made by your car manufacturer. If this is not possible, you need to compare different kits to identify the one that offers the best color match. 

    We prefer this kit from Strongman Tools, which comes with a variety of color options.

    Strongman Tools Leather & Vinyl Repair Kit – The Best Leather Car Seat Repair Kit

    Comes with enough fabric for multiple repairs
    7 paint bottles for the perfect color blend for your seats
    Comes with a handy color chart
    Great customer service if you have any issues
    Takes a bit of time to properly dry
    Color tends to darken as it dries, so account for that when mixing

    Once you have chosen the right repair, follow this procedure to repair the tear and achieve professional results: 

    1.Cleaning and Trimming 

    In order to achieve professional results, especially with larger tears, you first need to clean the area properly. Clean the leather seat surface using mild soap, and a damp rag. This should be done carefully in order to remove all dirt, dust, grime, and crumbs.

    Allow the seat a few minutes to dry completely before repairing the tear. You may use a clean towel to absorb excess moisture from the seat surface so that it can dry a bit faster. After the seat has dried entirely, trim the ragged edges around the tear using a pair of scissors. 

    Be sure to remove any edges that may be curling outwards from the tear, as well as any threads that may be hanging loosely. 

    2.Gluing Canvas Baking 

    As part of the preparation process, you need to glue a piece of canvas cloth directly beneath the tear to serve as the backing. To achieve this, you should pour a small amount of the glue that comes with your repair kit on the seat, below the leather, and press the canvas onto the glue. 

    Wit the canvas glued in place below the leather material, spread a small amount of the glue on the tear edges, and stick them onto the canvas cloth. Stretch the leather and position the edges of the tear appropriately for a perfect fit. Now allow the glue to dry completely before processing to the next step. 

    3.Applying the Leather Filler 

    Build a layer of leather filler and spread it onto the backing canvas cloth you just laid, using a palette knife. Allow the layer of leather filler to dry out entirely, before spreading another layer on it. Continue building the filler layers until they are slightly above the leather seat surface. 

    Once the top filler layer has dried out, sand it down using fine-grit sanding block until the filler is at the same level as the seat surface. While doing this, you should be careful not to sand the surrounding leather surface of the seat. Using sandpaper will not give you as much control as a sanding block would. 

    Now wipe the filler and surrounding leather surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove the dust and debris, and allow the area to dry. 

    4.Applying the Colorant 

    Using a clean cloth, rub the colorant that comes with your repair kit onto the torn are where you applied the filler. You may need to apply several layers of the colorant to achieve the closest color match possible. Allow each colorant layer to dry before applying the subsequent layer.  

    5.Applying a Leather Sealant 

    Finally, you need to cover the repair area with a leather sealant. The sealant should be applied gently using a clean cloth to prevent the colorant from rubbing off. Allow the sealant to dry completely before using the seat. 

    Fixing a Leather Tear Using a Patch 

    This is a faster, and easier way of fixing a rather large tear on a leather car seat. However, it will affect the aesthetic appeal of your seats. To patch the tear up, get a leather patch that matches the color, and texture of the seat. You may also dye the patch to get a perfect color match. 

    ONine Leather Repair Patch – Best Leather Car Seat Patch

    35 color options for the perfect match
    Easier to use than a paint-based repair kit
    4 layered design for durability
    Enough patch for a large job
    Need to be very careful to avoid bumps when installing
    Color will be close, but may not be as good a match as a paint based option

    1.Initial Preparation 

    Cut the patch to size using a pair of scissors, it should be a bit larger than the tear or hole you are fixing. A slightly larger patch will be easier to attach to the good leather around the tear. Put a wax paper beneath the leather cover of the seat to prevent the glue from damaging the foam interior of the seat. 

    Just slip the paper into the tear in one side and push the other side through the hole. The wax paper should be larger than the tear. 

    2.Applying Leather Adhesive 

    Carefully apply the right leather adhesive to the edges of the patch and gently press the patch over the torn area. You may need to pull both sides of the tear together before attaching the patch for the best results. 

    Use the adhesive in accordance with its user instructions, and allow it ample time to dry completely. The instructions will inform you of the time required for the adhesive to cure.


    If the torn area on your leather car seats is conspicuous, you should consider using the right repair kit to seal it off. The best leather repair kits are designed to give you professional results, even if you have never done this before. 

    For the less conspicuous areas of the seat, patching will be an easier and faster alternative. If done properly, the repair will not affect the aesthetics of your seats. Regardless of the nature of the tear, this guide will help you fix even the large tears on your leather car seats. 

    Proper maintenance of your leather seats doesn’t stop at repairing tears; it’s also essential to prevent car seat marks on leather in the first place to ensure the longevity and beauty of your vehicle’s interior.

    Additionally, explore other aspects of vehicle care like removing tree sap from car windows and learn about tricky situations such as how to repossess a car from a family member.”

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    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren
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    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren