Is your new leather item just a little too tight in all the wrong areas? Is your new investment causing you more discomfort than cool? Looking to learn how to stretch leather?
Then you are in the right place, for today we will be exploring 4 distinct methods to follow to stretch your leather out.
Method 1: Liquid
This method can be done by anyone at any time at home with just some water and a tub. Can leather get wet? Yes, it can!
Fill the sink or container with water, either warm or room temperature. If the leather item fits in the sink, then that is great. Leather shoes are likely to fit in a sink just fine. If, however, stretching leather shoes in a sink is not for you, you can use just about any container that will contain your leather clothing.
Submerge the item completely in the water. Twist the leather around a little if the container is not big enough so that the water can permeate all of the leather.
Allow the leather to soak in the water for 10 minutes, making sure, again, that it is entirely saturated with water. If no more bubbles are rising from the leather, then perfect.
After the 10 minutes are up, wear the leather to stretch it out. If the item is leather boots, then make sure not to wear thick socks. If a leather jacket, then do not wear anything under it that you would not want to get wet. Move around in it and stretch the parts that you desire.
Alternatively, you can use rubbing alcohol:
Create a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water of 1 part of the former to 3 parts of the latter. Combine in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Once mixed, pour it into an empty spray bottle, though you can just use a paper towel or cloth, damp but not totally wet.
Spray or rub the mixture into the parts of the leather that you want to stretch. To stretch leather shoes, for example, this will be around where the toes begin.
Wear the leather item as soon as you have applied the mixture, bending and stretching it as you otherwise would, until the damp spots are dried. To get the leather soft, this should do the trick.
Method 2: Heat
This method might be more your bag if you are looking to learn how to soften leather:
Use a hair dryer to help the leather stretch, opening up the pores and ultimately softening it. Aim the heat at the areas you would like to stretch, heating evenly until the leather is warm and soft.
If heating tight leather shoes, ensure that you are wearing thick socks inside and then heat them up with a hair dryer so that they can form to the shape of your foot. Wear the shoes as they cool off and move around plenty.
Likewise, to stretch your leather item, simply wear it around, even if it is not a pair of leather shoes. Keep it on until it has completely cooled off and wear it out to the best of your ability.
Method 3: Stretching Products
Perhaps you want to let professional products do the talking instead.
Apply the leather stretching spray to the parts of the leather that you wish to stretch most. As before, make sure that you wear the leather item inside after you have used the spray to stretch and soften the leather, lest it all be for nothing.
You can even use a leather conditioner to make an item of leather more soft and bendable. These typically come in liquid form and are relatively inexpensive. Such conditioners are perhaps better suited to leather furniture and upholstery. Most conditioners of this kind will require you to apply it with a cloth and then leave it for a couple of hours so that it can be absorbed.
You can even use shoe stretchers that will target specific areas of a shoe and stretch the natural material without putting too much strain on it. This is usually the more patient avenue to go down, though you can go to a professional with a better-quality stretching equipment.
Method 4: Naturally
Alternatively, you can just be patient and let your leather stretch to your form naturally without any sort of external influence.
If you do not want to go to social functions while wearing an uncomfortable piece of leather clothing, then you can stretch out your leather apparel by wearing it around the house. This is by no means a quick method of doing things and can take weeks depending on how stretched out your end goal for the leather is. Try wearing it around the house for 2 hours a day and see how much you can do.
If we are talking of leather accessories, then you can't exactly stretch them in the same way. Instead, try stretching them out by stuffing them with paper or cloth. Ensure that the material is not so soft that it will damage the leather in the long run. Fill it as fully as you would otherwise be filling it. This method works even better if the leather is made slightly wet beforehand.
Weigh down leather straps to stretch them, attaching the straps to a stable source and weighing down the opposite end with, say, a rock.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, one of these methods has helped you to accelerate the process of stretching your leather so that you do not have to do the hard work yourself. Who knows, maybe you have even decided to stretch it out long-term with your movement and body heat.
FAQs How To Stretch Leather
How can I make leather stretch faster?
Two of the key elements that you can utilize to make leather stretch faster are water and warmth. One of the most common ways to stretch leather besides wearing it yourself is, for example, to completely submerge it in water, leave it to soak for ten minutes, and then wear it in or otherwise stretch it out until it is dry. Alternatively, you can use a hair dryer to target the areas you most want to stretch, warming them up until soft and stretchy, and then wearing or stretching the item until it is cool.
Can genuine leather be stretched?
Indeed it can. In fact, it will stretch itself by simply wearing it. You can, however, accelerate this process by using heat, water, or a whole range of other products designed specifically for the purpose. There are leather stretching sprays that seek to make a leather item more soft and stretchy. There are shoe stretchers that do a similar thing with an automated piece of equipment. You can even do the job with a leather conditioner if you put your mind to it!
What can be used to stretch leather?
If you are looking to stretch the leather yourself with as little effort as possible, then try simply wearing the garment, either out and about or just around the house to wear it in. Alternatively, if you would rather not purchase anything, you can use heat or water to soften and stretch the leather and accelerate the process of wearing it in. Still, if this does not work for you, you can buy a whole bunch of products specifically designed for the purpose, such as leather conditioners, leather stretching spray, and shoe stretchers.