How to Glue Leather to Fabric

Are you looking for a solution to keep your leather and fabric items together?

Whether it’s a tear in your favorite leather jacket or a worn-out fabric chair, learning how to glue leather to fabric can be a lifesaver.

In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to properly bond leather to fabric. From selecting the right type of glue to using proper application techniques so as to ensure a long-lasting and secure hold.

How to glue leather to fabric

How to glue leather to fabric

To glue leather to fabric, you need to choose the right type of glue and apply it correctly. Start by preparing the surfaces by cleaning and ensuring they are completely dry. Apply a thin and even layer of glue to both surfaces and press them together firmly to ensure even adhesion and leave it to dry.

The following step-by-step guide breaks down the process into easy-to-follow steps for you.

Step 1: Prepare the leather and fabric surfaces

To prepare the surfaces, you should start by cleaning off any dirt, oils, or debris that may be present on the leather and fabric.

This can be done with a clean cloth and a mild soap solution if necessary. Then, allow the surfaces to air dry completely.

It’s important to note that any moisture or residue on the surfaces can weaken the bond of the glue and affect the final result.

You should also consider sanding the leather surface or scuffing it so that it can adhere better to the fabric.

Step 2: Choose the right type of glue

Choosing the right type of glue is an important step in the process of gluing leather to fabric.

For a strong bond, you should look for adhesives that are specifically designed for bonding leather and fabric as flexibility is vital.

The most commonly used glues for this purpose include fabric glue, leather glue, and polyurethane-based adhesive.

We talked more about choosing the best glue in the next section below.

Step 3: Apply the glue

The next step is to apply the adhesive to the fabric and leather surfaces.

Typically, you should apply a thin and even layer of glue to both the leather and fabric surfaces taking care not to apply too much glue.

Too much glue can cause stickiness on leather and fabric making it difficult to handle, and can also result in a weak bond.

If you are using a brush or roller, use long, even strokes to apply the glue evenly. If you are using spray glue, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the glue in a well-ventilated area.

Step 4: Press the surfaces together

Once you have applied the glue, carefully align the two surfaces and make sure that they are in the desired position before pressing them together.

To hold the surfaces in place while the glue dries, you can use clamps or heavy objects such as books or blocks. The clamping pressure helps to ensure that the bond between the leather and fabric is strong and secure.

However, avoid over-clamping, as this can cause the glue to squeeze out and weaken the bond.

Step 5: Allow the glue to dry and test the bond

Once the surfaces have been clamped together, allow the glue to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

As stated in our previous article about gluing leather to wood, the drying time, in this case, will also vary depending on the type of glue being used and the conditions in your work area.

Generally, it’s best to allow the glue to dry overnight to ensure that it has reached full strength and that the bond between the leather and fabric is strong and secure.

Once the glue has dried, you can remove the clamps or heavy objects and inspect and test the bond.

If there are any gaps or weak spots, you can reapply the glue and repeat the clamping process until the bond is strong and secure.

Best glue for leather and fabric

There are several types of glue that are suitable for adhering leather to fabric. The best type of glue to use will depend on the specific materials and application. Some popular options include;

  • Fabric glue

It’s not unusual for leather crafters to ask questions such as does fabric glue work on leather or will fabric glue work on leather?

Fabric glue is primarily designed for bonding fabric with fabric and it can work on leather although it might not provide a very strong bond.

Fabric glue does not have the strength and durability needed for bonding leather especially for heavy-weight leather items or for applications that will be subject to stress and wear.

For this reason, you need a stronger and more flexible adhesive such as contact cement, which can also be used to attach the leather to plastic.

  • Contact cement

Contact cement is better than fabric glue when it comes to gluing leather to fabric because it provides a strong and permanent bond.

Also, it is able to withstand the movement and stretching that can occur when leather and fabric are used together.

This makes it an ideal choice for bonding leather to fabric in a variety of applications, including upholstery, bags, and clothing.

Unlike other adhesives, contact cement is applied to both surfaces, allowed to dry, and then joined together to form a bond.


To conclude, whether you’re an experienced leather crafter or just starting out, the steps for gluing leather and fabric together are straightforward and easy to follow.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a strong and flexible bond between leather and fabric that will withstand the stresses and strains of daily use.

Remember that when choosing an adhesive, it’s important to consider factors such as strength, flexibility, and drying time. Contact cement is a popular choice for bonding leather to fabric because it provides a strong, permanent bond and is able to withstand movement and stretching.

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