If you’ve ever tried to repair torn leather or glue two pieces together, you probably realize what a sticky situation this can be. There are many types of adhesives available, but choosing one that is suitable for leather projects can be confusing.
Whether you need adhesive to repair shoes or upholstery or to finish a craft project, this guide will help you choose the best glue for leather no matter what your project might be.
What to Consider
Ventilation. Be sure to use any adhesives in a well-ventilated area. Breathing in toxic fumes can be dangerous and even fatal. It is very important to take all of the proper precautions. .
Manufacturer Instruction. Always follow the manufacturer’s package handling instructions. Some adhesives are particularly dangerous when they come in contact with skin or are accidentally ingested. Again, it is very important to take all of the proper precautions.
You don’t want to get stuck with the wrong glue. Before you purchase any glue for your leather, read this section first!
Most leather glues fall into one of four categories, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Polyurethane Glue. Glues made from polyurethane create a type of foam that seeps into pores and small fabric gaps. This makes a particularly strong bond when working with leather, as it fills all of the microscopic spaces in the hide. It actually forms a stronger bond when exposed to moisture as it sets. . One drawback to polyurethane glue is that it is relatively unforgiving when it comes to repositioning the items you are gluing together, so you’ll have to be accurate the first time. .
Rubber Cement. Rubber cements are the general glue of choice for shoemakers and movie props creators, mostly because it remains incredibly flexible even after it sets. It is a great choice for repairing anything wearable, where undue stiffness would be impractical. . Rubber cement is a simple adhesive made from elastic polymers, or latex, mixed in a solvent such as acetone or ammonia. It evaporates quickly, leaving behind a sturdy rubber seal. One advantage of rubber cement is that it allows for easy repositioning of craft materials. .
Cyanoacrylate Glue. Strong and fast-acting cyanoacrylate glue, also known as super glue, bonds very quickly. You’ll have to get the placement right on the first try; however, you’ll be left with a very durable bond that is both flexible and moisture resistant. .
Silicone Glue. First developed by GE and marketed as a household adhesive and bathtub caulk, silicone glue is both water and heat resistant. Most silicone glues become stiff as they dry, making them impractical for use on leather clothing or other projects that benefit from a more flexible adhesive.
First made by Petronio’s in the 1950s, Master Contact Cement has long been the most popular and requested adhesive in the shoe industry.
This quick-drying cement offers a fast set-up and a waterproof bond so strong the leather will actually tear before the glue comes apart.
The product comes with its own applicator brush for easy and convenient application.
Incredibly versatile, this contact cement can also be used when working with wood, rubber, or metal materials. Great for keeping in the workshop for use in a variety of projects, or in the home for quick repairs on leather shoes, upholstery, jackets, and more.
Marketed for use on plastic models, Bob Smith Industries Maxi Cure/Insta-Set Combo also works great on leather. Simply apply the Maxi Cure to one piece of the material to adhere, and the Insta Set to another.
The two pieces will bond instantly upon contact.
This product comes in a fresh strawberry scent, so you won’t be forced to deal with the harsh chemical smell that accompanies most other leather glues.
It is an incredibly durable adhesive that works well on a wide variety of materials, including metal, plastic, wood, ceramic, rubber, and glass, as well as leather.
Its versatility makes it invaluable for use around the house, workshop, garage, or office.
Good for leather, wood, rubber, glass, ceramic, plastic, and metal
Gorilla 7700104 Super Glue Gel is the go-to product for construction and furniture repairs and woodworking projects. It has a thick consistency and is super strong and durable, so it can be used on even on rough surfaces without reducing its viscosity.
This glue holds tight instantly but dries clear in 10-45 seconds, so you know when it’s completely dry. Its gel formula promotes controlled application with precision for maximum strength.
Its resistance to extreme temperatures and moisture makes it a great choice for bonding leather that is used outdoors, such as saddlery, boots, and even luggage.
This cyanoacrylate glue sticks to practically everything, including skin and clothing, so use it with caution. Great for more than just leather.
Use Gorilla glue on plastic, wood, metal, ceramic, rubber, leather, paper, and many more.
Keep this versatile adhesive for use in the barn, garage, home, and workshop. It definitely won’t leave you in a bind.
Good for leather, foam, stone, wood, brick, glass, ceramic, metal, and concrete
Barge O22721 All Purpose Cement is a rubber cement made with natural rubber for bonding most leather, rubber, wood, glass, cork, and metal materials.
It is versatile and easy to use. It dries clear and flexible. It is resistant to water and weathering. It has excellent strength and adhesion to most surfaces.
Barge O22721 is the cement for shoes and other leather articles. It is also used as a cement for joining wood, glass, metal, and other materials that accept cement as the sole or major means of joint-filling and covering.
It is an easy and versatile way to bond, glue, fill holes and cracks. It will fix any surface quickly and professionally. It’s safe to use on most surfaces.
With so many uses for Barge cement you’ll want to keep it handy at home, the office and the garage.
Easy to use
Dries clear and flexible
Resistant to water
Have good ventilation when using since it has a strong smell
Leather glue is made for just that — applying to leather and creating a bond. The function of leather glue is similar to the function of an adhesive used to bond plastics and wood.
These adhesives are often called “wood glue” and “carpet glue,” but are most commonly known as contact cement because, as they cure, they form a solid plastic layer bonded to the pieces being held together.
Leather glue is available in two forms: liquid and adhesive tape. In both cases, the ingredients of leather glue are the same, with variations in the quantities of the ingredients.
Does Fabric Glue Work on Leather?
Yes, but temporarily. Most fabric glues won’t work with leather. Some glues such as Tear Mender bond to both fabric and leather.
How to Glue Leather?
When you are gluing leather with a small leather patch, make sure the patch is big enough to cover the hole and have a big enough area to glue.
The entire area of the patch should be covered with the glue. For more details, you can check out this YouTube video.
Can you Superglue a Leather Couch?
Yes, if you use the right superglue. Use glue that has a strong bond to keep the leather together. We recommend using one of the glues listed above.
Is Gorilla Glue Good for Leather?
The Gorilla Super Glue is also made for use on leather, but even most super glues are not meant for this kind of thing. The glue becomes liquefied when it comes into contact with the leather.
So, the two objects that you are attempting to bond with the Gorilla glue may not be perfectly fit together due to variations in the leather itself or because they are from different animals.
Can I Use Elmer’s Glue on Leather?
Elmer’s glue is particularly weak when it comes to adhering to leather as it has a light hold that is best described as brittle. It works well for paper and other softer materials but does not stick very long with leather.
Elmer’s glue is a super soft, incredibly flexible glue that works best for small papercraft projects, but is not really ideal for repairing leather items or crafters working with leather objects.
Can You Use PVA Glue for Leather?
PVA glue is a versatile product that you can use for a range of different materials, from fabric to paper to leather. However, the reason many people choose PVA over other glues is that it is water-resistant and flexible.
PVA glue is great if you are working with leather, as it forms an especially strong bond and remains pliable. It is not used to glue leather to leather though.
Using PVA glue on leather comes with the risk of it tearing away and peeling off or getting damaged due to water getting absorbed. Leather needs special care when it is glued so that it does not get damaged easily. It generally bonds fine to other fabrics though.
How Do You Glue Leather to Leather?
Leather glue is a strong adhesive that works best for attaching leather to other leather. It should only go on the flesh side of the leather and on the rough side of leather or synthetic material.
To bond leather or rough synthetic, apply it to both pieces. Then clamp or pound the parts together using flat objects like cork-covered blunt jewelry tools until bonded.
For super strength, baste with fabric glue first to hold together while both glue sides dry then apply leather glue over fabric glue and finish gluing any gaps.
What Kind of Glue Do Cobblers Use?
Many cobblers rely on a fast-setting epoxy if the shoe is leather. This Loctite formula is flexible to accommodate various shoe materials and heel designs.
Loctite Super Glue is a good option because of the powerful strength that bonds in just 15-30 seconds. It’s ideal for leather and synthetic materials and all types of heels.
How to Remove Super Glue From Leather?
There are different types of common household products that can remove super glue from leather. Start by applying acetone or nail polish remover to the leather. Test the acetone first to see if it damages the color.
Another option is pouring rubbing alcohol on the glue spot. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scraping the glue off.
Get sandpaper to gently grind off the super glue. Be gentle when using sandpaper since it can ruin the finish of the item.
If these products don’t help, use hot water and soap. This is the natural and gentle way to remove glue from leather.
Glue is the bonding agent of choice for many crafters. In fact, most projects involve using some form of glue or adhesive to hold pieces together.
The options you have for glues and adhesives are vast, from those intended for paper applications to those formulated to work on wood surfaces. Leather glues are available in much the same variety as other types of glue, with some specialty choices geared specifically toward leather crafting.
We have taken a look at the different types of glue for leather, and let you know which one we think is going to work best for your application.