Gluing Leather to Leather - What is the best glue for leather.
As a leatherworker, I like to use the best quality product on offer, as making a good quality leather item is not just the leather you use, but all the other materials that make up the item as a whole.
There are many variations of gluing leather, like gluing leather to plastic, gluing leather to metals and other noleather surfaces, but for these, contact glues tend to work best.
I will specifically be talking about gluing leather to leather here, and after trying all the different types of glues, what has worked perfect for me every time is Aleene´s Leather & Suede Glue.
Now I am not knocking any other brand out there, and I have used and continue to use other brands such as Unibond, Loctite, Gorilla glue, but they all have their place.
Where I use Aleene´s Leather glue, is specifically to glue two pieces of leather together when I am constructing a wallet, or a bag, or any other leather item before stitching them together.
I have read so many reviews about this glue, and a big issue I have seen, is that they are using the glue incorrectly, and are not getting the desired result.
When gluing leather to leather, one glue does not work for all types of leather. You need to know what type of glue you need before you just buy one that says it is used for leather.
If you try and glue two glazed pieces of leather together with Aleene´s leather glue, you will not get a good adhesion. Or if you use Aleene´s leather glue to stick leather to any other material, you may also not get the desired result.
So a lot of bad reviews stem from not knowing the type of glue you need, and also now knowing how to prepare leather before gluing the pieces together.
If you are going to glue two pieces of leather together, and the surfaces are already rough, then you just need to make sure the surface is free of any dust, apply Aleene´s leather glue, and use some clips to hold the pieces together, or put a weight on top until the glue dries, and you will have a really good bond.
If you are doing a patch repair, like fixing a hole in a leather sofa, or fixing a tear in a leather jacket, then the same applies. It is not as easy as dousing a piece of leather in glue, then attaching the patch.
The same applies, where you will need to roughen the surfaces that are going to be stuck together, then apply the glue and attach the patch with pressure.
To get a perfect adhesion between leather every time, there are some steps you need to follow, and this is what I do for every single piece of leather I glue together when using Aleene´s leather glue.
Lets assume we have a square patch of leather, and we need to glue the two pieces together before stitching.
1. Roughen the edges before gluing leather pieces together.
You will need to roughen the edges that are going to be glued together, and depending on the type of leather, more or less abrasion will be needed. If you have a natural veg tan type of leather, then the edges will roughen pretty easily.-
But say you have a glazed piece of leather, or a smoother type of leather, you simply need to scrape the edges a bit more, so the edges lose the smooth feeling.
I tend to use the edge of a scalpel to roughen my edges, but using this method, I have never failed to get a good bond between leather pieces, and use this on the vast majority of the products I make.
2. Applying pressure to the edges for a good bond between leather.
This is also very important.
After you have applied a thin line of the glue, spread the glue along the edges. I just use a finger tip to get an even spread. Then, attach the pieces together where the glue meets, and make sure you get the glue to spread across every part that will touch, and remove all the air.
To do this, I use a rolling pin, a mug, anything cylindrical pretty much, and roll it over the edges to make sure the glue is spread and touching all the surface that will be glued together.
Then applying pressure to the glued areas. Depending on the shape and size, you can use small metal clamps for this, you can put smaller pieces inside of a book and just close it, use a small anvil.
Again, depending on the piece. If it is a wallet I am gluing, I tend do use clamps, as I need the stitching holes to always be in line, and can not afford any movement.
If it´s say two pieces of a leather coaster I am gluing together, I will just put something heavy on top to keep the pressure constant.
These are pretty much the important things to bare in mind when using Aleene´s leather glue to stick two pieces of leather together.
So be aware when reading reviews of this product, as I said, the bad reviews I have read have been the result if improper technique, and the wrong use case.
When used correctly, Aleene´s leather glue will give you a perfect bond every time when preparing your leather pieces for stitching.
The glue is white when applied, but it dries clear, and is also flexible, which again is perfect for small leather goods, as you do not want to have hard, non flexible edges on a soft leather wallet.
So if you are looking for a good quality leather glue, and you are going to be using it for similar projects to what I have described, then Aleene´s leather glue really is a perfect addition.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any more specific questions, and I will be happy to let you know my experiences and help if I can.