Leather furniture in a home can add immediate warmth and a sense of style, but the presence of leather furniture can also add a hefty repair bill for a homeowner in need of leather repair. Leather furniture can tend to dry out over an extended period of time becoming stiff, which then leads to the appearance of cracks that escalate in severity until they become unsightly rips in the leather upholstery. While many pieces of leather furniture can be repaired nearly flawlessly by a home owner, others such as repairs on the arms of leather sofas are best left to a professional upholsterer simply because they require a level of skill that is rarely found in a novice. It becomes imperative in repairing leather furniture to determine which damage can be repaired personally with a positive outcome, and which repairs are best left to someone with real skills.
For small areas of cracking on leather furniture there are a number of commercially sold leather repair kits that work quite well in addressing the issue. Normally, these leather repair kits come with all of the items necessary to make a nice repair complete with instructions for under $40. Not all of these repair kits are equal in their quality however, so this is a good area in which “going cheap” may not be the most wise decision. When using these leather repair kits it is a good idea to practice first on an unseen area such as under a seat cushion to become familiar with the processes before making a repair on a more obvious location. In most instances these leather repair kits require little more than mixing a putty to the proper color and then fastening it into place using a heating iron.
For larger or more severe damage on leather furniture it may become necessary to replace an individual leather panel on a given piece such as on a seat cushion. The damaged panel is carefully removed and a replacement piece of leather is purchased. Ideally, this can be accomplished using an ordinary household sewing machine with a special sewing needle. Depending upon the thickness of the leather involved or if the replacement leather needs applied to an oddly shaped area of the furniture it may become necessary to hand-sew the leather into position. This can require great patience and a moderate amount of sewing skill, but if both are present the repair can be performed with a good outcome.
In any case when repairing leather furniture discretion becomes the better part of valor. If there is doubt that a repair can be self-initiated you are probably correct in your assertion, and the best move is to call a professional upholsterer.