Leather is a standard item of clothing and everyday wear. It serves fashion and style when it fits better.

Many times, leather items can over-sized and you may need to shrink them for better fitting.

The following are a few DIY tricks for shrinking leather.

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Soak the leather with hot water and dry in sunlight

This is the simplest and easiest way of shrinking leather. The temperature of the water determines the degree of shrinkage it brings.

What you have to do is fill a bottle sprayer with hot water and spray it on the surface of the leather to the point that it is completely soaked from all sides. A better alternative is to dip it in a water bath filled with hot water until it is completely wet.

Let it stay dipped in water for 10 minutes.

After this, put it in sunlight until it is completely dry.  Do not hang the leather material as that will stretch and distort its shape.

Spray the leather with lukewarm water and dry

If you need only a moderate amount of shrinkage, fill a bottle sprayer with lukewarm water. Spray the leather surface as per requirement and put it under sunlight. Lay it on an even surface for better and even shrinkage.

This method is especially suitable for shrinking leather items like leather wallets. You can also use a blow-dryer so that every part of the wallet dries up evenly.

Once it is the right size apply a leather conditioner on it to avoid cracks in the leather. The leather conditioner also gives a finishing polished look to leather items!

Spray the leather with lukewarm water and rubbing alcohol

Take a bottle sprayer and fill it with equal parts of lukewarm water and rubbing alcohol. Make sure to add a few drops of dish soap and mix it thoroughly. This mixture is particularly helpful for shrinking leather items like leather hand gloves.

Place the leather item on a clean towel on some plain surface horizontally. Spray the mixture on the leather surface and make it wet. After this, press another clean towel on its surface to absorb the water.

It is advisable to measure the required shrinkage for example if it is a glove, wear it on your hand so that ensures the shape and size you are opting for. Then, dry it. After that fix it up by applying a leather conditioner.

Use vinegar and water to shrink leather

The vinegar method is advisable for shrinking leather shoes mostly. For this purpose, mix equal amounts of white vinegar and lukewarm water in a bowl.

Take cotton socks and dip them completely in this vinegar mixture so that they absorb the mixture. Next place these soaked socks inside the leather shoe for an hour or two and make sure they are evenly adjusted inside the shoes.

After the given time, take the vinegar-soaked socks out of the leather boots and let them dry in a warm environment. Try the new size of leather shoes and make them adjust to your shoe size.

If it still requires further shrinkage, you may repeat the process once again.

Hot water, dryer and rubbing alcohol to shrink leather

Fill a water tub with hot water and dip your leather item completely.

Take it out after 5 minutes and wring it as much as possible. Then dry it in a dryer set at low heat for at least 20 minutes. If it is still wet, dry it in the sunlight.

You can add rubbing alcohol to accelerate the process. Once it has shrunk to the right size, put some leather conditioner and finish the process up. This method works well and efficiently for shrinking leather clothing items.

Precautions while drying the leather item

Take the following precautions while shrinking your leather item.

  • Do not put the leather item directly under intense sunlight to prevent melting.
  • Make sure that the dryer item I.e. the blow dryer is at least 6 feet away from the leather item otherwise it will melt it.
  • Do not prolong its contact with water, as that will bring cracks in the leather.
  • Use soft and smooth cleaning towels for pressing and absorbing purposes.
  • Always place the leather item on the flat plain surface for drying etcetera
  • Do not hang the leather item. Hanging the leather item will cause it to stretch.
  • Always apply a leather conditioner every few months on your leather item so it retains its shape.
  • When using the vinegar method, or rubbing alcohol method, make sure that it is diluted with water first to avoid stripping off the wax polish from leather boots.
  • If the leather item is a jacket or shoes with buckles or metallic accessories, avoid wetting them with water as it will cause the metallic objects to rust.

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