If you’re making something out of leather or just want to glue your leather shoes together instead of throwing them in the trash bucket, you’re looking for leather glue. And unlike common superglue, it can be difficult to find the best leather glue for your purpose. With a wide range of options available, similar descriptions, and promotion slogans.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best glues for leather, based on personal experience in leathercraft, and comparative research. Focusing on their durability, bond strength, and how ease to use.
The Strong BondFiebing’s Leathercraft CementSHOW BEST PRICE
For Sewing LeatherAleene’s 15594 Leather & Suede GlueSHOW BEST PRICE
For Larger Surfaces3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray AdhesiveSHOW BEST PRICE
The Strongest Bond: Fiebing’s Leathercraft Cement
Fiebing’s Leathercraft Cement boasts a high-performance, water-based formula that provides a strong, flexible, and durable bond. In my experience, it has held up well in various projects, from wallets and belts to handbags and shoes. The bond remains intact even with regular use, which is essential for wearable accessories and footwear. The non-toxic, non-flammable, and low-odor nature of the cement is also a welcome feature, making it a safer option compared to other adhesives on the market.
The application of Fiebing’s Leathercraft Cement is relatively easy, thanks to its smooth consistency. It dries quickly, which is great for productivity, but it also means you need to work fast to ensure proper adhesion.
While Fiebing’s Leathercraft Cement offers a strong bond, it’s essential to follow the instructions for the best results. I found that applying a thin, even layer on both surfaces and allowing it to become tacky before pressing them together yielded the most secure bond. The flexibility of the cement is also noteworthy, as it allows the bonded materials to move naturally without compromising the bond. This is particularly important for projects that require movement or flexibility.
Other helpful reviews:
I used this product to reattach a leather belt to its lining, and it worked wonderful! It can be a tad messy, but if you press it together firmly for several minutes and let it dry completely, you’ll surely achieve success. Since gluing, I’ve rolled the belt tightly, and all parts have remained intact.
The adhesive performs well for its intended purpose on leather. I’m using it to create a leather-wrapped handle on a SEAX. It seems strong, flexible, and transparent, as claimed. I rated it a 4 for ease of use since the directions advise seeking medical attention if it gets on your hand, which seems unnecessary since there seem to be no adverse effects.
For Sewing Leather: Aleene’s 15594 Leather & Suede Glue
Aleene’s 15594 Leather & Suede Glue offers a decent performance, especially considering its affordable price. While it might not provide the same level of bonding strength as some higher-end adhesives, it still holds up relatively well for smaller and less demanding projects, such as crafting simple accessories, making repairs, or working with lightweight materials. The glue is non-toxic and dries clear, which is a plus for those who want a clean and unnoticeable bond.
The application process for Aleene’s Leather & Suede Glue is straightforward. The glue comes in a 4oz bottle with a fine nozzle, making it easy to apply a thin layer to the materials you’re working with. It dries relatively quickly, so you need to be mindful of that while working. However, I found that it sometimes requires clamping or applying pressure to the bonded materials for a stronger bond, as it may not adhere as quickly as other adhesives.
When used correctly, Aleene’s Leather & Suede Glue provides a satisfactory bond for most lightweight leathercraft projects. While it might not be the best choice for heavy-duty applications or projects that require a lot of flexibility, it still performs well for its price point. Proper surface preparation and following the manufacturer’s instructions are crucial to achieving a strong bond with this glue.
Other helpful reviews:
I prefer this glue because it lacks the unpleasant smell and penetrates the leather effectively. You still need to apply it to both surfaces, but it doesn’t have the immediate grip of contact cement, allowing you to adjust the pieces before setting.
I didn’t anticipate this glue working as effectively as it did. I have an old LV bag in excellent condition, except for a cracked side strap. They weren’t too deep, so I tried this glue with a toothpick, being cautious.
For Large Surfaces: 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive
The 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive boasts a high-tack, fast-drying formula that provides a strong bond for various materials. Its performance is particularly impressive when it comes to large surfaces, as it offers consistent and even coverage. This adhesive is not only durable, but it also remains flexible, which is essential for projects requiring movement or flexibility. It is worth noting that the bond strength increases over time, ensuring a long-lasting connection between materials.
One of the standout features of the 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive is its ease of application. The spray nozzle allows for a controlled and even distribution of the adhesive, which is especially helpful when working with large surfaces. While the spray application is convenient, it is essential to work in a well-ventilated area and protect surrounding surfaces from overspray. I also recommend wearing a mask to avoid inhaling the adhesive fumes. It’s crucial to follow the instructions for the best results, including shaking the can well before use and spray from the recommended distance.
The bond strength of the 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive is impressive. I have found that it holds up well under various conditions, providing a secure bond that lasts. However, it is crucial to apply even pressure to the materials after spraying the adhesive and allow ample drying time for the bond to reach its maximum strength. The adhesive’s flexibility ensures that the bond remains strong even with the movement or bending of the materials.
Other helpful reviews:
The product is excellent for my needs. The only issue I encounter is nozzle buildup, requiring a wipe after about four sprays. Ensure you have a backdrop and a side when using it extensively. I use a spray tent for this product since I apply the spray often, but it’s a fantastic product.
We used this to install a new headliner foam purchased here. It worked decently, but some areas didn’t hold up and required binder clips around the edges to dry. Initially concerned about the potent odor from VOCs that others mentioned, we worked outside, and it was fine.
Multipurpose: Barge All-Purpose Cement
Barge All-Purpose Cement is a popular adhesive for its powerful ability to attach a variety of materials together. I’ve successfully used it to glue rubber, cloth, wood, and even certain plastics in addition to leathercraft items. The bond’s flexibility and durability have proved very useful when working with materials that need to move slightly. It is also heat and water-resistant, making it appropriate for both indoor and outdoor uses.
Barge All-Purpose Cement is fairly simple to apply. To be more precise, I’ve found it useful to use a smaller brush or a toothpick for work that requires more dexterity. It does have a stronger smell than some other adhesives, therefore working in a well-ventilated place is very necessary. Be prepared to work fast to guarantee optimal adhesion because the cement dries relatively quickly.
When used correctly, Barge All-Purpose Cement provides a strong, long-lasting bond. For best results, I have found it helpful to apply a thin, even layer to both surfaces, let it become tacky, and only then lign-up and press the materials together. Thanks to its flexibility, cement allows natural movement without compromising the bond, making it suitable for projects that require both durability and flexibility.
Other helpful reviews:
I bought this glue to fix my cowboy boots, specifically to attach a new leather lining to the worn-through heel. I connected leather to leather/plastic, resulting in a robust, flexible bond. It takes a while, requiring a 24-hour set time. It’s not a rapid solution, but it’s long-lasting.
Purchased for leather work, it performed superbly. However, when I tried gluing rubber soles back onto a pair of shoes, it didn’t last.
Eco-Friendly: Tandy Leather Eco-Flo Leather Weld
Tandy Leather Eco-Flo Leather Weld is an environmentally friendly, water-based adhesive that offers a strong and flexible bond. I have used it successfully on a variety of projects, including leather bags, fabric accessories, and mixed-media artwork. Its bond strength is impressive, even when subjected to regular use or movement. The adhesive is also non-toxic and low-odor, making it a safer and more pleasant choice compared to some alternatives on the market.
Applying the Eco-Flo Leather Weld is quite simple, thanks to its smooth consistency. The product does not come with an applicator brush, so I recommend using a small, flat brush or toothpick for precise and even application. The adhesive dries clear, which is a huge plus, as it leaves no visible residue on the finished project. However, it takes longer to dry than some other adhesives, so it’s important to be patient and let the bond cure properly before moving on to the next step.
To achieve the strongest bond with Eco-Flo Leather Weld, I found that applying a thin layer to both surfaces and waiting for it to become tacky before pressing them together worked best. The connection is still malleable and permits organic movement without losing its integrity. When working with flexible materials like cloth or leather, this is especially critical.
Other helpful reviews:
This glue effectively repaired a leather handbag’s shoulder strap. The snakeskin leather had begun to separate, but I applied and clamped the repairs. The repairs remain soft and flexible, not hard or stiff. The glue is somewhat reminiscent of Elmer’s Glue-All.
The glue performed as I anticipated, very well. You must be cautious around the edges, as too much will seep out, and too little may result in edge lifting.
What is Leather Glue?
Leather glue is an adhesive specifically designed for bonding pieces of leather together. It can be used for a wide variety of leather goods, including jackets, bags, belts, wallets, upholstery, and shoes. The choice of leather glue depends on the project’s specific needs, such as the strength of the bond required and whether the leather will be sewn or not.
Types of Leather Glue
- Contact cement is a type of adhesive with a very strong bond, used to join material permanently. It is ideal for heavy-duty repairs and bonding leather to a variety of materials. When using contact cement or leather craft cement, it needs to be applied evenly to both surfaces that will be joined to ensure a smooth adhesion.
- Craft glue, which offers a very light grip, dries rather rapidly, and is sticky, is a terrific advantage when seeking to stitch leather. It offers sufficient support so that the fabric shouldn’t budge as it passes through the sewing machine. When applying glue to keep the leather in place before stitching, thinner/lighter glues, like craft glue, are often preferable since they won’t stick to and jam the sewing needle as frequently as heavier contact forms of cement may.
- Superglues are great for small, delicate leather-crafting projects and have a quick-drying formula. They are ideal for small repair jobs and crafting projects where a strong bond is needed quickly.
Choosing the Right Leather Glue for Your Project
The best leather glue or adhesive to use depends on the type of project you’re working on. Consider the following factors when choosing the right glue for your project:
- Temporary vs. Permanent Bond: Craft glue might be useful if you’re seeking a short-term grip for a sewing project. If not, try leather glue or contact cement for a stronger bond.
- Sewing: While choosing the best adhesive for sewing leather, it might be useful to know your machine’s strength. Craft glue works well for sewing projects whereas contact cement or leather glue is preferable for tasks that don’t require sewing.
- Water Resistance: Leather products that will come into touch with moisture should be made with water-resistant formulas. If your project calls for it, make sure to use glue that is particularly made to be water-resistant.
Tips for Using Leather Glue Effectively
- For the greatest results, always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Before applying the glue, make sure that the two surfaces to be bonded are both clean and dry.
- Apply a uniform coating of glue to both surfaces using a brush, spatula, or applicator.
- Before attaching the surfaces, give the glue (as directed by the manufacturer) time to get sticky.
- To achieve a solid bond, apply pressure to the surfaces that have been bonded.
- Before using, wearing, or handling the leather item, let the glue thoroughly cure.
Leather Glue Storage and Shelf Life
Proper storage of leather glue is essential to maintain its effectiveness and prolong its shelf life. Keep your leather glue in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Ensure that the cap or lid is tightly sealed after each use to prevent the glue from drying out or becoming contaminated. Depending on the kind and brand, leather glue typically can be stored between one and two years. For exact storage instructions and information on the shelf life, always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. For a firm bond in your leather crafts, it’s advisable to replace your old glue if it becomes too thick, clumpy, or split.
Can leather glue be used on other materials besides leather?
While many types of glue, including leather glue, may be used on other materials including cloth, vinyl, rubber, and even some plastics, leather glue is specially made for bonding leather. For information on compatibility with other materials, check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Can I use regular glue for leather projects?
It will be a big mistake. Regular glue does not provide the same level of bond strength, flexibility, and durability required for leather projects. We highly recommend using glue specifically designed for leather to ensure the best results.
How do I remove excess leather glue from my project?
Use a blunt-edged object, such as a plastic scraper or the edge of a credit card, to carefully scrape away the excess adhesive. Avoid scratching the leather’s surface. A damp cloth can also be used to remove glue from leather before it dries.
Can I paint or dye leather after using leather glue?
Yes, you can dye or paint leather after using leather glue. However, before using paint or dye, make sure the glue is completely dry and hardened.
Is leather glue waterproof?
Some leather glues are specifically designed to be water-resistant or waterproof, while others may not offer the same level of protection. To find out if the glue you’re using is appropriate for projects that might come into touch with moisture, check the manufacturer’s information.
Can leather glue be used to repair tears and holes in leather?
Leather glue can be used to repair small tears and holes by bonding the edges of the tear together. Larger repairs or sections that will be put under stress, however, can call for extra strengthening techniques like stitching or patching.
How long does leather glue take to dry?
The drying time for leather glue varies depending on the type and brand. The majority of leather glues cure completely in a few minutes to a few hours, but some may take up to 24 hours or longer. For drying times, always go by the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Can I use leather glue on suede or nubuck?
Leather glue can be used on suede or nubuck, but be aware that some glues may darken or alter the appearance of the material. Before applying glue to the entire project, it is advised to test a small, discrete region.
How do I remove dried leather glue from my hands or tools?
For hands, gently rub a small amount of acetone or nail polish remover onto the affected area, then wash with soap and water. When removing dried glue from instruments, wipe them down with a cloth or brush after soaking them in a solution of warm water and mild detergent.
Will leather glue damage my sewing machine?
Using light, non-permanent glue like craft glue for sewing projects should not damage your sewing machine. However, if stronger glues, such contact cement, come in contact with the sewing needle or other moving parts, they can cause problems. Use the right adhesive for your project every time, and wait until it is completely dry before sewing.
Leather glue, cement, and superglues are suitable for different leather projects, and understanding the specific needs of your project is crucial in choosing the right adhesive. You can choose the ideal glue for your leather project by taking into account elements like bond strength if your project requires stitching and water resistance. To guarantee a smooth, firm connection, always adhere to the manufacturer’s directions and apply the glue evenly and attentively.
With the help of this comprehensive introduction to leather glue, you’ll be fully prepared to take on any leather job, from straightforward repairs to complex crafts.
By exploring the many types of adhesives available, you may pick the best one for your project and assure a good end. Having the appropriate glue in your toolset is crucial for producing stunning, long-lasting leather goods, regardless of your level of experience or your level of expertise in the field.