Worn Leather Sofa Ripped Mercilessly By Door Handle, Help Me Figure Out How To Diy This! *photos*

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So this is what happened to my poor sofa when it met the front door handle! It didn't even make a noise, it took someone to actually *see* the damage to stop the process, and keep the entire panel from being ripped through.

But, I'm staying positive, mostly because this is the way it looks right now, when (almost) assembled (It's a 3 piece sectional)


However, I would like to triage this just a bit. It's not of CRITICAL IMPORTANCE that my fix not show at ALL, but of course minimizing the visibility of the fix would be nice. Also, trying to halt additional damage due to normal usage is on my mind. I took a few more photos to make it as close as possible to "You've been in the room and seen the problem yourself":

The edges of the rip *can* be held together with some help:


The foam inside is pretty squooshy, and can be displaced:


Here's a look at the backing and structural stuff inside. (Obviously, this is NOT an artisan piece, but a factory furnishing. MOR, to be specific.)


Here's a look at the factory stitching


And a couple of views of the thickness of this leather:



AKA: Not very thick. At all.

And apparently it rips like butter.

So, what do you think I should do? I have some seamstress experience, but not much, and no leatherworking experience at ALL. My husband even mentioned "Duct Tape" but I don't think that has to be the only solution, haha. The leather seems so rippable, that sewing it back up sounds like a dubious process, the thread might rip through the material as readily as anything else. But I can't be suuuuper sure of that. I'd be fine with a glue-type solution, or even a patch-type solution, but I don't know ANYTHING about them. But I'm not afraid of them, I feel capable of following instructions.


Another problem this sofa has, is that it smells a little teeny bit like dog, and is probably filthy, but I can't see it through the brown. I know I need to get a leather cleaner and buff all that off. I've watched a few "How to use leather cleaner on a sofa" youtube videos, so I feel like I know what goes into that, but what do y'all suggest? And where in blazes does one purchase Leather Cleaner locally? ( I know I can get it online, but I'm in a hurry, and don't want to wait a week for delivery) Like at a Hardware store? Tack Store? Should I bother with a leather guard or a leather conditioner, considering the cheap-o nature of this leather in general?

ANOTHER problem with this sofa is that someone sat on it in the SAME place. EVERY time. and it shows. I'm going to need to fix this area, possibly with stripper, colorizing agent, sealer, and then conditioner/guard. I've seen youtube videos like this before, too. The areas that need this work are relatively small compared to the size of the sofa, and are circled in the following photo:


I hope there's a small kit I can buy that won't be WAY more product than I need for this size job, what do you guys think? I might be able to order online for this, in order to get precisely the amount I need. But if there's likely to be a way to get something locally, you guys would let me know, right? =)

One last note is that I wish the sofa was black, and thought it was when I bought it from the guy. After a little more research, I know I *could* change the color, if I wanted to spend 2-400$ on product, considering the size of the piece. Not in my price range, probably ever. Oh well.

Thanks to anyone who posts any kind of helpful advice! I realize that this sofa is pretty much a piece of crap, and is factory made, and not at all up to the calibre of the sorts of projects you awesome folk usually work on, but I thought this sounded like a great place to get some frank advice, even so.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Sykorai

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The only way you can stitch the seams that have been ripped is to remove the entire covering which BTW, looks like "Faux" Leather to me.

That said, being on a tight budget, who isn't these days, you said you have some sewing experience. Go to JoAnn Fabrics or your favorite other fabric store and select some suitable fabric for "Slip Covers". Make one for each end of the couch that has the bad end. You can leave the center section with the original fabric if it is made this way. Other piece can be done the same way. For the worn places, make a slip cover for each section that has been stretched leaving some leather look in areas that are in good shape.

I would make no attempt at repairing the old fabric other than so it doesn't interfere with your slip covers. The material is made of "heaven only knows what" but I can make a pretty good guess as to it's origin.


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I will step in but others may have better info. My guess is that it is not leather, it likely is reconstited leather (think particle board instead of plywood). The stuff is not strong and does not last, but in the store is hard to tell apart. Any stitching you do will likely tear out too. If the front piece is actual leather than you could open up the piece and replace the end piece that is damaged.You can use almost any material, since you can barely see it. Matching can be tough.

On the wear spots, i would just use a leather conditioner on the total sofa and deal with the wear. Old leather= character.


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can't really tell from the pics, but the leather is probably a bicast leather on the fronts the side bit that is ripped looks like a very very poor split.

to get bicast, they slice the hide across 3 or 4 times the lowest slices are very weak and when ripped go hairy like you see, they take the split leather and then glue a layer of PU or plastic to the leather and mould the PU to look like leather (thats the bit you sit on), they are really good at making this look like the the real thing. in the UK they are not supposed to call it leather, they can in the US. loads of problems with this stuff, see the link below.. to be honest it looks like the PU has already peeled off the side and just left the incredibly weak paper thin leather slice behind. as it looks like there is no grain pattern on it.!

split leather is as above sometimes they glue two pieces of split together for strength, this is only supposed to be used on the sides and backs of sofa's, sometimes you find it on the seat pads, if found very thin like this its as strong as tissue paper. usually the splits used on own are much thicker.

its probably more trouble than its worth to try to repair the panel, best to replace it, with a piece same size and glue or sew it in place of the ripped one.

the worn bits can be re-coloured and finished but if it is bicast it WILL probably be very short lived.

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Well, it's a good thing I got the sofa at a very good price! I agree that it's probably reconstituted leather, if it's leather at all. The worn spot i do feel strongly about "fixing", at the very least with some sort of rub-on colorant, and the matching doesn't concern me greatly, if it's less noticeable than it is now, then time well spent. I'm leaning toward "quick and dirty" for triaging the side panel that got ripped, now. What would be the best "Quick and dirty" way to get the job done? Would a leather patch that I could trim to size work best? Anyone have ideas about what types of places to get leather repair kits, rub-in colorant, or leather cleaner locally? I live in south Seattle.

Big thank you to those who have responded so far! I appreciate you!

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as earlier a patch trimmed to size and sewn on to the already sewn edges would be your best and easiest for a long lasting repair.

as for the colurant, contact kevin he will guide you on the best products available in the states and also will give you advice on apply

good luck

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