Best Glue For Leather – Buyer’s Guide & FAQ

When fixing leather items or working on a project that requires bonding of leather, it is very easy to get stuck wondering what type of glue is the best.

What Is The Best Glue For Leather?

Besides, with numerous brands in the market and each promising spectacular result, it is very difficult to take a pick. Here are the Top Five adhesives for leather with their unique strengths, drawbacks, and recommendations.

Barge All-Purpose Cement Rubber Leather Shoe Waterproof Glue 1 Qt...
Aleene's15594 Leather & Suede Glue 4oz
Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, 8 Ounce The Glue Gun in A...
Gorilla Clear Glue, 1.75 ounce Bottle, Clear (Pack of 1)
3M Super 77 Multi-Purpose Adhesive, 7.3 fl oz, Aerosol
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Works with almost any type of surface. Does not freeze. Waterproof. Easy to clean up. Comes with an applicator. Works with porous surfaces.
Flexible. Fast dry time. Great with suede. Multiple ways of removing excess glue easily.
Water-resistant but washable. Crystal clear. Forms a permanent bond. Dries quickly. Does not require sewing.
Forms a strong bond. Can be painted over. Are easily portable.
Can be sprayed. Fast application time. Perfect for vertical surfaces.
Editor's Choice
Barge All-Purpose Cement Rubber Leather Shoe Waterproof Glue 1 Qt...
Works with almost any type of surface. Does not freeze. Waterproof. Easy to clean up. Comes with an applicator. Works with porous surfaces.
Amazon's Choice
Aleene's15594 Leather & Suede Glue 4oz
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Flexible. Fast dry time. Great with suede. Multiple ways of removing excess glue easily.
Best Washable Glue
Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, 8 Ounce The Glue Gun in A...
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Water-resistant but washable. Crystal clear. Forms a permanent bond. Dries quickly. Does not require sewing.
Strong Bond
Gorilla Clear Glue, 1.75 ounce Bottle, Clear (Pack of 1)
Forms a strong bond. Can be painted over. Are easily portable.
Universal
3M Super 77 Multi-Purpose Adhesive, 7.3 fl oz, Aerosol
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Can be sprayed. Fast application time. Perfect for vertical surfaces.

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glue for leather

1. Editor’s Choice: Barge All-Purpose Cement

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Barge All-Purpose Cement Rubber Leather Shoe Waterproof Glue 1 Qt...
  • All-purpose glue cement comes...
  • Works with vinyl, PVC,...

Paid Links / Last update on 2020-11-30

Barge All-Purpose Cement is also a product from our TOP 5 Best Shoe Glue.
The Barge All-Purpose Cement is a solvent-based adhesive that comes in a red and yellow can with an applicator for easy spreading. The bottle is about 32 ounces or 2.8 pounds in weight. The glue becomes transparent after drying up.
This adhesive is arguably the most balanced leather glue in terms of resistance, convenience, strength, ease of cleaning, and application time. Barge cement can be used to stick leather on another piece of leather, rubber, vinyl, PVC, polyurethane, fabrics, and cotton, among others. Being contact cement, you can use it on almost any surface.

Application Time

It takes about 10 minutes for Barge All-Purpose Cement to tack, after which you have an open window of up to 4 hours to attach the pieces or reposition them. It takes an additional 10 hours for the product to cure fully.
In case you missed the four-hour drying window, you could still activate this cement with heat. Just be sure not to use fire because of its flammability. A safe option would be a hairdryer or anything else that doesn’t have a flame.

Resistance to Moisture

The cement is waterproof. Although it is not possible to apply it underwater successfully, it forms a very flexible waterproof bond after drying completely.

Barge all-purpose cement, once cured, is very resistant to bending, heat, and cold. It holds up well even under extreme pressure and extended use.

Clean Up

Are you wondering about how to remove excess adhesive or spills on the workbench? Barge’s solvent-based formulation allows you to clean up easy and fast with acetone and thinner.

Storage

Freezing is not a problem for this cement, but you don’t want to put it under high temperatures. The glue may settle in the can if stored for long. Besides, remember to shake it before application.

Pros
  • It works with almost any type of surface
  • Does not freeze
  • High strength makes it great for contact coupling
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to clean up
  • Gets the job done even on a porous surface
  • Comes with an applicator
Cons
  • Highly flammable

Recommendation

You could use Barge All-Purpose Cement for any leatherwork. If you are looking for the most reliable waterproof bond, this is your ideal solution.

Not to forget, it is very flexible to work with – easy to apply and remove.
Perhaps the most significant drawback is that barge is costlier than the rest of the items on this list. If you are looking for a budget-friendly fix, this cement is not the best option.

2. Made Specifically for Leather: Aleene’s Leather & Suede Glue

Aleene's15594 Leather & Suede Glue 4oz
  • If it is leather dry-cleanable...
  • Perfect to repair shoes,...

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You can meet Aleene’s Leather and Suede Glue in our TOP Five Best Glues for Shoes as well.
This glue comes in a four fl oz bottle with a tip that produces the same results as a glue gun. The bottle is easy and convenient to use. Whether you are working on faux leather, real leather, or suede, Aleene’s glue has you covered.

Application Time

It takes about 3 minutes to dry, but it is recommended to wait longer if you used a lot of it. Once you put the materials together, curing should complete in a few minutes.

Resistance to Moisture

Aleene’s Leather and Suede Glue is not water-resistant. You must not wash after application. If you have to remove dirt, be sure to dry-clean.

Clean Up

You can remove excess Aleenes glue residue in numerous ways. If the glue is yet to dry, a dry paper towel or Q-tip will eliminate most of the excess. Then, you can clean away the remaining residue with a damp, soapy fabric.

In case the glue has already dried, you could peel or rub it away, carefully scrape it from the surface, or use a glue remover such as Goo Gone Original. Acetone, abundant in nail polish remover, is also effective. Another solvent that could work is highly concentrated rubbing alcohol (at least 85%), mineral spirits for solvent-based adhesives, or any natural citrus-based cleaner that is biodegradable.
Pros
  • It is flexible
  • Multiple ways of removing excess glue easily
  • Fast dry time
  • Great with suede
Cons
  • The bonded region can’t be washed with water

Recommendation

Aleene’s Leather and Suede glue is a great option when you have to quick fix leather items such as wallets, belts, jackets, or even a sofa. However, it is not a reliable solution where the material will be used repeatedly or strained.

3. Best Washable Glue: Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive

Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, 8 Ounce The Glue Gun in A...
  • Fabri-Tac permanent adhesive...
  • Can be used on Trims to...

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Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive is one of the best product of our review Best Fabric Glues, because it successfully bonds both fabric and leather.
Fabri-Tac comes in an 8-ounce white bottle with a tip that works just as good as a glue gun. It forms a permanent, washable, durable bond that is reliable even on surfaces with varying texture. It can bond leather to leather or any other material such as wood, felt, suede, canvas, fabrics, laces, shoe soles, etc. What’s more, you could use acetone to thin it.

Application Time

Fabri-Tac dries fast, typically a few seconds. It cures in a few hours, and the bond holds tight.

Resistance to Moisture

Fabri-Tac is not only water-resistant but also waterproof. It can withstand extended exposure to water and is also washable. For best results, use the gentle cycle when machine washing or hand-wash, if possible.

Excessive heat, such as an iron box, might cause the bonded region to stiffen. It is also recommendable not to dry clean it.

Video Tip & Tricks

Pros
  • It is water-resistant and, therefore, washable
  • It is crystal clear
  • It forms a permanent bond
  • Dries quickly
  • Retains its flexibility when dry
  • Does not require sewing
Cons
  • Emits choking fumes

Recommendation

If you want to glue materials that must be washed or cannot be sewed together, this would be a perfect solution. It is also ideal for sticking porous materials, which makes it a perfect fit for suede leather. Another perfect use case for Fabri-Tac would be for quick fixes because it dries and cures very quickly.

Have leather jacket, shoes, gown, or leather furniture you wish to fix with glue? Fabri-Tac could be just the solution. However, it is not the ideal choice for bonding large surface areas because it dries too fast.

4. For a Strong Bond that Doesn’t Flake over Time: Gorilla Clear Glue

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Gorilla Clear Glue is a transparent member of a vast list of different adhesives from the Gorilla Glue brand. This water-activated multipurpose glue features a crystal-clear and non-foaming formula that is significantly easy to use for both indoor and outdoor purposes. Moreover, it comes with several size options, ranging from a 1-pack to a 7-pack.

Application Time

Given that it is water activated, Clear Gorilla Glue has no tack time. You only need to dampen one surface with water and the other with glue, preferably at room temperature, and join them.

The glued objects should remain clamped for at least two hours. However, the bond takes about 24 hours to cure fully. If you don’t have clamps, any heavy objects can still be used to achieve the clamping pressure.

Resistance to Moisture

Gorilla Clear Glue is water-resistant but not waterproof. It can survive intermittent exposures to moisture but must not be exposed to water continually because the bond will weaken and eventually come apart.

As for heat, this adhesive has a remarkable service temperature of – 20° to 180° F. Therefore, when used on leather, heat-related issues will not affect the integrity of the bond.

Storage

Gorilla recommends storing the glue in a cool, dry environment, preferably with access to light. Darkness alongside extreme heat could cause yellowing of the adhesive. After use, it is recommended to wipe the nozzle with a dry cloth before closing the cap tightly.

Clean Up

After application, you’ll have about 180 seconds to get rid of any excess adhesive. Gorilla Clear Glue forms a strong bond that is difficult to undo after curing. Even Goo Gone won’t break the bond.

If you want to remove cured glue from the work surface or the edges of your glued area, you could use a chisel, sandpaper, or scraper. Just one caveat – scraping off the cured adhesive might also damage your leather if not done cautiously.

Pros
  • Forms a strong bond that is resistant to flaking
  • It can be painted over
  • It comes in small bottles that are easily portable
Cons
  • Takes long to cure fully
  • Not for porous materials

Recommendation

You could go for Gorilla Glue when working on a small scale and don’t mind a little expansion. Gorilla Glue expands significantly by the time it cures. Also, you might want to keep off this adhesive when gluing suede because it performs poorly with porous materials.

5. Aerosol Glue for Leather: 3M Super 77 Multipurpose

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The Super 77, one of many adhesives from 3M, is sufficient for a variety of light-weight projects such as patching up leather. It comes in 4 different sizes with cans that resemble spray paint. Also, it features a fast and aggressive tack that allows you to continually adjust your leather until it is taught or fits perfectly.

Application Time

The 3M Super 77 glue dries in under a minute. Its open time is 10-15 seconds when doing single surface bonding and 1-30 minutes for two surface bonding.

This short application time makes the Super 77 spray adhesive ideal for fast projects where you don’t want to wait for long before moving on to the next phase.

Resistance to Moisture

3M Super 77 is moisture resistant, which is crucial in protecting the bond. However, it is not waterproof and, therefore, must not be submerged in water for extended periods.

It also has a significant degree of resistance to heat, which goes a step further to maintain the integrity of your bonded leather when used under extreme temperatures.

Clean Up

You could remove any excess adhesive around the bonded region with 3M Industrial Citrus Base Cleaner. Both the remover and spray are flammable. Therefore, all ignition sources must be extinguished before using them.

Shelf life and Storage

The ideal storage temperature for a long life is about 60-80 °F (16-27°C). Higher temperatures could reduce the storage life, while lower temperatures could increase the viscosity temporarily.

If stored correctly, an unopened container will stay optimum for at least 15 months. Under usage, however, the storage time may be significantly lesser.

Pros
  • It can be sprayed, so makes your work much more manageable
  • It has a fast application time
  • It does not drip and is perfect for vertical surfaces
Cons
  • It is not waterproof
  • It produces smelly fumes

Video Guide

Recommendation

3M Super 77 would be an excellent choice if you are looking for something that works fast, is easy to spread. Moreover, it will save you the hassle of opening and closing a lid, which often gets glued to the bottle if not appropriately handled. That being said, this glue is multipurpose but does not form the strongest bonds with leather.

Buyer’s Guide and FAQ

Different leather glues are perfect for unique situations, such as large projects, materials that must be washed, where a strong bond is needed, porous surfaces, and so on. Therefore, you want to consider all possible scenarios where you want the glue to work.

Are you looking only to fix one specific item, or do you want a handy adhesive that you could use for many purposes?

If you only want to repair or work on a small project, then you should go for a budget-friendly option, and it doesn’t have to be multipurpose.

Will you be traveling with the glue?

It could get hectic to walk around with an 8-ounce bottle that you are not even sure you’ll need.

How fast do you wish to fix things?

While one glue might cure in a matter of minutes, another will take hours. Keep this in mind when purchasing your glue.

How neat do you want the bonded region to be?

Some glues expand after application, while others are difficult to clean. Know your cleaning agents and the ease of getting rid of the glue so that you don’t end up with untidy fixes.

Can the bonded region be watered?

Always consider whether you’ll need to clean the bonded region with water or not and go for an adhesive that will not come apart when cleaning.

Trust your gut and get the glue you think is best for your intended use!

Tips & Tricks for Gluing Leather

Leather is widely used for a wide range of applications like shoes, footwear, accessories like purses, wallets, handbags, clothing, seat covers, and other applications. Since leather is derived from the hides of animals, it is comfortable and flexible. Hence it is used by many hobbyists for their project. Yet leather can get easily damaged and torn and many would like to repair it themselves to save some money. For both their DIY project and for repairing torn leather items, hobbyists would like to find out which is the most suitable leather glue to be used and get tips for using the glue on the leather items.

The person should be aware that the glue required for gluing leather depends to a great extent on the surfaces which have to stick together. The glue required for sticking leather to fabric or paper or other leather material will be different from the glue for fixing leather to metal. The adhesive ability and durability vary depending on the chemical composition of the glue. It should be also easy to apply the glue. The bond formed between the surfaces being glued together should not be affected when heated or exposed to high temperatures. It should not dissolve when immersed in water.

Often it is necessary to glue leather surfaces together for some time before they can be sewed or riveted together. In these cases, rubber cement should be used, since it forms bonds between the materials. It is easy to separate the leather pieces which have been glued together if there is any kind of error when rubber cement is used. Leather is a flexible material, hence white glue or wood glue is not suitable for use with leather and damage it. In case it is necessary to stick leather and fabric together, a fabric glue that is flexible may also be used for adhering the materials together.

Most professionals who are gluing leather together will use contact cement since it forms a strong bond between the leather pieces. However, this bond cannot be easily removed if there is any kind of mistake. If the pieces have to separate after contact cement is applied, the leather pieces may get damaged. After the glue is applied, there is a small-time interval before the glue will form bonds and become hard, after it has been applied to the surface. During this interval, it is possible to reposition the leather pieces being glued to some extent. The duration of this interval varies depending on the brand of contact cement being used.

Another material that can be used for gluing leather for leather projects is shoe glue. This is a versatile material and it can be used for a large number of materials other than leather also like vinyl, canvas, textile, foam, polyester, rubber. It is the most suitable material for projects where different materials are being used. The bond created is flexible, clear, and is not affected by higher moisture levels or temperatures. One of the main advantages of using shoe glue is that it will fill the gaps in the materials while forming a bond and is suitable for uneven surfaces like leather and fabrics.

It is advisable to wear latex or nitrile gloves while doing the leather gluing so that the glue does not adhere to the skin. The area where the activity is being carried out should be large enough and well ventilated. The table should be covered with cloth or paper to ensure that any spilled glue does not damage the surface. To ensure that a proper bond is being formed when the glue is applied, it is necessary to ensure that the leather surface is properly cleaned and dried. Before applying the glue to the leather surface it is advisable to examine the surface properly and ensure that there is no dirt or residue.

The glue should be applied to one of the surfaces which are being joined together in a thin layer. If a gap-filling glue is used a slightly thicker layer will have to be applied. If a stronger bond has to be formed, it is advisable to apply the glue to both surfaces. The leather pieces should be positioned together as desired, and pressure should be applied using a rubber band, clamp, tape so that the bond is formed. If the leather parts remain undisturbed, a bond will be formed within one to three hours, though the formation of the full bond strength will take 24 to 48 hours. Temperature, the thickness of the glue layer and humidity are some factors that affect the strength of the bond formed.

CONCLUSION

For light bonding, most glues that have leather listed as one of the materials will get the job done. However, leather that is expected to be used repeatedly or strained requires the best, strongest adhesive available. However, regardless of the type of glue you use, the integrity of the bond will be determined by your ability to follow the directions for usage.