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Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Tue 07 Aug, 2018 9:16 pm

I have an issue my current favourite boots. They are only about 19 months old and have done a few kms in them. I snagged the stitching a few months back, but neglected to fix it then, and now when I'm sitting down to recondition the leather, I've found out the stitching has separated further. I've cut the errant threads off as pulling it pulls the thread out.

Any one have suggestions on trying a DIY fix? I have some heavy duty needles, but they are all straight, and I would have to stitch them through the inner liner as well to hand stitch it myself. Or I could sugru it or shoogoo it - squeeze some in the gap and let it bond.

The local shoe repair suggested a fix of $50 or more , which I know doesn't seem like much, but I might save that for when the sole needs replacing.

IMG_20180803_142856 (Medium).jpg
boot threads

Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Tue 07 Aug, 2018 11:03 pm

If you have some leather working hand tools and correct thread you could stitch it back. You need something like a leatherwork hand sewing needle, a needle palm to push and needle nose pliers to draw. Just reuse the same holes if they are undamaged, otherwise you will need a leather work sewing awl to make new holes. Overlap the new stitching on some of the good old stitching. Take care to avoid pushing the back of the needle through your palm! Don't be in a hurry. There must be youtube videos to help. You might pre-beeswax the thread too.
Specialist leatherwork shops found in cities, clubs or hand tool clubs may have these, new or heritage, for sale. By the time you chase these down you will have spent $50. So it's not a bad offer.
Then treat the inside lining to block water ingress (Shoegoo?) and clean and beeswax the leather and stitching as it looks from the photo to need it.
Since I have these simple tools I would give it a go.

Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Wed 08 Aug, 2018 10:51 pm

Hi Keithy,

Yes as per Avatar' s comments. Simple fix.

Just make sure the rest of the stitching, including that third row, isnt rotten,or damaged, thats a Fair length of boot stitching that seems to have failed.
I'd seek to simply chase the new thread through the original holes via hand stitching, with pliers as required. Straight needles are ok.

You've got about 15 stitches on the outside and maybe a dozen in the middle. You owe it to your favourite boots.

Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Thu 09 Aug, 2018 8:08 am

I'd actually glue, then stitch.

Needles for saddle stitching are normally blunt ( harness needles) as they are pushed through holes already made by the awl, but, as you'll be needing to sew through the inner as well, where there isn't a hole, you may find it easier with a heavy gauge leather needle, with a spade point. You can buy these at Spotlight etc. Also Google saddle stitching, as it uses 2 needles, starting in the middle of the thread, so the end doesn't come loose. The final stitch can be finished with a reef knot done so it sits in the middle of the leather, which again won't come undone.


Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Fri 10 Aug, 2018 3:12 pm

Thanks for the responses. I went down the rabbit hole of watching youtube tutorials. I have heavy gauge straight needles but wasn't sure how thread it through without going through the inner liner. I might hunt down curved needles and try fix it. The repair cost was only an estimate based on my description - they did say it might be more depending on work required. I didn't take the actual boot and forgot to take a photo earlier to bring down.

The third row is generally pretty good, just one thread was also snagged and cut, but it won't rip up unless the outer stitching rows give.

Gluing also seems like a good idea beforehand.

Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Fri 10 Aug, 2018 6:05 pm

I don't think you'll find that curved needles will work. Even the small curved ones we use in medicine would be hard pushed to get around that sort of curve.


Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Sat 11 Aug, 2018 11:05 am

If you value those boots take them to a proper cobbler.
However , if those were mine I would just get the silicone out and work that in.
(feel free to trough tomatoes at me for that. Tin tomatoes work best...)

Re: Stitching ripped seam in leather boots?

Mon 13 Aug, 2018 3:05 pm

Franco wrote:If you value those boots take them to a proper cobbler.
However , if those were mine I would just get the silicone out and work that in.

I probably will get them properly fixed eventually - I was hoping to leave that until some more damage occurs like the sole separating from the uppers. I did this tear catching my boot on a fallen branch in the scrub and didn't realise the damage done at the time. It also ripped out a little metal tab that was punched in, but that's just left a small hole in the leather that I filled with beeswax.

I put on my old Keen and Vasque boots for walks this weekend, and they didn't feel as comfy as this pair, so I might just do a quick fix of shoe goo into the gap for now, and a proper stitch later.
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