As a suede boot connoisseur, one of the worst things that can occur is the moment you spot an unwelcome hole at the toe of your boot. Although this sounds like a nightmare to many boot wearers, there are a few ways to fix this seemingly irreversible problem. Before you head to the store for a new pair of your favorite suede boots, check out these step by step methods to see if your current pair of boots is salvageable.
Method One: Patch It Up
Purchase a suede or leather repair kit complete, fabric glue, scissors, patches, and subpatches. These kits can often be found at your local fabric store or online. If a kit or fabric store is not available near you, try purchasing suede glue, shoe adhesive, leather glue, a pair of electric fabric scissors, and recycling old suede material from around your house.
If you can, find a matching suede material. Take your shoes to your nearest fabric store and compare the material to those at the store. If your shoes are at home, bring a photograph with you and find as close of a match as possible. If a fabric store is not available to you, order suede online or repurpose a piece of fabric from an old leather jacket or leather couches. Once you have found your matching suede material, purchase enough of it to cover the hole in the shoe. You may wish to buy extra in case you make a mistake on your first patching attempt.
Find a subpatch. A subpatch is a piece of fabric that is different from the patch material. It will be applied inside the shoe and underneath the hole, to serve as support for the actual suede patch. You can use any strong, stiff material for a subpatch, although most often they are made from vinyl or denim. For a quick, cost-effective option, try cutting a subpatch out of an old pair of denim jeans. Make sure it is thick enough to provide real support for the suede patch.
Prepare the patches. Once you have your fabric patches, hold the sub-patch above the shoes hole. With a pencil (or tracing pencil if you have one), lightly trace the shape of the hole onto the sub-patch, leaving extra space for the sub-patch to be glued to the inside of the shoe. Once you’ve created your sub-patch, trace it onto the suede material you are using for the actual patch. Cut both shapes out of the material with the fabric scissors and get ready to apply them with your fabric glue (find one here). Now comes the time for your shoes hole to be healed!
Glue the patches. Line the perimeter of the top side of the sub-patch with fabric or leather glue and carefully apply it to the underside of the shoes hole. You may need to keep your hand inside the shoe, firmly holding pressure onto the subpatch to keep it secure. After a few minutes, your glue will be dried. Next, take the suede patch that you have cut and apply the fabric or leather glue to its underside. Carefully stick it directly on top of the hole, once again making sure to keep it firmly in place for thorough drying.
Let the glue dry. You may be excited to wear your new-and-improved boots again but, it is important to let the fabric glue settle until it is truly secure. This may take between twelve and twenty-four hours, depending on the strength of the glue.
Method Two: Simply Use Glue
If you are one of the lucky ones whose shoe rip is only on the surface, you may be in luck. Fabric glue can solve the trick in no time. All you need to do is carefully apply a thin film of glue to the torn piece of suede and press it firmly back down on the show. Keep in mind that it is best to not wear the shoes until you completely let the glue dry (which is roughly around twelve hours).
Method Three: Sew It Up
If your suede boot is made of a soft suede material, you’re in luck – you may simply need a single needle and thread to cover up the hole.
Find a needle and thread. Sewing materials are easily found at any craft store or fabric store and come in all shapes and sizes. Find a thicker sized needle that is strong enough to puncture thick suede or sheepskin and thread that matches the color of your boot. Thread the eye of the needle and tie a sizeable knot at the end of the thread to keep it from sliding out of the needle.
Begin to sew. Carefully bring the needle inside the shoe and puncture the outer edge of the hole that’s in your shoe. With your other hand, pull the needle and thread up until you can feel the knot catching on the inside. Once you have completed this sewing step, continue threading the needle in and out of the boot, tightly binding the hole together with the thread.
Tie a knot to keep the stitch tight. Once you’ve completely stitched the hole together, tie a knot in the thread to ensure that the thread stays nice and secure. Cut off the remaining thread with scissors and get ready to wear your boots once again.
Method Four: Buff It Out
This technique is used for small scuffs and tiny holes in your suede boots.
Find some sandpaper or a suede brush. Head to the store in search of some light grain sandpaper or a suede brush and use it to buff out the scuffs in the toe of your boot. Make sure the sandpaper isn’t too rough – anything too harsh can cause more damage to the shoe.
Buff your shoe. Using the fine sandpaper or the suede brush, lightly buff out the mark on your shoe. It will give your shoe a more vintage, broken-in look, but any small holes will be disguised.
Purchasing well-made suede boots is always a stylish investment for anyone looking for comfortable footwear. Suede does not, however, come without its hang ups – the potential for holes and damage being just a few examples. All it takes is an accidental scuff or trip on the sidewalk to leave your shoes with an unsightly hole. Keep these tips on hand in case this ever happens to your own pair of boots or suede shoes. Until then, enjoy your boots and remember that even if they do tear a hole, fixing them is as easy as one, two, glue!