Repairing stirrup leathers?

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Repairing stirrup leathers?

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  • Vice used to hold leather tack while repairing
  • Stirrup leather repair

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    05-19-2012, 08:52 PM
Repairing stirrup leathers?

So I have this pair of stirrup leathers that I love to death, but the only problem is that the stitching is coming undone at the top, near the buckle. I would really like to fix them myself so I don't have to pay for them to be fixed. Does anyone know a way to repair the stitching on stirrup leathers?
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    05-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Oh my goodness, if those were mine I would get rid of them asap. I am too paranoid about my stirrup leathers snapping.

I guess you could try sewing them up? I think standard sewing machines cannot penetrate leather very well so it would have to be by hand.

I would get it professionally repaired or just get new ones. I'm not willing to save money and not properly prevent a future accident. I rather splurge, cut my losses, and feel safer :P
    05-19-2012, 09:28 PM
Hand sewing mostly likely will result in the stirrup leather breaking while you are riding. So to play it safe, I recommend getting them properly fixed with a leather sewing machine or buying new ones.
    05-20-2012, 04:03 AM
You need a professionally repair on such a physically loaded strap. The repair shop will use a purpose-designed leather sewing machine to retich properly and safely, provided the leather is in good condition.
    05-20-2012, 06:00 AM
To those who don't know, machine-stitched leathers are far more likely to come undone than those properly hand-stitched. This is because if one machined stitch breaks, the remainder can run, something that doesn't happen with traditional double-hand-stitching.

It's awkward explaining how to stitch leathers without diagrams, though in terms of the actual mechanics it's quite straightforward. You need two blunt needles (plaiting needles are fine) linen thread (plaiting thread is fine, too, so long as it's 3-cord or thicker) wax (a candle will do but beeswax for preference) and something to hold the leather while you stitch. A proper clam works best but I have used a small vice. The most time-consuming part is always picking out the old thread so you can re-use the existing stitchholes. You may need to open these up a bit - again, a proper awl is best but a small screwdriver blade will do at a push.

I'd trawl the net, or even pick up a book on leatherwork from your local library to see how the stitching method works. One thing to check though, before you consider trying it, is the wear point where the sirrup iron sits. If the leather seems to be getting thin there, buy a new pair.

Best of luck :)
    05-20-2012, 06:03 AM
I wouldnt attempt to fix them myself. Alot safer to get the professionally fixed :P
    05-20-2012, 06:42 AM
I would get them replaced! I wouldn't risk anything that vital. Why are they so awesome?
    05-20-2012, 02:46 PM
I want to fix them because only the bottom two stitches have come out (out of about 20) , and these leathers do a great job of supporting my bad ankle.

Thank you for all the advice. :)
    05-21-2012, 01:45 AM
I made my own stirrup leathers, so I have an idea of what you are looking for.

Tandy Leather Factory - Waxed Linen Thread 25 yds.

Tandy Leather Factory - Stitching Needles

As you will probably be reusing your old holes, I do not recommend a sharp needle, because you will very easily pierce through the leather and create a new hole where you don't want it. Make sure to pull your stitches tight too.

You will probably want to remove all of your old threads and restitch the whole buckle. If you want to go all out, I recommend a book called The Art of Hand Sewing Leather, but it is not necessary. You can find an instructional video on youtube on basic stitching pretty easy.

If you have any questions, try the Leatherworkers forum @ There are saddle and leather tack makers on the website and they are pretty willing to answer questions.
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    05-21-2012, 12:44 PM
Wow, thnak you so much!!!! This is exactly what I was looking for :)

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