How to Flatten Leather at Home

Leather is an exquisite material for making different crafts, ranging from shoes to fashion wear and upholstered items for the home. However, you can notice leather artifacts curling if not properly cared for, which could make it lose shape.

Thus, it becomes relevant for leather lovers to learn how to flatten leather and restore the appearance of your loved leather craft to its pristine form. Do you find your leather item curling and seek an effective solution to keep it flat and straighten it?

Then, get rid of the misconception that the leather flattening process can be challenging, as you can do it on your own with ease. Read on, and learn effective hacks on how to straighten bent leather.

how to straighten curled leather strap

How to Flatten Leather Step By Step

If you have a piece of leather material in your storage that requires proper flattening, it is crucial you do it right and make your leathercraft come out clean and attractive. That said, here are some things you would need:

  • Brown paper
  • Cloth iron
  • Ironing board
  • Heavy books

The following are some effective steps on how to flatten curled leather.

Step 01: Lay the Leather Piece on an Ironing Board

Get your leather piece placed flat on the ironing board, ensuring that you face the rough part of this material upwards.

Step 02: Place a Brown Sheet atop

Once the leather material is on the ironing board, place some brown leather sheets on the part facing upwards. This sheet would work like a “press cloth” between the pressing iron and the leather piece itself.

Step 03: Plug and use the Iron

Get your pressing iron plugged into the power source and place it on a low setting while waiting for it to heat. Then, press onto the brown paper placed atop the leather material, and stop when you notice it getting very warm.

Step 04: Lay some Heavy Books on the Leather

After pressing the leather piece, remove the brown sheet and keep some heavy books on the leather, and let them sit there until the leather cools down. Such an action would keep the leather down flat and held in place by the weight of these books.

Note: It is crucial that you test this heating process on scrap leather first before you continue with the main leather piece. Again, always ensure you start from low heat and try not to heat leather quickly since this could cause the leather to dry, crack, and make the leather peel.

Expert Tips for Straightening Leather Items

  • Learn how to flatten leather bags, belts, or jackets by hanging them and applying steam. Such an action would remove these items from their curled state and straighten them.
  • Iron your leather items using low heat only, and kindly ensure you place a cotton or linen material atop them to act as a press cloth.
  • If you are thinking about how to fix curled leather on the saddle, start by soaking it in a tub or bucket of hot water for like 30 minutes – this will ensure the leather emerges more malleable.
  • Stuff dry papers, cloth, or place a shoe tree within your leather footwear to help remove leather creases and make them look good again.
  • After removing wrinkles from leather, store them properly to prevent such from occurring again.
  • How to flatten a leather desk pad? Lay the mat flat and place a heavy object on it to help straighten this piece.

how to flatten leather


Q: Can leather be ironed?

Leather is a delicate material that does not require excessive heat due to the threats of inherent heat damages. Nevertheless, many people press their leather material with the right techniques to help reveal a stretched leather, free from wrinkles and creases.

First, lay the leather on an ironing board, and please face the rough side of the piece upwards. Cover the leather surface with a brown sheet or cotton linen to work as a press cloth (this would reduce the amount of heat the leather receives). Then, press the cloth atop the leather heat with the plugged iron set on low heat.

Q: How do you straighten thick leather?

The lighter the leather material, the easier it is to flatten and straighten, but you can still work around straightening thick leather by applying some heat or steam. Lay the leather on a flat surface and press with a cloth iron (on low heat) after affixing a brown sheet on the leather surface.

Once done, remove the sheet and place heavy books or a weighty object on the leather surface while still warm – the weight should help straighten the material as it cools down. As an alternative, you can hang the leather piece, place a cloth on it and steam gently; leave the leather to dry afterward.

Q: How do you remove creases from leather?

One of the commonest ways to remove creases from leather is steaming; you can hang this material in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. Afterward, you can lay it on a flat surface or an ironing board, smoothing out the wrinkles with the aid of a massaging material.

Another method is placing the leather on a table and keeping a cloth on its surface. Then, press with a cloth iron set on low, between 60-80°F. The heat should start softening the leather and helping it lose those creases.

Q: Can you put leather in the dryer?

It is never a good idea to put leather clothing and accessories in the dryer, even after a heavy downpour. Excess heat damages to leather, causing this delicate material to crack and peel after losing moisture.

Thus, it is crucial to air-dry leather items, placing them away from sunlight and direct heat. Kindly keep the leather artifact at a well-ventilated corner of your home. Some folks employ an electric fan or a blower, operating at medium settings.

Q: How do you flatten a leather hide?

Flattening your leather hide before making your crafts is pretty imperative, and you can start by laying the hide on a flat surface. Wet the top and beneath the animal hide to help facilitate the process.

Continue by stocking on some heavy objects on the curling leather hide and leave it that way for several hours to help flatten it. If you are using your floor, you can place an old rag to help protect your floor before laying the leather.

Final Words

Without proper care,  your dear leather piece may appear bent or curled, and the best way to fix this issue is to keep it clean and dry it afterward with the right techniques. You may also want to learn how to flatten leather items to make them whole again.

You can easily flatten leather at home with less heat or steam. Whether you are seeking to learn how to straighten curled leather straps, jackets, belts, shoes, or curling hide, this piece holds excellent information that would help achieve such.

Evina Naomi

Ewofere, Evina Naomi is a biotechnologist and passionate content writer. As a great lover of leather and various leather crafts, she broadly addresses leather-related issues. She is a writer of many excellent articles on leather. With great knowledge and enthusiasm, readers can access researched pieces on various leather types and the best techniques that work on them. Naomi is here to lead you through the journey of choosing excellent leather products and ensure you handle them rightly. So you can embark on your leather sewing and crafting journey with her and have an incredible experience.

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