How to Smooth Leather Step by Step Guide

Leather is an attractive and durable material that comes pretty well for crafting a wide range of products, including shoes, clothing, furniture, and various other items. They come in different types, and even those with a smooth look may soon start appearing fuzzy with frequent use. Thus, whether you are crafting a new item or already using such crafts that have wrinkles, it would help if you learn how to smooth leather.

The various types of leather come from various animal parts, and this variation often leads to differences in texture. Hence, you may find leather with rough grains from the onset and employ some means to smoothen them. However, if you have various leather items, the option of smoothing the leather can occur with the frequent use of the items or improper storage.

A fuzzy appearance of the leather may create an awkward appearance and as such, it would help if you employ efficient means of achieving such. Stay tuned, and this article would reveal the various steps you should take to make leather smooth.

What Is Smooth Leather?

Smooth leather is a term used to often refer to leather that originates from the smooth side of the animal hides. It is a fact that the texture of animal hides varies but you can recognize the skin pores of smooth leather with ease. Smooth leather has great versatility and is currently among the top used types of leather, as they come in handy for shoes, bags, jackets, and upholstery production.

how to make leather smooth and shiny

As if that is not enough, this type of leather is rich in fats and often has a soft and supple look. On the other hand, smooth leather requires little care, but it would help if you take time in doing so to help prevent damage. With a proper management schedule, you can retain its awesome properties.

Many smooth leather products come with excellent finishing, classifying them into two major categories: the aniline-finished and porous leather. Caring for the leather does not only end at its finishing, as you can apply some products and also polish the leather accessories once in a while.

In case you might be asking yourself the kind of products for cleaning and caring for smooth leather, there are various excellent leather care products in stores. It is vital to use mild cleaning agents and employ soft brushes to avoid damage.

How to Smooth Leather Step by Step

Smoothing leather may not seem as easy as getting a pen out of leather surfaces but there are some easy steps that you can employ for an effective result. One of the common questions asked by leather owners is how to smooth leather grain. Thus, they search for ways of how is leather made smooth.

Whether you are planning to fix your old faux leather jacket, trying to remove creases, or working on a leather hide, you can follow the steps below to make smooth the leather.

shoe polish on nubuck leather

Working on the Rough Side of Leather

Are you searching for a way on how to make leather smooth on both sides? A lot of times, you can find one side of the leather smooth and the other rough. If you want to work on making the rough smooth and free from those loose fibers, get sandpaper.

A 600 grit sandpaper would work well, making the rough-out leather smooth. Gently scrub the sandpaper against the leather in circular motions and get off the loose strands. Buffing the leather afterward can also make it appear smoother.

Getting the Edges of Leather Smooth

A smooth leather edge can create a professional appearance, and one way to achieve such is by burnishing the leather. You were probably wondering, how to smooth leather edges by burnishing them. Well, you can follow the steps below:

  • Cut the edge of the leather to create a clean-lined and equal surface
  • Then, glue the edges using a suitable leather glue, as this would keep the edges in place while you burnish
  • Start beveling to round-out those leather edges, and this action can prepare it to get sanded
  • Using suitable sandpaper, start working on the edges to get it equal and smoothen any loose fibers
  • Employ a wood slicker to burnish the leather, running it back and forth but it would help if you get the leather edges wet with some gum tragacanth
  • Complete it off by applying some beeswax for a smooth, glossy, and shiny look

Removing Wrinkles from Leather Surfaces

Here are some excellent methods that can prove helpful to get wrinkles off those stylish leather materials, clothing, and crafts.

Using a Cloth Hanger

Are you searching for how to smooth leather wrinkles from your skirts, jackets, and pants? Placing these clothing items on a cloth hanger, making use of the hanger appropriately can help de-wrinkle the leather.

Here’s the thing, you can use rubber-padded clips to hold your leather skirts and pants on the hanger, while you allow the items to hang in full length. Then, get the clothing Hanged somewhere that is quite sturdy, which can withstand the weight of the leather. Move further and pull the garment gently to help relax the wrinkles.

You should try to avoid thin metal hangers, as it turns out that they may get bent and subdue the leather to stress. If you find the cloth items too large or the creases on the garment quite much, this method may not be suitable.

Heat-Pressing the Leather

The nature of leather does not allow the use of excessive heat but ironing your leather with very low heat can help remove wrinkles. Get your pressing iron and turn it on low heat (the lowest setting). Then, cover the leather material with a thick cotton cloth or heavy brown paper, and start ironing to remove the creases.

Once done, hang the material to prevent it from getting wrinkled again. Kindly get all the water out from steam irons, to avoid any moisture damages from the water spilling.

Steaming the Leather

A fabric steamer can help restore the appearance of leather, taking off those creases that are visible on its surface. Top-quality cloth steamers can get off wrinkles on leather garments including pants, skirts, and jackets. They also help remove whatever creases you may find on leather shoes and other larger items.

Still not convinced?

You can test this solution out on a little leather piece or non-visible areas of your leather item. To get started, set the steamer on low heat and start applying the steam, ensuring an even coat of steam gets to the leather. Avoid applying excessive steam at a time, as this can damage the leather. Once done, get a clean and dry cotton cloth and gently wipe off the leather’s moisture.


Q: How do you smooth fuzzy leather?

If you find your leather appearing fuzzy, you can smoothen it out using a leather gum tanner and a glass slicker. Start by applying a thin coat of the gum tanner on the fuzzy side, and leave it to dry for a while (a few minutes).

Then, start working on the fuzzy leather side with the glass slicker, scrubbing it against the surface in a back and forth motion. As you keep rubbing, you would notice the leather surface appearing smoother. If the need arises, you can apply some more layers of the tanned gum and scrub with the glass slicker afterward.

Q: Can you sand leather smooth?

Yes. For new leather projects, you can sand the leather hide to remove its imperfections and make it appear smoother. You can also fix some damage on leather materials by sanding the surface to make it smooth before applying other products.

Employ sandpaper (abrasive paper), scrubbing it over the leather surface in a gentle manner. Get the sandpaper wet and ensure you scrub lightly to prevent damaging the leather material. Afterward, buff the leather with a microfiber cloth and you can apply some leather finishes.

Q: How do you edge leather?

After working on your leathercraft, the edge may appear fuzzy and a smooth edge can reveal an attractive appearance. To get started, cut the edge right, ensuring it stays equal, and then apply gum to keep the edge in place.

Then, start rubbing the leather edge with a slicker or wooden dowel; a burnishing tool can also work well, much more if you are handling a thin leather. Once smooth, you can further apply some leather edge paint.

Q: How do I get my leather smooth with a shiny look?

If you are searching for an excellent way on how to make leather smooth and shiny, then, it would help if you first sand the leather. Using sandpaper on the leather surface can make it very smooth. Then applying some beeswax on the sanded leather surface to make it have a glossy and shiny appearance.

Q: How do you smooth rough leather boots?

If you find your leather boot appearing scuffled, it would help if you get ready for your leather repair kit and make it smooth again. You should clean the leather and apply some oil in an even coat to make it look better. There are various leather oils available in stores, and you can pick a suitable one for the job. For rougher surfaces, you can sand grit the leather for a while to increase its smoothness before applying other products.

Final Words

Leather is an excellent material that comes in handy for creating various crafts and clothing, which appears fantastic. By now, you should know that leather furniture improves the aesthetics of your home, and leather bags, shoes, and other accessories can give off an excellent fashion statement.

How do you smooth out leather back? How can one remove creases from leather clothing? These and more similar questions are often running through the minds of most leather item owners and craftspeople. Nevertheless, you can make leather smooth with some excellent steps, and if are searching for how to smooth leather, you can check out the steps hinted at in this article.

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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