Repair an old leatherette sofa provisionally


An artificial leather sofa has a limited life due to the specific structure of the cover. By repairing some damage pictures, the usability can be extended. In the advanced damage stage, the basic construction with reference can be used as a substructure for a new cover.

Only conditional intervention and repair possibilities

Depending on the quality and frequency of use occur on a sofa leatherette damage. Signs of use such as scratches and stains can be visually corrected by intensive cleansing and subsequent staining. Substantial changes in the artificial leather cover can be "intercepted" in the initial stage.

The seams of the imitation leather sofa can be repaired both by sewing and by gluing. Three typical symptoms of the surfaces of a "seasoned" leatherette sofa can only be temporarily repaired:

  • The artificial leather flakes off
  • The artificial leather breaks and crumbles
  • The artificial leather dissolves

If one or more of these damage occurs, the durability end of the imitation leather sofa is approaching. A real permanent repair is not possible because the plastic top layer has irreversibly lost the necessary plasticizer. Adhesives help to repackage the sofa. In the early stage, the artificial leather then serves as a carrier for the new fabric.

Possible repair measures

Stick on flaked or friable areas with patches

Textile adhesives hold flat together the unstable surfaces together. Despite individual patches, the loss of plasticizer continues, so that at this stage a complete new dressing should be considered.

New purchase

Depending on the construction of the artificial leather couch, the artificial leather has seams that fasten, for example, the backrest edges or create a quilted shape. Therefore, the question arises whether the old cover should be removed or used as a finished base. First, the structure of the upholstery must be checked.

There are nailed and sewn types of fasteners. Both seam types must be dismantled individually. Nails are pulled individually with pliers, sewn seams are cut with a cutter into short pieces of yarn and pulled off. The imitation leather may be mounted on a backsheet that forms the "roof" of the upholstery. It must never be damaged.

The surface bonding of a new cover is simpler and independent of the substructure. The old cover must be cleaned with a brush of loose parts. Special adhesives or paints serve as a tint. They close brittle surfaces by forming their own hardened protective layer. This process is usually ideal with acrylic-based brushes.

Depending on the cover material, a suitable adhesive is applied to the surface in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the new cover is applied following the instructions. For attachment and shaping, removal of fastening nails or stitched seams may give room for re-nailing or sewing.

Tips & Tricks

When choosing adhesives and primers, consider plastic imitation leather. Solvent-containing substances are not suitable.


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