Attempting to restore biker leather

Repairing Biker Leather

A local man brought me a pair of riding chaps a while back. It was the hard black leather, meant to protect the biker in the unfortunate event of a crash. I found out that I had some learning to do.

Motorcycle leather is probably a niche in and of itself, and while I don’t intend to make it an exclusive niche, I do intend to be able to work on these items for the people who have paid so much for their products and want to keep them in good condition. In a small town like ours, there are fewer folks.  Specializing to the same degree as a big city area s isn’t feasible. My hope is to continue to increase my skill sets as  needs become evident to me, so that in our small neck of the woods, I can continue to meet those needs as they arise.

The thread used on the biker leather delivered to me for repairs was like a thin hemp used in jewelry making. Then there was the matter of how to stitch it! I wasn’t very equipped at that time. Since then, though, I have equipped myself for hand leather stitching. If hand stitching is a quality craftsmanship for tailoring, then why not for cyclist’s leather also? I found among some of my supplies, a sewing awl that a loved one gave to me. I ordered some supplies to go with it.

Leather Stitching Tools

Another family member is going to make me a leather workers clamp to hold the leather in place while I stitch.

Stitching Pony

Recently, my brother brought his leather jacket over to give me a sample of the size of the zipper teeth. The poor thing had suffered a heavy rain. It was stiffer than usual. I had his permission to experiment on it. It came out much improved! He will be able to wear it again soon, after I replace the pocket inside.

Attempting to restore biker leather
Cleaning and coloring my brother’s jacket, and attempting to leave a bit of a distressed look.

The hardest part of replacing a metal biker zipper, is coming up with the right size zippers in the heavy duty aluminum. I have found no pre-made zippers with the steel ring for the slider on the sleeve zippers. Though I haven’t yet found the solution to that, I did find a way to get any length zippers that I need. I found a place to buy yardage of heavy duty aluminum zipper on black tape, and the hardware that goes with it; (the slider and the little bars that keep the slider on the zip). Now I will be able to custom make zippers for biker jackets! I am very happy with that. If you know where to get the rings, please email me with info! I would love to know.

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