How to Make Patent Leather

By Sarah McLeod

Patent leather is made from premium high-grade leather and is used in high fashion as a material of luxury and status. It is used in handbags, clothing, fine time pieces, and footwear. The quality of patent leather is based on its pliability and level of glossy, mirror-like finish. If a patent leather does not flex well and instead of appearing glossy looks translucent, the leather is of low quality or the patenting process was not done well. The process of creating patent leather began in 1881 and has not much changed much with time. The process has led to the creation of some the finest luxury fabrics in the world.

Couture patent leatber boots.

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Step 1

Coat tanned leather with a polyurethane/acrylic solution.

Step 2

Vacuum dry to seal the polyurethane/acrylic solution on the leather.

Step 3

Add dye to a separate batch of polyurethane/acrylic solution.

Step 4

Coat tanned leather with a polyurethane/acrylic solution with added dye.

Step 5

Vacuum dry for a second time.

Step 6

Coat tanned leather for a third time with a clear, polyurethane/acrylic solution.

Step 7

Vacuum dry for a third time. Once dry, the final polyurethane/acrylic solution coating will leave the leather with a firm, glossy and waterproof finish.