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Practice Your Regluing Technique

Tom Lucenta |

Using a syringe to reglue sewn cuffs and hems eliminates the need to tear out and resew linings. But you can’t see the glue going into the hem, so you should practice your technique beforehand. Practice makes perfect.
To perfect your use of a syringe to reglue cuffs and hems on suede and leather garments with sewn-in linings, practice on a simulated open hem using a piece of paper. You can then employ the technique with confidence.
On paper, you can quickly determine how much pressure you should apply to the plunger and how fast you should draw the needle down the hem. Move the needle in a straight line, and try to get the leather glue to flow onto the paper so it forms a 1/16-in. bead; this will become a 1/4-in. strip of glue when you press the hem together.
Practice until you feel comfortable gluing with a syringe, and proceed to a real sewn-in hem or cuff. Insert the needle through the lining at the point where the leather ends, and push the needle under the leather hem. Move the needle to the left or right as far from the point of insertion as possible before applying enough pressure to the plunger to deposit a 1/16-inch bead of glue. Repeat the process in the opposite direction.
It can help to dull the point of the needle to prevent it from catching on the leather. Don’t apply lateral pressure to the needle — it can snap off, and glue will wind up in places you don’t want it.
If you don’t get enough glue into the hem, it won’t seal properly. If you use too much, it will take longer to dry and may bleed through the hemline, making it stiff. To check your work, slide the hem between your thumb and forefinger. If it doesn’t slide, there isn’t enough glue. If it slides a little, the amount is just right. If it slides like a greased hog, you used too much glue.
Before you pull the needle out, pull back on the plunger slightly to stop the flow of glue. Should you accidentally get glue on the suede, leather or cloth, wipe up the excess immediately with a paper towel. Then dissolve and wipe up any residue with a cloth moistened with water and let the area air-dry.
If the excess glue dries, remove it with a leather-safe glue remover. On suedes, dried glue can be removed by surface spotting with an abrasive, then a glue-spotting agent if necessary.
 

About the author

Tom Lucenta

Royaltone Co. Inc.

Vice president

Tom Lucenta is vice president of Royaltone Co., a company specializing in techniques and products for cleaning leathers, suedes and furs. With his father, Frank, Tom trains operators to process leathers, suedes and furs using the Royaltone system; he has also written two texts on the subject, Handling Leather & Suede and Cleaning & Finishing Leather & Suede. Royaltone also offers a training DVD on wetcleaning leathers and suedes. The next live training session is scheduled for February 18-19, 2010. Call Royaltone at 918-622-6677 or e-mail tom@royaltone.com.

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