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How to repair piping or welting on leather or vinyl upholstery?

Welting or piping, the cord trim on upholstery, can be a tricky repair due to the curves involved. The key is to avoid getting any filler in the seams, which, if allowed to cure, will obscure the shadow line and create a patched look.

Here’s how to repair a hole in piping or welting:

  1. If the damage to the piping exposes a cord, and the leather or vinyl floats freely over it, a subpatch is recommended to close the hole and maintain separation between these elements. If you’ll be applying filler to the hole, insert the patch suede or fabric side up to ensure the best adhesion.
  2. Apply a small blob of Soft Filler to the hole. Smooth it around as evenly as you can using a palette knife. If you were unable to subpatch, filler will not adhere to a plastic cord substrate. In this case, apply a thin layer of Dap Dynaflex 230 to bridge the plastic and the filler.
  3. Use a flexible business card to smooth the filler across the gouge(s). Quickly remove any excess from seams, and feather the edges.
  4. Allow to cure.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the gouged area feels even.
  6. Apply a little more filler to the area and smooth.
  7. Wearing a glove, trace the piping with the thumb and index finger to mimic the round contour as much as possible. Remove excess.
  8. Allow to cure.
  9. Use rubbing alcohol to feather or smooth any edges.
  10. Apply a thin texturizing coat if necessary.
  11. Allow to cure.
  12. Apply color and clear finish.

This video demonstrates the general use of filler.

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Comments

  1. Marty Rawlens says

    What is piping or welting please? What does it look like and of course I will send photos when I can access the item again which is presently out of town. Thanks for your kind reply.

  2. Marty Rawlens says

    Hi folks….I have a vintage saxophone case made of leather which dates back at least 50 years to it’s manufacture in France. There are some missing, chafed leather spots where the leather has worn thin. More importantly is the vinyl trimming that has been stitched around the cases perimeter. It is now gone, with my having removed it, rather that allow it to remain in tatters.
    I am seeking suggestions as to how I can repair or replace the missing leather spots but particularly interested in knowing how to replace the vinyl trim . It doesn’t look as if stitching it back into place would be an option. Thanks for your consideration.

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