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How to re-stitch a torn or open seam on leather furniture?

Use a ladder stitch to re-sew an open or torn seam on leather. The only tools you need are a curved needle, heavy-duty upholstery thread, and needle-nose pliers. Upholstery thread is critical, as regular thread will break in the tightening process.

Here’s how:

  1. Single thread the needle with a knot on one end. Do not double thread in case you have to remove a few stitches.
  2. Insert your needle into the torn seam and come up through a stitch hole where the original thread remains intact.
  3. Tie a knot and anchor your thread. Secure any other loose threads or tie them into your new thread.
  4. If you have not already pulled the needle up through the first stitch hole, do so now. You may need pliers with stiff, old leather.
  5. Jump across the seam and dive your needle into the hole directly opposite the one you just came through.
  6. Pull the needle through and come up into the adjacent hole.
  7. Pull the needle through, jump across the seam again and dive into the next hole.
  8. Repeat. Leave your thread and stitches loose until the seam is mostly closed. Go back to the beginning and tighten the thread. It may take a couple tightenings to get the best result.
  9. Finish the last few stitches, securing your thread and any remaining threads.

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