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Shrinking Leather

Whether you are trying to shrink a too big pair of shoes or something else made of leather, it can be confusing trying to find the best method. This is a guide about shrinking leather.

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Shrinking Leather
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February 22, 2014 Flag
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How can I shrink my daughter's shooting glove so it will fit her better?

By Perry

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
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You can try (no guarantees, but worth a shot anyway), wet the glove in warm water, get it really wet, and have your daughter wear it until it dries. She should move her hand around a lot while it dries, and just keep it on her hand. Then it will (hopefully) shrink to fit. Otherwise, she could just use the finger guard thingies that are not a full glove.

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January 30, 2014 Flag
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I just bought new leather boots online and the foot part is just slightly too roomy? Can I shrink just the foot and not the calf part?

By Christi

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful

I doubt it. Leather stretches rather than shrinks. You might be able to wear heavier socks or put in a comfort insole. However, I think you should send them back and order the proper size.

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February 3, 20140 found this helpful

Google how to get cowboy boots to fit. I believe that they are thoroughly soaked with water, then worn until dry. This way, the leather will shrink as it dries and conform to your foot. I'd try just soaking the part you need to fit, and not too long - you don't want to ruin the boots. After dry, definitely waterproof them.

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June 29, 20160 found this helpful

Try half water and rubbing alcohol! The water will make the boot shrink and the alcohol helps to dry it faster!

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May 29, 2013 Flag
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I have seen different places on the web about shrinking leather by soaking it in water. Another place mentioned that the water will penetrate better by adding some alcohol to the water. Anyway, I'm afraid that if I soak only the top upper (or shaft) part of my boot that I want shrunk (because I have a large foot, but a small/thin calf and the top of the boot has a large gap around the calf area that looks ridiculous) that it might discolor and be a different color than the bottom (the boots are red).

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Anybody had any experience with shrinking colored leather like that and also how much shrinkage can I expect? Also it won't do me any good "wearing" the boot while it dries because it's not a matter of it conforming to my leg, I just want it to be smaller around (besides I don't think it will shrink enough to hug my leg anyway!). Just wondering how much it may shrink and if it will be worth taking the chance on messing up the colors (top vs. bottom of boot)? Thanks for any comments!

By Beth

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May 30, 20130 found this helpful

You wont get much shrinkage that way. Consider finding someone who will restitch the boots for you to make them fit. I have done that sucessfully with english riding boots that are very expensive. Check with different shoemakers to find someone who will work on boots. In the Seattle area there is only one person who does it. If you know a motorcycle cop ask them as they have their boots taken in and let out as they gain or lose weight. There may be more people who can work on western boots. Good luck.

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June 1, 20130 found this helpful

I really don't think that wetting the top part of a boot will shrink it enough for your purposes - Have you thought about having them taken in by a shoemaker?

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Anonymous Flag
January 13, 20160 found this helpful

Don't do it I've just messed up a pair of tiny lamas.

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September 18, 2013 Flag
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I have a gun holster that has shell loops that are to big. How can I tighten it up without getting the holster/belt also?

By William S

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September 20, 20130 found this helpful

Is it leather or some other fabric? How are the loops attached?

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September 20, 20130 found this helpful

Wouldn't bigger ammo solve the problem? Perhaps lining the loops with pockets of cheesecloth would work.

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July 20, 2014 Flag
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I just got a pair of Jack Rodgers sandals from a friend whose foot is a bit larger than mine. How can I shrink the strap and not the whole shoe?

By Mary Ellen

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July 21, 20140 found this helpful

Is it a strap that goes over the top of your foot, or around the heel?Either way, if your If the strap is fabric, could you sew across it low on the inside of the shoe to make it shorter? Try safety pinning it to check for fit before you sew the tuck in the strap. If the strap is long enough, you could make it an adjustable strap by cutting one end free, and applying stick on Velcro patches to the shoe and strap. Hope this helps.

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May 11, 2012 Flag
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My sister gave me a new pair of expensive sandals. The vamp of the shoe is too deep for my thin foot. I need to shrink down the leather part. Please help!

By Alma B from Shelbyville, IL

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May 12, 20120 found this helpful

Wash the sandals in the washing machine in warm water (fill up the load with towels). Do not put the sandals in the dryer. Let them dry outside in the sun on a warm day. I've done this twice in the past year and it tightened up my stretched-out sandals so I could continue to wear them.

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May 12, 20120 found this helpful

Another option is to buy Moleskin in the foot department of your local drug store. Line the vamp on the inside where it doesn't show with a piece fo moleskin which you have cut to fit. It will tighten up the space and last for the life of the shoe.

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July 3, 2013 Flag
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I just got my Doberman I nice thick, studded leather collar. I knew it would be too long, but there was quite a bit of length on the holed end. So I put my own hole in as far up as I could. The collar is still about an inch or 2 from a perfect fit.

I'm thinking of shrinking it, do I just soak it and let it dry? And will shrinking it make the studs or anything fall out?

Only need to shrink an inch or 2.

By Ken

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July 4, 20130 found this helpful

You might think about padding the inside of the collar, with thick quilted material or a material that would take up the slack.

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March 14, 2014 Flag
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I have found that mink oil has a water proofing benefit. I have western style boots and gun belts and have been first using saddle soap for cleaning. Then I heat the leather and apply mink oil. Reheat leather until the mink oil has soaked. I've been doing this for about 40 years and have had no problems with thread or leather. My leather gear is still with me and the thread is strong as ever. Still in use are my Chippawas (hand sewn in America) and Tony Lamas as well as my Western leather vests, holsters and belts, still in great condition. I know I only apply it once a year, near the snowy months. Coon Oil/grease I also know was used as far back as the early 1800s, but I have never used it.

By Fst/Sgt Eugene Ranson Ret.

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February 19, 2010 Flag
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Does cold water or hot water shrink leather?

January 9, 2007 Flag
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Shrinking Leather Boots. My leather boots are too big and keep slipping from the knee. Any suggestions on how I can shrink the leather so they stay put?

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