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Leather Cement

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Leather Cement

Frequently Asked Questions About LEATHER CEMENT

Summary: Frequently Asked Questions about Leather Cement 


When it comes to crafting with leather, you can't just use some run-of-the-mill glue you would find in the elementary school supply section of Walmart. You're dealing with advanced crafting, so you'll need some more advanced adhesives. When it comes to leather, you could rely on a special type of glue or cement. These adhesives are stronger than most products you would find in a retail store. As such, you should keep in mind that not these adhesives can't be used as normally as those standard adhesives from retail stores. Here are some common questions and answers about the use of leather cement, also known as contact cement.

What is Contact Cement?

Contact cement is an adhesive that works well with, not just leather, but also wood, metal, and other materials. Essentially, it works for the objects where regular glue wouldn't. This adhesive is easy to spread and waterproof. It's the waterproof feature that makes it especially useful for leather. There are numerous kinds of leathercraft cement made for different application purposes.


(There are all kinds of different contact cement from different brands you can use, like Barge Super Speed TF Cement.)

Barge Leather Cement Contact Cement - fast dry time and long open time - 1 Gallon $69.95

Barge Leather Cement Contact Cement - fast dry time and long open time - 1 Gallon $69.95


An Example to explain Leather Cement


Leather cement works like the white stuffing in an Oreo cookie. They’re both made with chemicals, and they keep the cookie sticking together.  


(Okay this is a wacky example, but some people might get it. So you have the two parts of fabric ready to go. In the case of shoes, it is 1) the shoe and 2) the sole. The contact cement acts as the “Oreo stuffing” in the middle, keeping the cookie together). 


How Do You Apply Contact Cement?

There are multiple tools you can use to apply this adhesive, including a notched trowel, brush, hot or cold air spray, hot or cold airless spray, and roller and curtain coaters. You could use a brush, for example to patch boots, resole soles, and stick leather together without the use of stitching or nails. As long as you carefully apply an even, slightly thick surface of glue to the desired area, then you can repair your shoes easily. Just remember to use a pinch or J roller to apply pressure to that finished part to help it stay in place more firmly. Use leather adhesive for heel repair, shoe restoration, and even footwear customization.


What is Open Time?

When you apply the adhesive to the surface, you have to wait a certain amount of time until it dries before you attach something to it. The times you wait for this are known as dry times. When the adhesive is dry, then you have a limited amount of time to apply the attachment. This is referred to as open time. The length of open and dry times can vary with the leather glue used, like the Barge Rubber TF Cement. This product is a temporary bonding agent for various materials, with dry times of up to five minutes and open times ranging between 10 - 20 minutes.


How Do You Dry the Adhesive?

Normally, drying can be done if the item is left alone in the open air. However, you can speed up the process with tools like fans. Rubber cement dries faster in higher temperatures and slower in lower temperatures. Drying takes longer when the humidity is high and slower when the humidity is low. It also goes faster when the layer is thinly applied by certain tools like brushes. Applicator brushes are included for most of the products we sell on Leather Care Supply.


“Rubber cement dries faster in higher temperatures and slower in lower temperatures.” 


What is Viscosity?

The viscosity is the thickness of the adhesive. This isn't to be mistaken for the thickness of the layer of cement applied to a surface. An adhesive spray would have a low viscosity because of how thin it is. Something like the Renia Syntic Total Vinyl Cement Contact Adhesive would have a higher viscosity. It's an all-purpose rubber glue made for spreading on materials like leather, cork, and rubber. This is also known as a brush adhesive because it's easy to spread and, therefore, needs to have a high viscosity to achieve this.

Renia adhesive for plastics, shoe repair, prosthetics, and orthopedic supplies - 1 Liter $34.95

Renia adhesive for plastics, shoe repair, prosthetics, and orthopedic supplies - 1 Liter $34.95 



What Does Solids Percentage Refer to?

Contact adhesives are made with a solvent and a bonding agent. The reason for the solvent is to make it easy to spread or apply the glue to a surface. The bonding agent is the solid and, therefore, the solids percentage would be the percentage of bonding agent contained in the product as a whole. The greater the percentage, the more it bonds strongly between leather materials. This also means it has a faster dry time, which enables you to determine the quality of a glue product. We make sure that our products here at Leather Care Supply aren't cheap, literally watered-down cement products that are sold at your local dollar store.


What is Moisture Condensation?

Also known as blush, moisture condensation refers to the little water droplets that appear on the surface of adhesive that's just been applied. This is because when the solvent portion of the cement evaporates too fast, it cools the surrounding air until it reaches condensation temperatures. The best ways to avoid this include putting your project in a heat tunnel immediately after you apply the adhesive or use a hot spray to apply the adhesive. Another way is to get glue with a 100% solid percentage, though that may understandably be more difficult. It's important to keep in mind that waterproof doesn't mean free of blush, and that applies to products like Petronio's Master Quick Drying All Purpose Cement. Being the leading item of all-purpose cement products, it's not only waterproof but can work well with the previously-mentioned prevention tactics of blush.


Why Do I Need an Adhesive Thinner?

Thinners have multiple uses ranging from correcting mistakes to cleaning various adhesive tools like brushes and rollers. One common type of thinner is acetone. If you accidentally stick two pieces of leather together, then you can quickly use acetone to break up the cohesion process. It's important to note that you can't use just any thinner with any cement. The reason for this is that it could affect factors like drying time. That's why you should use the thinner that's recommended by the manufacturer of the product.

Red Bottom Heel Repair

Ever wanted to know how to replace red bottom heels?

Leather Care Supply sells Vibram & Casali red sole replacements for Louboutin shoes

Leather Care Supply sells Vibram & Casali red sole replacements for Louboutin shoes 


Save thousands of dollars by replacing your Louboutins with a red heel replacement which goes on the bottom of the shoe and sticking it with leather adhesive.  

Do It Yourself Leather Cement Repair from Leather Care Supply 

Details like this are important to keep in mind to help you determine whether you want a professional to repair your shoes or if you want to do it yourself. If you choose to take on shoe repair, customization, and other related products, then we have mad respect for you. If you're looking for various glue products and brands for leather and other materials, then our site can provide you with multiple options. We also have numerous DIY project tools you can utilize for your shoe-based needs. Feel free to check out our blogs and learn things like how to repair high heels and much more. We'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have about our products, so don't hesitate to contact us.


Best Value Leather Cement On the Market

Barge All Purpose Cement

Barge All Purpose Cement - $3.50 a tube


Good old Barge. Made in the USA. This material bonds most soling materials, providing a superior adhesion between rubber compounds and leather. The material is waterproof and good in cold/frozen temperatures, making it perfect for snowy or rainy areas.   

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  • Alex Pop
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