How to Sew Patches on a Leather Jacket

By Richard Brown

Leather jackets are popular as club jackets for various groups. Many of these groups, such as motorcycle clubs or car clubs, offer patches that can be sewn onto the leather jackets. Sewing patches on a jacket could also be a simple fashion choice or a way to cover a hole or stain. It's entirely possible to sew patches on a leather jacket as long as you have the right items and knowledge of how to do so without ruining the jacket or the lining.

Identify exactly where you want the patch to appear on the leather jacket. Place the patch on that spot and trace around it using tailor's chalk. In this example, the patch will be put on the upper back of the jacket.

Pick open the seam in the jacket lining at the bottom back using a sewing pick. Open it up just enough to allow your hand to fit inside. Position your inside hand so that it is resting flat between the lining and the marked area. Your outside hand should position the patch on the leather.

Lightly spray the back of the patch with leather adhesive. This will affix the patch in place for sewing, but it is not permanent.

Thread a leather needle using a strong light-colored nylon thread. Knot the thread at the end. Use your thimble to push the needle through the leather, moving from inside the jacket to the outside for the first stitch. This way, the knot at the end of the thread will be on the inside. Pull the needle out with your outside hand and send it back down through the patch and the leather.

Stitch the patch on with a whip stitch by sending the needle up through the leather and the patch at an angle, all the way around the patch's edges. Keep using the thimble to push the needle in without bending it. Keep stitches close to the edge and close to each other for the most secure stitching.

Continue around the patch until you end up where you started. Then, send the needle through the first stitch and loop it around to make a half hitch. Do this a few more times to make a finishing knot. Trim the leftover thread close to the patch so the stitching is smooth.

Restitch the jacket lining to match the original stitching by using a regular sewing needle and all-purpose thread.

Tip

Remember that where you sew a patch on leather, there will always be holes from the needle, even if you remove the patch someday. Make sure it is exactly where you want it before sewing.

If you are hesitant to sew a patch on a leather jacket yourself, check with the nearest leather or shoe shop to see if they will do it.

Warning

Don't use cotton thread for sewing patches onto leather. The chemicals used to tan leather will weaken the cotton thread over time.

About the Author

Brown is a writer with expertise in many topics, including law, health, fitness, travel and outdoor recreation. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Utah State University. He began working as a freelance writer in 2007, and his articles appear on several Demand Studio websites, including eHow.