Back to top

4 Easy Ways To Stretch Leather Jacket Arms (Complete Guide)

Have you ever purchased a leather jacket but found that it was too tight or slightly on your arms? If so, then this article is for you! Leather jackets are often fitted to be snug around the waist and bustline. This can leave the wearer with an uncomfortable fit if they have large arms or broad shoulders. We will talk about 4 easy ways to stretch leather jacket arms to make them more comfortable while maintaining their shape.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to stretch leather jacket arms using the pull-on method.

  • Step 1: Measure the length or width of the leather jacket
  • Step 2: Measure the length of the sleeves
  • Step 3: Dampen the leather jacket slightly with water
  • Step 4: Put on the leather jacket
  • Step 5: Have someone pull the arms of the leather jacket
  • Step 6: Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner
  • Step 7: Leave it to air-dry in a cool dry place

The Pull-On Method

This technique is the easiest with no sophisticated tools or materials and you can do it even if you’re not very handy. This method is great if you want to elongate or slightly widen the arms or sleeves of your leather jacket without causing any damage to it.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use the pull-on method to stretch out the sleeves of your leather jacket so that it is the perfect length and width for your arms.

As stated before, there are 4 easy ways you can use when it comes to the pulling-on method to get your leather jacket arms to stretch.

1. Pull-On Method 1

Things Needed

  • Leather Jacket
  • Water
  • A Friend
  • Leather Conditioner

Procedure

Step 1:
  • Measure the current length of the leather jacket sleeve.
Step 2:
  • Dampen the leather jacket slightly with clean water.
  • Dampening the leather jacket first is very important as leather as a material will generally stretch a lot better when wet. This is because water provides an even layer of tension over the surface of the leather for it to easily stretch.
Step 3:
  • Once the leather jacket is nice and damp, put on the leather jacket while it is still damp.
  • This helps to maintain the shape of the leather jacket while still damp.
  • This will also help to maintain a wet surface of tension for it to easily stretch.
Steps 4:
  • Now have a friend pull the arms of the sleeve of the leather jacket. You would want your friend to pull on the arms as far down towards your wrist as possible.
  • Also, ensure your friend pulls on the arms and holds it in that pulled position for a few seconds.
  • Keep pulling and holding a couple of times while observing how much stretch you get on it.
  • You would want to leave about an inch or two extra room in order to create some slack for when you tug against the leather.
Step 5:
  • Leave the leather jacket on for about 20-30 minutes for your body temperature to gradually dry it. How fast the leather jacket air-dry will depend on the climate or the environment you leave in.
  • You would want to make sure that you do not stand near any direct heat source such as a hot lamp, stovetop, or fireplace where there is enough warmth to dry the leather jacket quickly.
  • Too much heat or warmth can melt the glue and sealant of your leather jacket sleeves. So it is obvious you do not want to do this during the wintertime :D!
Step 6:
  • Once the leather jacket starts to dry and you notice it’s held up its shape, apply a very thin layer of leather conditioner. This is important because leather will lose some of its essential oils when wet so conditioning helps to restore those lost oils. This helps to prevent the leather from drying and cracking.
Step 7:
  • Place the leather jacket on a hanger and leave it to air-dry in a cool dry place.
  • You can repeat all steps if needed until you get the leather jacket arm length that is perfect for you.

Method 2:

The second pull method will be conducive if you do not have anyone to help you pull on the leather jacket arm. Here’s how you go about it.

Things Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Clean water
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Leather Conditioner

Procedure

Step 1:
  • You want to start by measuring the arm width or length of your leather jacket.
Step 2:
  • Dampen your leather jacket with clean water. You can rub a damp microfiber cloth on the leather jacket to make it damp.
  • Make sure not to get the leather jacket soaking wet.
Step 3:
  • Put on the leather jacket like you usually would and clinch a fist on the end of the sleeves. You want to clinch as firmly as possible and do not let go of the sleeve ends.
  • Now wrap your arm across your shoulders as if you’re giving yourself a hug. You want to repeat this severally and see how it fits.
  • Another alternative is to do this action each time you wear your leather jacket. And in this case you do not have to dampen your leather jacket as body heat and moisture will soften up the leather fibers just about enough for the leather to stretch quite decently.
  • You can also hold both ends of the leather jacket arms and pull to stretch it out to your preference.
Step 4:
  • Condition the leather jacket with a good leather conditioner.

Method 3

For this method, you want to have tried the first two pull methods before going ahead to try this one. This is a more drastic approach to stretching out your leather jacket arms. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

Things Needed

  • Bowl of Warm Water
  • Hanger
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Paper Towels
  • Leather Conditioner

Procedure

Step 1:
  • Fill up a big bowl with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot. Water that’s too hot can wrinkle the leather jacket and the arms or sleeves would become even shorter than before.
Step 2:
  • Once the warm water is nice and ready, submerge the whole leather jacket into the warm water and leave it for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Soaking the leather in warm water will make the stretching process very easy.
Step 3:
  • Slightly wring out the leather jacket. Make sure not to squeeze too much as this could wrinkle the leather jacket. To be on the safe side, remove the leather jacket from the water and shake the water out.
Step 4:
  • Begin pulling on the arms as quickly as possible while the leather jacket is still warm.
  • You can repeat steps 2-4 until you get your desired length or with you want.
Step 5:
  • Once you’re satisfied with the result place the leather jacket on a hanger and then leave it for all excess moisture to drip.
  • Check after about 3 hours to see if the leather jacket is still soaking wet. If there is no water dripping, you can now move on to the next step.
Step 6:
  • Once the leather jacket is not more soaking wet, get some paper towels and stuff the chest and arm areas of the leather jacket.
  • This will help maintain the leather jacket shape as it dries. It will also so help to soak up excess moisture from the leather jacket.
Step 7:
  • Leave the leather jacket on the hanger to air-dry. The length of time it takes before the leather jacket dries will depend on the weather where you live.
Step 8:
  • Finally, condition the leather jacket and then leave it to air-dry for 24-72 hours before you put your leather jacket to use.

Method 4

The fourth and last way is using the pull method to stretch the arms of your leather jacket is by using an iron. A lot of people become worried when they have to apply an iron to their leather items like expensive jackets.

But when done right, the iron is a great way to help stretch the arms of your leather jacket. This method will be perfect if you would want to stretch the arms of your leather jacket without getting it wet.

Things Needed

  • Steam Iron
  • Cotton Fabric or Cotton T-Shirt

Procedure

Step 1:
  • Prepare thoroughly.
  • In order to use this method for stretching leather jacket arms, you must have an iron with a steam function and a cotton t-shirt or other soft cloth in hand before starting. Set the iron to the lowest heat setting.
  • Also, make sure that there are no accessories or strings such as buttons or zippers on the arms of your leather jacket. Once everything is set, move on to the next step.
Step 2:
  • Next, place a cotton t-shirt over the arm of your leather jacket and pull it at both ends so that you are pulling in opposite directions to stretch out those sleeves.
  • You could get someone to help you pull on the leather jacket sleeves as you do this.
  • Make sure not to tug too hard because this could cause damage like tearing or breaking stitches, or stretching other areas of the leather jacket.
Step 3:
  • Then, with the cotton shirt still draped over the arm of your leather jacket, use an iron to steam and stretch it out as needed. You can also use a steamer if you do not have access to an iron or if using a steamer is easier for you.
Step 4:
  • Repeat steam-ironing the leather jacket sleeves or arms while pulling on it a couple of times. You want to observe how much stretch you’re getting and stop if you’re satisfied with the length.

Macwilliam K. Appianing

Hi! I’m Macwilliam, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leatherwork enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day!

Recent Posts