Super glue can be a pretty useful material for a DIY enthusiast. You can use it to put most broken things back together in a jiffy!
This fast-acting glue is not only strong but is also durable. In other words, it binds two surfaces together firmly for a long time.
On that note, many things we own today are made from leather, be it footwear, furniture, or apparel. And if they break or come apart, you may be tempted to use super glue instead of good old leather glue to put them back together.
But can super glue be used on leather surfaces? The answer is yes, you can, but only if the repairs needed are minor. For major repairs, however, it won’t be a very viable option. Also, removing any glue from leather, whether it is super or other adhesives, is a very tricky job if you don’t know how to properly remove that.
If you are wondering why super glue is not a viable option, keep reading because that’s what we have addressed in this brief guide.
FUN FACT | Do you know what looks like leather and almost feels like leather but not is leather? It’s called faux leather!
And, of course faux leather is also prone to cuts and tears just like real leather. These damages can be fixed with specialized glue for faux leather.
So, without further ado! Let’s get to it!
What Is Super Glue, And How Does It Work?
As we have said before, super glue can be used to strongly bind two surfaces together. In this regard, the basic function of this product is the same as any other glue.
But the main point of difference between regular glue and super glue is the mode of function. Unlike standard glue, the latter acts relatively faster and can bind surfaces together in a short while. In addition, it is stronger than regular glue, due to which it is widely used for industrial applications.
Now, the primary ingredient in super glue is cyanoacrylate, which is what defines “super.” It is an acrylic resin that forms strong bonds almost instantly in the presence of hydroxyl ions.
These hydroxyl ions are found in water, and even trace amounts of them can trigger the compound to form bonds. The solvent of this glue contains water, and you can find water in the form of moisture in the air.
So, once you apply the glue on two surfaces, these water molecules trigger the cyanoacrylate molecules to start forming strong bonds almost instantly. This ultimately binds the surfaces together with a relatively strong bond.
However, once it has cured, further exposure to water may weaken the bond instead of strengthening it. That is why super glue is typically used to bind surfaces, such as wood, metals, or plastic together. Since they are non-porous, they do not allow any further contact with water molecules, due to which the bond lasts for a long time.
Can Super Glue Be Used On Leather?
Now that you know what super glue actually is and how it works, it’s time to get back to the original question. In that context, you can use super glue on leather, but only in small quantities, and for binding small portions of the leather surfaces.
Keep in mind that super glue is not designed to be used on leather surfaces. So, if you use it to bind large leather surfaces together, it will look fine at first but will most likely not last very long.
There are a few reasons why super glue is not suitable for binding leather surfaces together, which have been discussed below.
Leather Is Not Very Rigid
Metal, wood, and plastic surfaces are relatively rigid, due to which the super glue can remain bonded for a long time. In contrast, leather is a flexible substance that can be easily folded, stretched, or twisted. So, if the glue is subjected to such shearing forces, the bond might break.
If you apply it over a small area though, the shearing forces will be less compared to when you apply it over the whole surface. That is why it can be effectively used to bond small portions of the leather.
Leather Has A Porous Surface
The leather surface is highly porous compared to metal, wood, or plastic, which have no pores. And this porous surface makes it easy for water molecules to pass through.
We have already mentioned that after setting, the bonds of super glue become weak when they come into contact with water. Thus, the water passing through the porous surface weakens the bonds between the leather surfaces.
Super Glue Reacts With The Leather
The bonding process in super glue is an exothermic reaction, which means that it generates heat when it binds two surfaces together. So, if the glue is applied on a leather surface, the heat generated from the reaction may damage it.
As a result, the leather may become discolored or deformed. And that makes super glue unsuitable for binding leather.
What Glue Can Be Used On Leather?
While leather cannot be suitably bonded with super glue, there are other adhesives that can be used for it. Specialized glues, such as rubber cement or contact cement glue can be used instead. These adhesives are especially suited for binding leather surfaces together.
Can Super Glue Be Used On Leather Final Words
Super glue is indeed useful if you want to undertake some quick repairs. Its speed of action, strength, and durability makes it great for metal, wood, and plastic. But in the case of leather, you can only use it for minor repairs because of the reasons we have discussed.
However, you can use other glues for the purpose, which we have specified in this article. So, the next time you find yourself in a sticky situation with leather, you can use these adhesives instead.
And that brings us to the end of this short guide. We hope that it has been able to satisfy your curiosity.
So, until next time, goodbye!