Have you ever gotten yourself a leather glove that you loved so much, at first sight, only to discover that it doesn’t fit because it’s too tight? Yes, we have all been victims of super-tight leather gloves that we would do anything to get to fit. 

Well, the good news is, there are ways there are numerous ways to get that fantastic leather gloves to stretch and fit without much trouble, and without damaging the material, of course. 

Sounds cool, right? 

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HOW TO STRETCH LEATHER GLOVES

 So it happens that now and then, we cannot resist the urge to buy that cute leather glove, which turns out to be a tad bit too tight after purchase even though it is our size. The next available option then would be to find a way to stretch it. 

Now, there are two ways of stretching leather gloves, naturally, which sadly takes a long time but is also very useful. Then there is the artificial way, which is the fast back door method that saves you time and allows you to rock that leather glove right after purchase.

Here are some of the methods/ways to stretch those super-tight leather gloves to your desired size:

Method 1: The natural method

Did you know that leather stretches naturally? 

Yes, even when it fits, leather naturally stretches itself over time with constant usage. To get that leather glove or anything else to stretch, try wearing it more often to engage the stretching process. 

For your gloves, try wearing them and flexing your fingers in them for about 2-3 hours daily; or you can wear them for short periods, and in case you don’t wish to wear them for that long, stuff them up with things, especially the finger holes to force them to expand. 

Keep in mind that natural stretching takes a longer time to work, so don’t expect results immediately. 

Method 2: Using artificial products

You’ll be surprised to know that there is a wide variety of manufactured products to stretch leather. These products are often called professional products, and their job is to help you quickly expand your leather materials. 

The leather stretcher spray

 This product works just like it sounds, and as the name implies, its sole duty is to expand any leather product you have to the desired length or width. You can get a can for yourself at any leather shoe or leather accessories store or check online on leather related webpages for the most recommended one and how to get it. 

How does it work?

To use, get your leather product out, place it on a flat surface or on any comfortable place that will make maneuvering easy for you. Get the spray and target the areas you need to be stretched, then proceed to wear it. And in the case of other leather products that can’t be worn, apply the spray on them, hang the item and add some weight to the end of the piece to pull it down. The spray softens the material, thereby allowing it to stretch on use. 

Leather stretcher sprays are good choices for leather stretching as they are alcohol-based, which allows them to dry faster. They contain special conditioners that soften the leather material without harming it or ruining the surface. 

The leather conditioner

There are special conditioners, mostly liquid, made for leather items to soften up the leather fibers and make the stretching process easier. You can get one in shops and stores that sell leather-related products, or you can order them online. 

To use, apply some leather conditioner to a piece of soft clothing or a ball of cotton wool and dab it on the area you wish to stretch out gently. Wait for about 2-3 minutes for the leather gloves to fully absorb the conditioner and then wipe off the excess. 

The perk of these leather conditioners is that they don’t cause any damage to the leather fabric or fiber as the components in it are all leather-friendly. 

Method 3: Liquid-based stretching 

If you prefer to try more straightforward ways of stretching your leather wearables, there is the option of using liquids to do that. You can use ice, water, or use wet newspapers. 

Ice stretching 

Remember that ice expands and contracts when it freezes and melts. It is with this thought in mind that this method applies to leather stretching. You’ll need a zip-lock bag or a plastic bag that you can seal entirely shut for this method.

  • Fill your leather gloves with some considerable amount of water and seal the armhole with a band or tie with a cloth piece.
  • Get the zip-lock bag or plastic bag and place the water-filled leather gloves into it. Make sure that the bag is well sealed to avoid spillage.  
  • Once you have that, place the gloves in another plastic sealable bag to protect the leather gloves.
  • Place the bag into a deep freezer and let it all freeze completely. 
  • Once frozen, take it out and remove the leather item from the more oversized bag. 
  • Thaw the gloves first while they are still in the zip lock bag before you remove them. 

The idea behind this is simple, as the water bag and the water in the gloves expand, it forces the leather gloves to expand with it and then contract when thawing. This way, the leather stretches over time with the freezing and thawing.  

Water stretching 

Water, too, is a handy tool in stretching leather. It’s comfortable and practical and speeds up the process. Here is how to go about it. 

  • Get yourself a container big enough for your leather material to fit into. 
  • Fill it up with water, either warm or cold water, as you prefer. Make sure the water is enough to submerge the leather item but not too much to spill out. 
  • Place your leather item in the water and submerge it well by twisting and dipping it in water to make sure it soaks well. 
  • After confirming that the leather item is well-soaked water, please leave it in for about 10 minutes or so to soften up.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the leather from the water and wear it immediately to stretch it out. While wearing out, move around in the item, and move the areas that need stretching to expand them. Please do this for about an hour or two, and then remove it to dry. 

Using wet newspaper

That old newspaper lying around without much use can be of fair use now for you to get that leather glove stretched out nicely, and here is how to do it.

  • Take your leather gloves and dampen them a bit, no need to thoroughly soak them in water as you’ll be using wet newspapers. 
  • Once dampened, please take a few newspapers and soak them in water until they are soft enough and filled with water. 
  • Take the newspaper and squeeze out any excess water in it.
  • Cut the newspapers into bits and shape them into long rolls that will fit into the finger holes and the palm region appropriately.
  • Once fully stuffed up with newspapers, take out the gloves and place them in a box or on a plain surface to dry for at least a day or more, depending on the weather. 

Method 4: Using heat to stretch 

What if I don’t feel comfortable using liquids to stretch my leather items? 

If you are amongst those who are skeptical about using liquids to stretch out their leather gloves, there is the heat option, which works pretty fair also. Here is how it works.

  • First, get a hairdryer for yourself.
  • You can hang your gloves up with a clip on the line for easy maneuvering or wear it on your hands if you can easily reach the spots without difficulty. And if that isn’t comfortable for you, place them on a surface that will make moving around easy. And if you are concerned about the heat on your skin while wearing the gloves, you can wrap your hands with a protective material before wearing the gloves to protect your skin from the heat. 
  • Switch on the dryer and direct the heat to the spot you wish to stretch out.
  • Make sure you distribute the heat evenly on the surface that you want to stretch, and once it is hot enough, switch off the dryer and wear it, in case you were not wearing it before. 
  • Make sure you move your hands around and wiggle your fingers in the gloves after applying heat to help expand faster. 

Method 5: Using alcohol 

Alcohol is also a great product to stretch out your leather gloves, and its usage is straightforward. Now the alcohol in use here isn’t one from drinking but that of methylated spirit for clinical use. Check out how to use it here.

  • Get a bottle of methylated spirit or rubbing alcohol.
  • You can either use cotton wool to apply it or use a spray bottle to do it. 
  • If you decide to use the spray bottle, which is more straightforward, make a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, one part alcohol and three-part water. 
  • Shake well and spray the mixture on the target areas you want to stretch. You don’t need to dampen the area. Just get it moist enough for the material to soften.
  • Once done, put on the leather item and flex the areas you sprayed the mixture on. 
  • If you prefer to use the cotton wool method, soak the cotton wool in alcohol and gently rub or swab it across the desired areas. Once done, wear the item and flex the areas you wish to stretch. 

Method 6: Using the dryer 

Did you know that your washing machine dryer can do other things other than drying your clothes? If you didn’t know before, now you do. With the combination of heat and spinning that the dryer employs to dry your clothes, you can stretch your leather jacket, pants, and of course, leather gloves with ease. 

This is how it works.

  • Drop your leather gloves in the dryer like you would a newly washed piece of clothing. If you wish to make the stretching effect even faster, add other clothing articles to serve as obstacles in the dryer. 
  • Set the heat on the lowest for a certain period, like 10 minutes. Then, please wait for the dryer to do its work. 

This method’s bonus is that the heat softens the leather while the spinning agitation gives the stretching effect you would do if you were wearing the gloves.

Method 7: Using weight

Let your leather gloves lift some weight on your behalf. This method may sound crude, but it’s still handy for stretching leather items. 

How does it work?

  • Find a bar to hang your leather gloves on and use a clip to hold it fast to the bar.
  • Once done, attach or tie any heavy-weight item you can find to the gloves’ lower finger-tip end. The heavy-weight items could be a bottle filled with water, a bar of soap, or anything else with some weight. 
  • Leave the leather gloves hanging with the weight for about an hour or two for effective stretching. Or leave it for short periods like 3-5 minutes if you don’t plan to stretch it too much.

Note: Check the item now and then to see the stretching progress to avoid a case of overstretching. 

How to shrink leather gloves 

Peradventure, it so happens that you overstretched your leather gloves in the process of getting them to fit. Or, over time, you have worn the gloves so much that they are too big for you, and you do not intend to let go of them, fret not, for luckily, there are ways to considerably shrink leather gloves to restore them to the desired shape. 

Here is how it works:

Using water 

Just as you can use water to stretch out your leather gloves, you can also shrink them to the desired shape. 

  • Get a bowl filled with warm or room temperature water enough to submerge the leather gloves. But it’s best to use warm water to avoid ruining the color of your gloves.  
  • Take your leather gloves and soak them in the water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure they are fully submerged in the water. 
  • Once thoroughly soaked, take the gloves out, and squeeze out any excess water gently, do not wring it out to avoid spoiling the gloves’ fiber. 
  • After squeezing, take a clean towel and place the gloves in it. Gently tap the towel on the gloves to absorb any extra moisture left in it.
  • Once you’ve removed excess moisture, leave the gloves out to dry in the open air or use an air dryer with low heat to get the job done. 
  • Once the gloves dry, they would have reduced in size as there was no stretching involved. If the gloves are still overstretched, repeat the process once more until you get the desired shrinkage level. 

Using alcohol

This method also works on reversal just like water does, and here is how to do it. 

  • Get some rubbing alcohol and some water and mix both in the ratio of one part rubbing alcohol to three parts of water inside a spray bottle.
  • Afterward, add two drops of liquid soap to the solution you have and shake vigorously to mix it all up.  
  • Place the gloves on a plane surface or a towel and spray the gloves with the solution. 
  • If you have an excess of the solution on the leather gloves, squeeze it out with the use of a towel by gently dabbing it. 
  • Once done, put the gloves on and wait for them to dry, or place them in an open space to dry out.

You’re putting the gloves on is to make the fibers shrink and mold around your fingers to give you that perfect fit. 

Still unsure how to go about it? Why not check out this short video here giving you step-by-step guidance on how to stretch leather gloves. 

FAQs

Do leather gloves stretch? 

Yes, leather gloves expand naturally without any help over time. That is how leather works. Once there is constant usage, the leather gloves will stretch but at a gradual pace. 

Do leather gloves shrink when in the water? 

One can shrink or stretch leather gloves using water, but it doesn’t mean that they shrink inside the water. It is more of a combination of actions beginning from soaking the gloves in water combined with other steps that makes the gloves shrink or stretch.

Does water damage leather gloves?

Yes, exposing the gloves to excessive water or placing it in water continuously without proper drying weakens the gloves’ fibers, thereby making them weak and breakable. 

What is the best way to stretch leather gloves?

There are many ways to stretch leather gloves. You can use water, professional products like leather stretcher spray, heat, ice, alcohol, and so on to stretch your leather gloves. You have to pick the one that is most convenient for you and try it out. 

Will using any of these stretching methods ruin the color and texture of the leather gloves?

Over time, the leather gloves will lose their shiny color, so whether you use these methods to stretch your gloves or not, that is inevitable. But if you are concerned about that, you can try using the professional techniques of leather stretcher spray and leather conditioner designed to maintain the color and texture of the leather gloves. 

Parting Words

Leather gloves are one of those fashion items that never go out of style and look better with time. Having them in your collection is bliss, and when faced with the need to stretch or shrink them because they don’t seem to fit, never fret because there are easy ways of fixing them. From the suitable old water method to the use of leather stretcher sprays, all have you covered to rock those leather gloves any day.