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How to Shrink Leather Pants

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For as long as we can remember leather pants have been a timeless fashion staple.

Worn by movie stars, rockers, and us average Joes for decades, leather pants give us a stylish look and extra warmth during the winter months. 

However, after wearing our leather pants for too long, it isn’t uncommon for them to stretch and no longer provide the tight fit we want.

As a result of this, a lot of us find ourselves looking for a solution that doesn’t involve buying a new pair of pants. 

Luckily for us, leather pants can shrink. This gives us the opportunity to make our pants fit once more. If you need to shrink your leather pants, you’ve come to the right place.

In this blog post, we’ll show you the different ways in which you can shrink different types of leather pants.

Let’s get straight into the shrinking methods!

brunette woman wearing leather pant and furry blazer

How to Shrink Leather Pants – Water and Dryer Method

The most popular way to shrink most fabrics is to use the water and dryer method. This method is also arguably the quickest, easiest, and cheapest method you can use to shrink your leather pants. 

In fact, this method probably works better with leather pants than it does with other fabrics because you don’t need to worry about the wrinkled zipper. 

If you need to make your genuine leather pants fit better again, give the following method a try.

1. Fill the bathtub with water that’s sitting at room temperature. 

2. Put the leather pants into the water for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Once 10 minutes have passed, take the pants out of the water and place them onto a flat surface.

4. Gently remove any excess water from the top of your leather pants.

5. Next, you need to put the pants into a clothes dryer on a very low heat setting. Leave them in the dryer for roughly 10 minutes.

6. Take your pants out of the dryer and try them on. 

When you have followed all of these steps, your pants should have shrunk. If you’re happy with the new fit, great, hang them up to air dry. It is also a good idea to apply a very light layer of conditioner to the leather as genuine leather could get quite brittle otherwise.

The reason this method works so well is that by filling the pores of the leather with water we fill the small air spaces.

Having such a high level of water in these spaces lets us displace the moisture levels, allowing for maximum shrinkage.

female model wearing leather pants posing

Water and Sun Method

If you don’t want to risk shrinking your pants too much or simply want to make minor changes to the size of your leather pants, the water and sun method could be your best option. 

Using the water and sun method to shrink genuine leather pants not only reduces how much the pants shrink but also ensures they shrink to your exact body shape.

This makes it a great option if you’ve lost some weight and need your pants to fit, or have bought a pair of pants that are just too big. 

If this sounds like it suits you, try the following method. We will warn you though, this method does seem a little crazy.

1. Put your leather pants on.

2. Soak them with room temperature water. Yes, while you’re wearing them.

3. Walk around with the pants on until they dry. It is probably a good idea to get outside in the sun to do this. 

4. Once the pants have dried, they should now have shrunk better to your body.

Long legs skinny leather pants high heels shoes

Shrink Your Leather Pants With Water and a Hair Dryer

In our opinion, the water and hair dryer leather pants shrinking method is the least effective. However, if you only want to shrink small areas of your leather pants it can come in extremely useful. 

For this method, instead of soaking all the fabric, you’ll be soaking certain areas of the pants. With that in mind, we suggest you use a spray bottle to wet your pants.

Here is how you shrink leather pants using this method.

1. Using a spray bottle spot spray your leather pants in the areas you wish to shrink. 

2. Turn your hairdryer onto medium or low heat.

3. Move the dryer back and forth over the areas you have already sprayed. You should do this quickly without stopping for too long as too much heat in one place can cause the leather to change color.

4. Do this until the pants are dry.

Faux Leather Jacket Necklace Hat and Pants

How to Shrink Faux Leather

Shrinking faux leather is slightly different. Faux leather is a synthetic fiber made from polyurethane and polyester.

As a result of this, it doesn’t breathe like genuine leather making it harder to shrink. However, shrinkage is possible when the faux leather is exposed to heat. 

It is worth noting though, that when exposed to too much heat, faux leather can actually melt.

This means you should be very careful when following the next method.

Steamer Method

Using the steaming method is easily one of, if not the best method for shrinking faux leather. Very simple to do, all you need is an iron or steamer and a piece of cloth.

Place the cloth over the area you wish to shrink. When you’ve done that, simply turn the steamer or iron on and run it over the top of the cloth. In no time at all, your leather pants will easily start to shrink. 

Like the hairdryer method, try not to leave the steamer or iron in one place for too long. This will reduce the chance of you burning your leather.

Iron and piece of wet cloth

Final Thoughts

That concludes our blog post looking at the different ways in which you can shrink your leather pants. As you can see from our list, there are a number of quick and easy methods to try that can have excellent results. 

While each method we have spoken about is effective in its own way, we recommend first trying to shrink your leather pants using the water and dryer method.

This is by far the most effective method to quickly shrink leather pants.

If you only want to shrink your pants a little, other methods like the water and sun method might be better, even if it does seem quite ridiculous. 

Now you’ve been through our post and know exactly what to expect from each option, why not dig out your leather pants and make them fit perfectly once more.

We are confident that no matter which method you choose from this post, you will be successful in safely shrinking your leather without damaging the fabric. Good luck!