There is nothing more fashionable than a sleek pair of leather pants. If your leather pants fit a little too snug or are too short for comfort, you’ll need to stretch them out using the proper techniques.
Leather is a natural material that can be molded and manipulated under the right conditions. There are a few effective ways for you to squeeze into your new pair of leather pants and show them off. Here’s how you stretch your leather pants in a few simple steps:
- Stretching Out Your Leather Pants Entirely And Evenly
- Stretching Out To Increase Length Of Leather Pants
- Stretching Out The Waist Fitting Of Leather Pants
- Stretching Out The Hems Of Leather Pants
Depending on the existing fit of your leather pants, you might need to localize the area of your leather pants that you are targeting to stretch.
1. Stretching Entirety of Leather Pants (Warm Water + Fabric Softener)
If your leather pants are an entire size too small or are tight on your hips, thighs, knees, and calves, you can evenly stretch out the material using a mixture of warm water and fabric softener.
Add the fabric softener to your washing machine and put the settings on a gentle cycle. Add your leather pants inside the washing machine and ensure that you do not add any soap or detergent to the mix.
The water inside the washing machine should not be warmer than 140°F or 60°C. The leather will soften throughout the wash cycle, and you can further stretch the leather out with your hands afterward to address specific problem areas.
Warm water will also prime leather to be softer and more prone to stretching after the fact. While the best possible outcome you can achieve is to wear your leather pants through the drying process, that is not an entirely comfortable or feasible step to take.
Therefore, we recommend making a note of areas of your leather pants that you want to pay special attention to and giving those areas treatment with your hands.
2. Stretching to Increase the Length of Your Leather Pants
If your leather pants sit perfectly snug on your waist but are a tad too short for your height, you can stretch out the pants in length for both pant legs. Follow the steps below to do so easily and effectively.
Prepare a Bucket of Warm Water
Add a large amount of warm water to a bucket to submerge the pant legs of your leather pants. We recommend the water to range between 120°F to 140°F (about 50°C to 60°C).
As this water is not in a controlled environment like a washing machine, please take care to not scald yourself in this process if your water is warm enough to do so.
Dip the Bottom Three-Quarters of Leather Pants in Warm Water
Soak the bottom part of your leather pants from the pockets to the hem inside the warm water for about 10 minutes. Ensure that the water can reach all areas below the waist of the leather pants.
Hang Dry Leather Pants
The most crucial step is to properly dry the wet leather pants in a shaded, airy, and cool area. You can use a clothes hanger to clip the hems of the leather pants and hang them upside down.
The weight of the leather pants will act as a force to naturally stretch and increase the length of your pants. This technique can lengthen your leather pants to your desire. For that to happen, you will need to be careful to periodically check the length of each pant leg to ensure that you are not overstretching it.
Once the leather pants are lengthened to your liking, you can leave them to dry normally or move to the next step if they have already dried.
Apply Leather Conditioner
Leather conditioners can help soften the leather material of your leather pants and help to counteract long-term water damage. A leather conditioner also acts as a protective layer against stains and accidental spills.
3. Stretching to Increase Waist Fitting of Leather Pants
If the length of the leather pants is perfect, but the waist of the leather pants is too tight, you can use the following method to stretch it out according to your requirements.
Prepare a Bucket of Warm Water
Add a large amount of warm water to a bucket to submerge the top part of your leather pants in water. We recommend the water to range between 120°F to 140°F and please be careful to not hurt yourself via scalding in this process.
Dip the Top of Your Leather Pants in Warm Water
Dip the top part of your leather pants above your leather pockets inside the warm water for 10 minutes. Ensure the entirety of the region around the waist is well-submerged in the water.
Use Hands to Stretch Out Leather Pants
Take out the wet leather pants from the water, and begin stretching them manually to ease the tightness of the material. We recommend pulling the leather pants in at least 4 different directions at 12 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock, and 9 o’clock.
Apply Conditioner to the Waistline of Your Leather Pants
After you have dried your leather pants, you should apply a light layer of leather conditioner on top of the pants’ waistline. We recommend applying leather conditioner twice to your leather pants for comfortable wearing and added softness – after the leather pants have dried from wetting and before wearing the leather pants.
4. Stretching to Increase Hem Size of Leather Pants
If the waist and the length of your leather pants are perfect, but the hem of your leather pants is too tight, you can use the following method to solve the problem.
Prepare a Bucket of Warm Water
Prepare a bucket of a substantial amount of warm water to place your leather pants inside. As per previous methods, we recommend the temperature range of the warm water you prepare to be between 120°F to 140°F. Do take precautions to not cause personal injury through unintended exposure to the water if it can do so.
Dip the Hem of Leather Pants in Warm Water
For about 10 minutes, only dip the hem of your leather pants in the warm water to soften the leather and stretch it out.
Stuff the Hem of Leather Pants with Crushed Newspaper
To avoid overstretching the hem of the pants using your hands, we recommend stuffing the hem of your leather pants with newspapers to push it outwards. You can secure the area using a rubber band or a tie so that the newspapers do not slip in or fall out of the leather pants.
Ensure not to overstuff the hems of your leather pants as they may ruin their shape. After that, simply dry the wet leather pants naturally in a shaded, cool, and airy area for best results.
Apply Conditioner to Leather Pants’ Hem
After your leather pants have dried completely, you need to apply a coat of leather conditioner to the hems while the newspaper is still secured with rubber bands or ties.
Apply a thin coat of leather conditioner to your leather pants and let it absorb the material for 15 minutes before removing the newspaper inside wholly. You can also apply a coat of conditioner before your next wear for added softness and protection.
Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief & Writer At Leatherskill
I’m a leather enthusiast turned artisan. Apart from crafting leather products, I’m passionate about writing in-depth guides and reviews on all things leather!