Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

Do try this at home: leather jacket repair tips

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Leather jacket repairs can be costly and can sometimes even exceed the jacket's value. Luckily some fixes are easy to do yourself. Let's share our experiences, tips and tricks.

Busted auto lock slider

When a zipperslider moves up or down on its own while wearing the jacket, the auto lock pin might be defect.

Based on the slider puller position, the locking pin should lock/unlock the slider:


When you look closely you can see how in this case the pin has been grinded down, which makes the slider go up or down on its own. The easiest way to fix this is by replacing the slider.


The one on the right is the old one, the one on the left the replacement. You can clearly see the locking pin on the right is shorter.

In order to replace the slider, the zipper's top stop needs to be removed. Simply use pliers and some force to pull it off, or wiggle it open using a small screwdriver. Be careful not to puncture the tape.


Once removed, the old slider comes off and the new one can be installed. Make sure the replacement fits the size of the zipper. Most vintage/repro jackets feature #5 zippers. Newer ones often come with #8 or #10 size zippers.



After installing the replacement slider, use the pliers again to reinstall the old top stop or install a new one.


Job completed. As a bonus, the Talon paperclip pull looks much nicer too.



Call Me a Cab
Bay Area CA
We need more threads like this for minor DIY repairs. Thanks for posting this

what if only the pull is the one that needing replacing? Just use pliers to remove the old pull and place the new one?
Great thread!

Issue with zipper is when they bury the top end of the zipper tape between leather panels. Then you can't do a thing. I don't understand why makers sometimes resort to this. It's ugly and not practical.

My contribution— mail it to Dena.

Though I do use the following to reinforce the zipper tape when it starts to fray. Best product I have found so far, no question.

View attachment 351741

I didn't know this existed! Absolutely essential!


South of Nashville
We need more threads like this for minor DIY repairs. Thanks for posting this

what if only the pull is the one that needing replacing? Just use pliers to remove the old pull and place the new one?
Rather than force it off with pliers, I would take a Dremel Tool and cut it off. No force, no damage.


One Too Many
Sheffield UK
@Monitor Fwiw and with regard to zipper tape stitched into the seams/panels rather than finished with stops, I’ve removed pullers from nylon zipper tapes by using a box knife/Stanley knife to carefully cut a short slice between the teeth at the very top of the female side of the tape then used the cut to slide off the old puller and replace with a new one. I then apply a small amount of superglue the cut edges of the tape and hold them together till the glue dries to rejoin the tape. Since the cut is at the very top the puller won’t come off when the zipper fastened even if the cut re-opens as it’s held in place by the male side of the zipper. This technique should work with metal zippers too


I'll Lock Up
Thanks to this thread, I just replaced the puller on my old Hercules. It had come off the top because there was no stopper. Like @Monitor said, it was sewn and frayed at the top.
I had to snip away at the tape to put the slider back on, but all good now.
Where can one buy a zipper stopper piece? Old brass.


Practically Family
I recently acquired this
Branded Cross Zip. Upon close inspect there seems to be a bit of road rash on the sleeve. In a few place the top has peeled. I was wondering if I can “fix” this with some fine sandpaper and black dye? Or another method? . These pictures were taken with flash - in regular light it is much less noticeable. If I have posted this in the wrong please let me know Thank You