How to Shrink Leather Gloves? – 4 Methods


Written by

Madonna Chinn



Gilbert Kunde

how to shrink leather gloves

Investing in leather gloves is never a bad idea. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to wear, but they are also durable and long-lasting.

The only downside is that because it’s made from natural materials, it can shrink or expand depending on how humid and hot it is. Plus, it can stretch out over time if you use it a lot.

So, if you find your precious leather gloves fingers too long now and they don’t fit as well as they used to, don’t worry. You can shrink them back down to enjoy that snuggly feeling.

Learn the four easy tips on how to shrink the size of your leather gloves below.

Ways to Shrink Leather Gloves

1: Water-shrinking method


Starting off with the easiest and most convenient one on the list, water can be used to shrink your leather gloves at home.

If you want to shrink your motorcycle leather gloves, water soaking is the recommended method, attested to by many Reddit users.

  1. The first step is to prepare some slightly warm water. To do this, fill a bucket or basin with tap water and then add a small amount of boiling water
  2. Submerge the leather gloves in warm water for a few minutes. Make sure all portions of the glove are wet, including the inside.
  3. After soaking the gloves thoroughly, remove them from the bucket/ basin, shake them off, and squeeze out any excess water. You can also encase it in a towel or other type of cloth and press down on it to expel the water from the gloves.
  4. Finally, allow the leather gloves to dry naturally for 24 hours.
  5. Afterwards, try to wear the gloves and flex your fingers to see if it fits well enough.

In most cases, leather glove owners usually repeat the whole process a few more times until it fits their hands properly.

2: Water + Rubbing Alcohol+ Dish Soap-Shrinking method


As leather gloves have a natural layer of protective oils around them, we need to figure out how to break this barrier for the water to penetrate more effectively into the leather fibers.

Otherwise, the entire process would be less effective, and we would have to repeat the soaking and drying process several times before getting the desired results.

It turns out that rubbing alcohol and liquid dish soap did just the trick.

There are three ways to achieve this: one by submerging the gloves in the water-alcohol solution, two by spraying the gloves with a water-alcohol-dish soap solution, and three by combining the two ways.

First way:

  1. In a basin or bucket, mix 1:1 parts water and rubbing alcohol.
  2. Submerge the gloves in the solution for around 10 minutes.
  3. Take out the gloves from the solution and gently remove the excess water by shaking them first and then squeezing them against a flat surface.
  4. Air dry for around 24 hours.

Second way:

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 1:1 parts water and rubbing alcohol.
  2. Add two drops of liquid dish soap.
  3. Shake the solution until they’re mixed properly.
  4. Lay out the gloves on a cloth or towel, and spray the solution generously onto the gloves, making sure that all parts are wet.
  5. If you hold up the gloves and the solution is dripping from them, Remove the excess water.
  6. Wear the gloves for the last step until they are completely dry. Since you only sprayed them briefly and rubbing alcohol speeds up the drying process, this step will take considerably less time. Also, wearing them allows the gloves to conform to your hand size.

Note: You can wear latex gloves underneath if you get uncomfortable.

Third way:

The third process is simply a combination of the two above.

  1. Soak the leather gloves in a basin full of 1:1 parts water and rubbing alcohol.
  2. In a spray bottle, prepare a different solution: 1:1 parts water and rubbing alcohol, and add two drops of dish soap.
  3. Remove the gloves from the basin and spray them with the water-rubbing alcohol-dish soap solution.
  4. Gently squeeze out any excess solution from the glove.
  5. Let the gloves dry naturally.

3: Iron-shrinking method


If you’re looking for a quicker way to shrink your leather gloves, this method is for you.

  1. Place the gloves flat against the ironing board.
  2. Cover it with semi-transparent paper, such as glassine, to avoid ironing it directly.
  3. Place a piece of card under the thumb of the glove to prevent leaving a thumb-shaped dent in the glove’s palm when pressing down on the iron.
  4. Start ironing each part of the front of the leather firmly, pausing for a few minutes at a time. The ironing time and pressure will vary depending on the leather is thickness. Also, avoid ironing the outer edges of your leather gloves to prevent creases from forming.
  5. Repeat the same step for the back portion.
  6. Allow the glove to cool for a few minutes.
  7. Try on the gloves and see if they fit.

For this method, we usually repeat the entire procedure of heating and cooling for the shrink gloves to fit.

4: Seek professional help


If you’re having second thoughts on the methods above or if you find your gloves so precious and delicate that you simply won’t risk them, it’s also a good idea to get them checked out by a leather care expert or a tailor.

They can help you figure out the best way to make leather gloves shrink without ruining the leather.


In addition to feeling uncomfortable, wearing stretched leather gloves can be bothersome because they limit your ability to move your fingers and flex freely. This is why it’s essential to know how to shrink leather gloves.

The four methods listed above are all effective in reducing the size of your gloves so that they fit better. You can shrink it with either water or a solution of water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap.

If you’re short on time and need to use it in the next couple of hours, try the iron-shrinking method. But if you deem these methods too risky for your gloves, seeking professional help is also great.

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