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How to Stretch Leather Gloves – Easy Step-by-step Guide

Fact checked by A. Thompson

how to stretch leather gloves

Do leather gloves stretch? Well, we are indeed familiar with leather gloves stretching over time. It is a rather natural process caused by frequent wear, requiring us to shrink them back to the original form to fit our hands well.

But, how about gloves with a fit smaller than desired? We cannot throw them away or keep wearing a too-tight pair that is very uncomfortable. The good news is that stretching gloves is not that tricky.

Regarding how to stretch leather gloves, there are several easy ways. Read on!

How to Stretch Tight Leather Gloves


Method 1 – Naturally stretching the gloves

We all know that wearing leather gloves for some time will end up stretching them naturally. This method can be applied to a pair only a tad tighter than it should be since stretching gradually will take a while.

Just put on your gloves for 2 to 3 hours every day, flex your fingers, and do some casual tasks.

Method 2 – Stretching gloves with water (not applicable for antique gloves)


Soaking then stretching leather gloves is easy to do, as we just need cold water (<85 °F). You can use water either from a hose or a running faucet, whichever is more convenient for you. Also, prepare a suitable leather conditioner to care for the stretched gloves.

  • Step 1: Soak the pair. While holding the gloves, use the hose or running faucet to soak them thoroughly.
  • Step 2: Squeeze excess water from the gloves. After getting the whole pair dripping with cold water, we need to wring them to remove the water. Squeeze both gloves until you feel that they are only damp and not soaking wet.
  • Step 3: Put the damp gloves on and stretch. Now, you should put the work gloves on when they are still damp. Keep them there and start doing casual tasks that do not involve dirtying the gloves.
  • The leather pair takes several hours to dry, but do not pull the gloves off even if you feel a bit uncomfortable.
  • Step 4: Condition the gloves. This step is recommended to keep your leather gloves in good condition. Apply the conditioner when the gloves are completely dry and fit nicely to your hands.

Method 3 – Stretching leather gloves with wet newspaper


Let’s prepare the following items:

1. A big bowl

2. Some old newspaper sheets

3. Leather conditioner

4. Warm water (at around 80 – 105 °F)

  • Step 1: Wet the leather gloves in warm water. As the big bowl is placed in front of you, hold one leather glove in one hand and start pouring the warm water onto it. Do the same with the other one. You can even soak them if you want.
  • Step 2: Put newspaper sheets in water. Take the wet gloves out of the bowl. Now, fill the bowl again with warm water and put several newspaper sheets into it. It takes around 10 minutes for the sheets to be completely soaked with water.
  • Then, you can remove the extra water by squeezing them. We do not want to put soaking wet sheets inside our gloves.
  • Step 3: Stuff the gloves with wet newspaper sheets. The next thing we do is rip the paper and roll them into smaller pieces to fill in every glove finger. Then, we’ll stuff the rest of the glove’s inner space with paper sheets.
  • Afterwards, leave them there for at least 24 hours.
  • Step 4: Remove the newspaper sheets. After a day or so (more than 24 hours) of keeping the gloves filled with newspaper inside a clean box, we can take the pair out. Now, when the gloves are dry, we can remove all the stuffed newspaper sheets inside with ease.
  • Step 5: Condition the dry gloves. We can take care of our gloves by using a suitable leather conditioner.

Warning: Do not use a hair dryer or hang the wet gloves under direct sunlight since excessive heat might damage your leather gloves.

Method 4 – Soften the stiff leather gloves (or break them in)

Many might notice that leather gloves feel a bit tight, even though the gloves have the exact size as other well-fit pairs in their collection. The main reason for it is the glove material stiffness, even with high-quality leather. So, we need to break in the pair or soften its fabric for a comfortable fit. What we need are simple:

1. Rubbing alcohol, leather conditioner, or saddle soap.

2. Paper towels or rags

  • Step 1: Apply the chosen agent on the gloves
  • If you use rubbing alcohol, pour the agent onto your small piece of rag or paper towel. Then, dap the wet piece onto your leather gloves. You can do the same with the leather conditioner and saddle soap. Make sure you apply the rubbing alcohol, soap, or conditioner evenly to cover the whole glove.
  • Step 2: Wait for the agent to work
  • Then, let the pair dry a bit for the agent to take effect and soften it. You can put the gloves on after several minutes of waiting.

Note: This process should be completed at least twice a year to keep your leather gloves in good condition and a proper fit. You can use rubbing alcohol to stretch out leather gloves after using method 2 (stretching leather gloves with water) if the latter does not give you the desired result.


This article shows different ways for you to know how to stretch leather gloves quickly and conveniently. You can combine different approaches, for instance: 1,2, and 4, to stretch your pair to the desired fit.

It is actually a breeze to take care of your pair with a bit of rubbing alcohol or leather conditioner, so make sure you purchase a suitable product.

If you find a good way to stretch your leather gloves other than these methods, feel free to tell us in the comment. We will also be happy if you share this article. Thank you!

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