What Is Grain Copying ?
Grain copying is where you take an impression of the grain on a leather item and then use special fillers to replicate the grain on the damaged area to make repairs invisible.
Grain copying can be done in many different ways depending on the job in hand, some are more difficult than others.
There are many ways to make grain if you’re not a professional with all the grain copying moulds, heat irons and graining fillers.
With a heavy filler you can repair the hole as normal by placing a backing fabric in place and then apply heavy filler to the hole leaving it just below the surface, then stipple the filler on mixed with a small amount of paint and then colour as normal and seal over.
Depending on the damage you have it’s also possible to let a bit of leather in. To do this you would fit in place a backing fabric as normal once the glue is dry cut a bit of leather and shave the edges on the suede side so that are thin, then blend in place with glue and colour as normal again then seal over with a clear coat lacquer.
To carry out grain repairs on leather using grain copying fillers, you would place a backing fabric behind the hole, this does not need to be glued in position, as the heat cure filler will fix that in place. Apply the base copier into the hole and heat cure with Teflon paper over the damaged area, so the leather is not damaged. The heat iron to use for these processes is pictured below. This will only take a few seconds to cure as you build this up in thin layers rather than trying to do in one hit.
Once you have the base layer in place to secure the hole, apply a thin layer of grain coper over the top and place the grain pad on the filler and then the Teflon paper over the top and heat for a few seconds. This copies the grain into the material and as it cures, it becomes solid with the grain impression made on the surface.
You may have to lightly sand the edges to blend in and then wipe with alcohol cleaner and colour as normal and then seal.
Areas that are just smoothed out with wear and tear can be grained this can be carried out using the quick dry filler thinned down with a small amount of water or lacquer and placed in a spray gun and adjust the spraying pressures so that the filler is sprayed out to create a spitting pattern that represents a grain on leather, then colour over with a sponge and spray gun as normal.