Introduction: Relace a Baseball Mitt

Have a baseball mitt or glove that you just broke in the way you like it? ...the leather is getting soft and you're finally corralling that ball at third base... But the laces break or pull out through one of the holes? Or your kid has gone through his third glove of the season.

Well, before giving up on the mitt and trading it in for a new model, try fixing it instead. For about $5, you can get a lacing needle and some rawhide lace and maybe salvage that mitt for another season or two.


Lacing needle.
Lace. You will need this if you need to replace the lacing.

Step 1: Survey the Damage

How extensive is the damage? You'll have to figure out if you need new lacing or can rethread the old lacing. How much lacing will you need?

For this particular repair, the lacing had been pulled out of all four fingers and had been retied along the top to hold the fingers together. But the lacing itself was intact so I reused the old lacing and saved the new lacing for another repair.

Step 2: Plan the Repair

Each glove that I've worked on has had a slightly different lacing pattern. If possible, follow the existing lacing pattern as closely as possible. For this repair, the lacing had already been pulled out so this wasn't an option. By looking at another glove and probing the holes with the lacing needle to see where it came out, I was able to figure out a lacing order.

If the lacing pattern is complicated, make a diagram. Number the holes according to your planned lacing order. Dark lines indicate paths where the lacing is outside the mitt. You can use a broken line to indicate where the lacing goes through the mitt if it doesn't clutter up the diagram too much.

The "back" part of the drawing is drawn as if you are able to look through the mitt. This keeps the front and back spatially oriented so that order is easier to follow when you use the diagram to relace the glove.

Starting at hole 1 on the front of the index finger, the lacing goes through the index finger of the glove and comes out on the back at hole 2. The lacing re-enters the glove at hole 3 and comes out the front of the glove on the middle finger at hole 4. The lacing diagonally crosses over and re-enters the glove at hole 5. And so on...

Step 3: Insert the Needle

Insert the needle. It's not as painful as it sounds.

The needle goes in the opposite way of the lace. If you want the lace to go from left to right, put the needle in from the right so that it comes out of the mitt on the left.

If you are following the plan you made in the previous step, insert the needle into the hole 2 so that it comes out of hole 1. You will be walking the path backwards with the needle so that as you go to the next hole, the needle goes into the higher numbered hole and out the lower numbered hole.

Step 4: Thread the Needle

Thread the lace through the needle. Take care not to get the lace all twisted.

Step 5: Pull the Needle Through

Pull the needle back through the hole along with the lace. You may have to twist the tool back and forth and apply a little bit of force as you pull the lace through. Pull the lace far enough through so you can grab it with your fingers. Then pull it through until you reach the end.

Step 6: Tighten and Tie

Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 as many times as necessary. Tighten up the lacing but don't over do it. Tie off the ends. If there is excess, cut it off but leave enough lace at the end so that it is easy enough to retie should it become loose again.

Step 7: Play Ball!

Let's Play Ball!