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Leather Care – Spills, heat and sunlight…

03 Feb

Properly cared for Leather is one of the most durable upholstery materials.  It will excel in a wide range of different applications and will outperform most other materials.  That said if you place your leather in environments or conditions that aren’t appropriate you can greatly effect the durability and performance of you leather.  Even when properly protected there are certain conditions that will have a negative impact on your leather.  Proper care and maintenance will help protect your leather against spills, but even proper care and maintenance won’t help protect your leather against the potential damage that heat and long exposure to direct sunlight can do.Using protection creams will help reduce if not eliminate damage from spills.  That said even with leather that has been protected it is important to be proactive when liquid is split on your leather furniture.  The sooner you can clean up the spill the better.  When dealing with a spill it is important not to rub the surface.  Get a clean cloth and dab the surfaces to blot up the liquid.  Depending on what has split on your leather you may want to use a leather cleaner on that area you had the spill and then reapply a protection cream.  The way the soft cleaner we offer works if you squirt some into the sponge that comes with the kit and squeeze the sponge to create a lather.  By dabbing the surface of the leather with the cleaner it will release any staining.  On tough stains you many need to use a circular motion.  The key is not to rub the surface hard, let the cleaner do the work.

With all spills and stains on leather timing is everything.  The longer the stain can sit on the surface the harder it will be to clean.  Leather is a porous material, so with aniline leather getting to the spill or stain as soon as possible is critical as the longer you leave it the deeper it will get sucked into the leather.

Heat can almost do more damage to leather than spills and stains.  You should try to keep leather furniture away from direct heat as much as possible.  Unlike other upholstery materials leather has natural oils and moisture within the hide that make the leather soft and supple.  Placing leather furniture too close to heat sources will result in your leather drying out.  When leather dries out the surface can crack and you damage the structure of the leather.  If you have no choice in positioning your leather then it is important to apply conditioning creams more regularly to maintain your leather.  If your leather dries out too much even products on the market that rejuvenate leather won’t be able to bring your leather back 100%.

There are some types of leather in the market such as Automotive or Marine that come with added UV protection due to the extreme conditions that these hides are expected to perform in.  Most upholstery leather, however, does not come with extra UV protection.  As a result long exposure to direct sunlight can have a very negative effect on your leather.  Aside from drying your leather out, sunlight will fade your leather.  As with all materials darker colours will fade faster than lighter ones.  The other factor that affects fading in leather is the type of dye used.  Aniline leather will fade much faster than pigmented.  This is not to say that you can’t place leather furniture in a southern facing room, it just means you need to be conscience of the amount and intensity of sunlight that the furniture is exposed to.  The big issue with fading is that there is very little you can do to fix it.

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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Leather Care

 

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