fully-finished leather Tag
Most car interior leather and motorcycle seats are fully finished, and there are a couple of reasons why it cracks. Cracking usually occurs when the protective coating on fully finished leather is worn down or when there has been a manufacturer problem.
Cracked leather car seat
1. Body oil and dirt can cause leather to crack -
It is very easy for dirt and oils to collect on the surface of leather. Together, these act like a fine sand paper, breaking down the protective layer on fully finished leather over time, eventually leading to visible cracks at the surface. Once the protective layer is broken down, the leather underneath, which is incredibly porous, soaks up the dirt and oil sitting on its surface causing further abrasion and damage.
2. A manufacturer problem can cause leather to crack -
Tanneries put a layer of dye and a protective top coating on cow hide (almost like paint on drywall) to make fully finished leather. Leather has a lot of give and will stretch and move as people sit and slide around on it, so the manufacturer needs to stretch it properly before they put on the dye and protective top coating. If they don’t stretch it well, the leather will quickly stretch more than the dye can handle, and the coating will crack.
Once leather is cracked, a leather repair professional can typically fix it, however, it is much cheaper and easier to clean and take care of your leather seats from the start than to deal with cracking after it happens.
We’d be happy to answer any additional questions you have. Please post questions in the comments below, and, if you want to show us a photo of a specific piece of leather, either post it on our Facebook page or contact your local franchisee.
Most people, myself included, think of window cleaner as being one of the mildest of all cleaners. People consider it to be so mild they could use it on almost anything. Unfortunately, you really cannot use window cleaner on leather upholstery because almost all of it contains alcohol.
Alcohol will damage the surface of your leather, especially breaking down the protective top coat on fully-finished leathers that make up the vast majority of the leather upholstery market. Breakdown of this surface will leave your upholstery more susceptible to all types of damage in the future, like scratching and water damage.
Alcohol can also, in some cases, cause discoloration in leather.
This footrest has been slightly discolored with an orange hue because of an alcohol cleaner.
This couch has a slightly discolored mark because the owner used a cleaner with alcohol in it.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather. We do not advise using any of the following:
Questions or experiences with window cleaner or other cleaners containing alcohol? Post them in the comments!
There are many types of leather, and leather jargon can be very overwhelming to people trying to figure out what kind of leather they have and want to buy.
What makes one type of leather different from another?
Leather is often sorted by the type of finish it has. The three main types of upholstery leather finish are fully-finished, aniline and semi-aniline. All of these terms are indicative of the type of dyes and protective layers used on the hide, and each surface reacts differently to cleaning products and damage.
What does fully-finished mean?
When tanneries make fully-finished leather out of hide, they put a dye and protective layer on it that will make it more resilient to damage than other types of leather. You can think of this process like putting paint onto drywall. It actually forms a thin barrier between the hide and the air.
Fully-Finished Leather Couch
What does fully-finished leather look like?
Fully-finished leather is usually glossy with a little bit of a shine to it.
Fully-finished leather car seat
Where will I see fully-finished leather?
Fully-finished leather is one of the most popular finishes for upholstery leather due to its durability. It is used in almost 100 percent of auto leather and makes up a large percentage of furniture leather.
Furniture brands like Lazy Boy, Palliser, Natuzzi and Elite use a lot of fully-finished leather.
What are the benefits and down sides of fully-finished leather?
- Fully-finished leather is excellent for pieces that need to withstand some wear and tear. That’s why it’s so commonly used in cars. If you have kids or pets, fully-finished leather is probably the way to go with furniture leather as well.
- It is usually less expensive than other types of leather. Because the layer of dye on top of the leather covers imperfections in the hide, manufacturers can use hides that aren’t naturally as pretty as those they have to use with other finishes.
- It is easy to clean up. After something spills on fully-finished leather, you usually have time to wipe it up with a damp cloth and dry it before it is damaged from the spill.
- Professionals can usually clean and repair fully-finished leather without much trouble.
- Fully-finished leather is not as natural looking as aniline and semi-aniline leather.
Questions about fully finished leather? Comments? We’d love to hear from you!