sun damage Tag
You may notice that, over time, your soft leather car or motorcycle seats become dry or faded. Many people attribute this to wear and tear, but it is actually caused by heat and light from the sun. Because the leather in your vehicle is likely to be exposed to a lot of sunlight and heat in parking lots, vehicle manufacturers use leather that is highly resistant to sun damage in their seats.
Most car seats are made from fully-finished leather, and it tends to hold up a lot longer in the sun than other types of leather. But, even the strongest of leathers will be damaged by heat and sunlight over time, so it’s a good idea to clean and protect your seats 6-8 times a year to boost their resistance to damage.
You can also try using window shields in a car or covers on a bike to keep some of the light and heat off your leather if you park in the sun for extended periods of time.
It is also a good idea to seek out parking spots in the shade instead of in direct sunlight.
How to fix dried out, faded leather
You can have a leather professional re-dye faded leather for a reasonable cost. But, once the natural oils found in leather are gone, they’re gone for good. Leather professionals can do a number of things to make it look better, but there is no way to truly restore it to its previous condition. That’s why preventative maintenance is so important!
We’d be happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Please post your thoughts in the comments!
Leather furniture and upholstery will inevitably face some wear and tear throughout its life, and there are many types of damage you can’t avoid. However, sun damage is one problem that can definitely be prevented. Too much sunlight and heat will fade and/or dry out your leather.
Fading is commonly seen in semi-aniline and aniline leathers, and it is less common in fully-finished leathers that have a protective topcoat. It’s a problem people frequently face, and, if you put your leather furniture next to a window that gets a lot of sunlight, you can see fading in as little as 4 to 6 months.
Drying will occur with any type of leather. The sun’s heat slowly causes the moisture and natural oil in leather to evaporate. Over time, if you don’t care for your leather properly, it will dry out and crack.
How to Prevent Sun Damage
One crucial step to preventing fading and cracking is to, if possible, keep your leather furniture out of direct sunlight. You can do all the right things to protect your sofa, but, if it’s directly in front of a sunny window, it is only a matter of time before the heat takes its toll. If you do need to place furniture in front of a window (we know, most people do), invest in some blinds to shade your furniture from the sun during the hottest, sunniest parts of the day. Those blinds will be a lot cheaper than taking your leather upholstery to a professional for patching and re-dying later on down the road.
Another important precaution to take is to clean and protect your furniture 3-4 times a year with a leather conditioning kit. For tips, check out our post on how to clean and protect your leather.
On a final note, do not try to treat your leather with olive oil or any other type of oil—it will end up causing major damage in the long run.
Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you!
Unfortunately, sun and leather don’t usually mix well. Too much sunlight will do one of two things (and possibly both) to leather furniture and other upholstery– fading and drying.
Fading is commonly seen in semi-aniline and aniline leathers, but is a little rarer in fully-finished leathers that have a protective top coat. It’s one of the most common problems we see, and if you put leather furniture next to a window that gets some serious sunlight, you can start to see fading in as little as 4 to 6 months.
Drying, on the other hand, is something the sun will do to almost any kind of leather – fully-finished or not. The heat of sunlight causes the moisture in the leather’s natural oils to slowly evaporate, and eventually, it will dry, stiffen and crack.