When considering adding to your leather collection, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. What type of leather is best suited to your needs? To assist in some of the research, we are showing you the pros and cons of the three main types of leather.
Aniline leather is considered the most natural looking leather. Some people refer to it as “naked leather” because of how natural it looks. It is known to be very soft and comfortable. A lot of people enjoy aniline leather because it preserves each marking it receives, making each piece completely unique. While this type of leather can be very visually pleasing, it is a material that is easily strained. If you have a busy family or high traffic in your home, this is a type of leather you may want to avoid.
The main difference between semi-aniline and aniline weather is the light protective coat semi-aniline receives. This protective coat is useful because it makes the material more resistant to strain and stains, which helps it to last longer. The color in semi-aniline leather is also more consistent than in aniline leather. The downside to this type of leather is the protective coat leads to less uniqueness; the leather does not retain markings as well with the protective coat.
The most durable type of leather available, pigmented leather is covered with a polymer surface coating that contains pigments. This coating gives the leather more resistance to scratching, scuffing or fading. Pigmented leather does not have the unique qualities of other types of leather, as the sealant prevents marks from staying on the material. Pigmented leather is an excellent choice for busy families who have high traffic in their homes. Pigmented leather is easy to maintain and makes for an excellent couch or lounge chair material.
As you can see, there are good and bad aspects to every type of leather available. Being informed about which kind works best for your lifestyle is important when purchasing leather furniture. Happy shopping!
When caring for your leather products, it can be very tempting to use common household cleaning products. Lots of people gravitate towards products they already have around the house, like baby wipes or other types of cleaning wipes. While these seem like an excellent way to keep your leather looking clean, they are actually terrible for leather.
Products like baby wipes contain chemicals that can cause the pigment in your leather to peel and crack, completely ruining the finish of your leather products. Nobody likes their leather to look worn down and old! Protect your leather by avoiding products like baby wipes that contain high levels of chemicals.
For general leather upkeep, there are some basic things you can do to ensure your leather products stay in top quality shape.
• Wiping leather down with a damp cloth can re-hydrate the leather and prevent the material from drying out, which eventually leads to cracks.
• Positioning your leather furniture away from any radiators can protect it from heat damage.
• Avoiding direct sunlight keeps your furniture from fading.
Following these simple tips and avoiding harmful chemical cleaning products will help keep your leather in tip-top shape. And don’t forget, Fibrenew is always available for any leather repairs you may need!
Leather is a material we see all the time; on furniture, in clothing stores and even on accessories. When it comes to accessorizing with leather, there are a ton of great options for everyone out there. Here are some great ways we have seen leather used recently.
The leather jacket: Since the days of James Dean and beyond, the leather jacket has become a fashion staple. Whether it is in traditional black or assorted bright colors, the leather jacket is a fashionable way to keep warm and make a statement.
Phone/iPad Cases: Leather for phones is a blossoming trend; on Pinterest, tutorials for how to make your own can be found. Since the growth of the smart phone, cases have become more of a fashion statement than a necessity. A quality leather case provides protection for the phone as well as a classic statement of good taste for the owner.
Briefcases: Staying organized at work is something many people struggle with and a briefcase can be an excellent option for keeping things in order to and from the office. Many of the more stylish briefcases are made with genuine leather, giving them a professional and high class feel.
Journals: Leather journals are hardly a new product, but lately there has been a huge revival. Writers can be seen scribbling down ideas for the next great story and artists are often spotted sketching in large leather-covered books. The leather journal is a great way to keep your private thoughts and ideas stylishly safe.
Pillows: A well-placed throw pillow can brighten up just about any decorating scheme. Leather throw pillows have been spotted everywhere lately. The lasting quality of the leather is great for pillows that are likely to get moved around a lot, and there is something undeniably classic about a rich leather fabric in any room.
Jewelry and watches: From leather cuffs to fringed leather necklaces to unique colored leather watch bands; our favorite material has been popping up in ensembles everywhere lately. Jewelry is a great way to make a subtle statement with leather. A lot of leather jewelry items can be made at home, such as this necklace. Making your own pieces can be a fun and interesting way to work with leather material.
These are just a few of the great leather goods we have seen recently. When indulging in a beautiful leather purchase, don’t forget to consider the upkeep! Keeping leather clean and healthy helps products stay beautiful and last a long time. To ensure your leather goods stay in top shape, avoid cleaning with household products, like cleaning wipes. Stick to basic soap and water instead, which cleans the leather without removing any of the finish. Wiping leather goods down with a damp cloth and dusting regularly are also great ways to extend the life of your leather.
Have you seen any interesting uses of leather recently? Tell us about it in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.
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.
Motorcycle seat faded by the sun
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!
Hair spray has always been a favorite fix-all by old wives’ tale believers. Hair spray has been hailed as a solution for stain removal, stopping runs in tights and is now being used to remove stains from leather furniture.
While many of the ladies here at Fibrenew do insist that it works wonders on stocking runs, we are all 100 percent in agreement that you should NEVER try using it on leather.
There are two main reasons not to use hair spray on leather furniture or other upholstery:
- A lot of hair spray contains alcohol, and alcohol damages the surface of all types of leather upholstery. While you may not see the damage right after you spray it on, you will notice that it breaks down the leather’s ability to protect itself from damage down the road. This is especially true for fully-finished leather.
- Hair spray is always going to leave your leather feeling a little sticky. You might think of this as a minor nuisance and just wait for it to wear off, but the truth is that “just a little sticky” is actually more problematic than you might think. The hair spray residue will attract little tiny pieces of dirt and dust that you might not be able to see with the naked eye. This will cause abrasion as people move around on your upholstery, breaking down the protective topcoat on fully-finished leather and digging into and damaging semi-aniline or aniline leather.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather. We do not advise using:
Questions or experiences with hair spray on leather? Post them in the comments!
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!
It’s true that finger nail polish will remove marks on leather upholstery, but it also removes the dyes that are supposed to be on the leather, leaving a bleached out spot on your leather’s surface. Finger nail polish also wears down the top coat on fully-finished leathers, leaving them more susceptible to damage.
Fingernail polish remover took the color out of this couch when the owner tried to use it to remove the pen mark.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather including. We discourage the use of:
Questions or experiences with nail polish remover? Post them in the comments!
It is a common mistake to use shoe polish on leather upholstery. People try to use it on furniture and on their leather car seats, but it doesn’t work.
The leather used in upholstery is tanned differently from the leather in shoes. It does not soak up shoe polish like shoes do, so the polish will just sit on the surface of your leather and make a sticky mess.
Depending on the type of damage, you may have a number of other alternatives. Professional leather repair experts can usually fix scuffed, faded, torn or otherwise damaged leather for a fraction of the cost of replacing or reupholstering furniture and auto seats.
There are a number of other home remedies and wives’ tales about using home products on leather. We do not advise using the following:
- Olive oil
- Hair spray
- Window cleaner
- Finger nail polish remover
- Disposable cleaning supplies and wipes
Questions or experiences with shoe polish? Post them in the comments!
There are dozens and dozens of old wives’ tales on different household products that can be used to clean and repair leather. Heed my advice – don’t use any of the following products on your leather furniture! I’ve seen countless pieces of furniture ruined by these very things and wouldn’t want you to find yourself in the same predicament.
1. Olive oil: Lots of people use olive oil to moisten and condition their leather from time to time. It is also used to hide blemishes and dings on couches and chairs. While oil might make your couch look nice right this minute, you are really doing irreparable damage to your furniture. The oil will soak into the back side of the leather, eventually filling it up and causing ugly oil spots. Also, while some older leathers required some sort of moisture, leather today is tanned to hold in all of the moisture it needs. If you have a piece of leather that you want oiled because you want it to be soft regardless of how it looks (think baseball gloves), then oil may be OK. But, it is never advised on any type of high end or furniture leather.
2. Shoe polish: There are several types of furniture leather, and all of those types are very different from the type of leather used in shoes. Because of leather furniture’s different finishes, it will never mix well with shoe polish. The polish will just make a gunky mess on your furniture.
3. Beeswax: I’ve seen people try to use beeswax to water-proof leather. This can be a good option for leather work boots, but I do not recommend that you use it on leather furniture. It can make the leather stiff and waxy to the touch.
4. Hair spray: According to many a wives’ tale, hair spray can be used to fix just about anything from runs in stockings to stains in cotton to marks on leather. Don’t use it on your leather furniture. It probably won’t help the stain, it might have alcohol in it (which damages the surface of leather) and it will leave a sticky mess on your furniture. The sticky spot will attract dirt and oils, causing further damage to the spot.
5. Markers: People try to use markers to fill in spots on their leather furniture. As the marker will not match your couch exactly, I do not recommend it.
6. Window cleaner: Most people think of window cleaner as being one of the mildest of all cleaners. While it may be mild enough for most household chores, you should never use it on your leather furniture. It contains alcohol that will damage the surface of your leather, leaving it more susceptible to damage.
7. Finger nail polish remover: People use this to try to remove stains from leather, but it will also remove the dye, leaving your leather with a bleached looking spot all around the spot you were originally trying to clean.
8. Disposable cleaning supplies and wipes: Most of these contain alcohol, and you should never use alcohol on leather. It will break down the protective surface on your leather.
Good Rule of Thumb
Don’t ever use alcohol or acetone products on leather furniture. These two things are very commonly found in household cleaning products and will do long term damage to your leather, breaking down its surface and stripping its color.
Any questions or experiences? Post them 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.
Couch faded by the sun
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.
Badly cracked chair
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!