‘Salvage’ – 1) Something saved from destruction or waste and put to further use. 2) To save discarded or damaged material for further use.
While there are times when even our leather restoration services and expertise cannot repair extreme damage, you would be amazed at what we actually can do to rescue pet damaged furniture. It would be painful and shameful to discard an entire top grain, leather sectional sofa costing thousands of dollars, just because one leather arm was chewed up by the family dog! We are able to dismantle the damaged furniture, replace, custom match and re-dye a new leather panel, as well as take care of any necessary foam damage before re-assembling. Yep – as long as there are pet owners, you can bet Fibrenew Upstate will be called upon (regularly) as ‘salvage-rs’!
Ekornes is known worldwide as the ‘stressless’ chair innovator. Making a decision to purchase a leather Ekornes Stressless recliner chair and ottoman set can be a pricey one, but you can be assured that you are buying extreme comfort and functionality, coupled with ageless beauty. And even after years of use, this furniture will stand up beautifully to a restoration. Typically, the head rest area and chair arms will show the most wear due to accumulated body oils that begin breaking the leather down over time. If the leather is beyond repair in these areas, leather replacement may be necessary. Then, the entire piece of furniture can be restored and re-dyed back to a like new appearance, with the original comfort and functionality in tact.
As the owners of Fibrenew Upstate, we understand the excitement, as well as the aggravation, of moving. We know that a simple move (if there is such a thing) from one side of town to the other can be more disastrous than moving to the other side of the world. And I mean this quite literally, having moved ourselves from a temporary apartment to a newly built home, as well as moving all of our belonging to Australia and back! Since we have no plans of moving away from the Upstate of SC, you can rest easy knowing that we’ll be here should your next move encounter a few snags along the way. As you can see from these pictures, the movers misjudged the width of the door frame and snagged the front edge of this leather sofa recliner. We work with numerous moving, furniture and warranty companies throughout Greenville and the surrounding area – and of course, the do-it-yourself movers.
Some leather furniture is left in a more natural state with the pores, scars and blemishes on the hide remaining visible. This is achieved by the use of aniline dyes which are transparent, thus allowing the natural grain and texture to show through. Semi-aniline leather is similar, but does provide a ‘thin’ protective top coat. Over time and with use, this more natural and porous leather may accumulate dirt and body oils from people and pets, causing darkened areas to appear. Food and beverage spills are also quickly absorbed sometimes causing permanent stains. Additionally, if placed in a bright sunny window, aniline leather furniture may quickly fade. All of a sudden, what was meant to look natural, now looks old, worn and tired. Fibrenew Upstate can convert your aniline leather to fully finished leather furniture with the application of several thin layers of ‘pigmented’ dyes, followed by a final protective top coat finish. This process creates uniformity in color and adds durability. Fully finished leather will resist fading and staining and most spills can be cleaned away with a damp cloth.
Most of us might think that a big tear in a sewn-in, non-removable leather sofa cushion would necessitate getting rid of the sofa – or just living with it. Not so! Certainly it is much easier and less labor intensive to replace the leather on a removable cushion, but as you can see from these before and after pictures, Fibrenew Upstate can restore that which you might think is beyond restoration. (Click on picture to zoom in and take a closer look.) Obviously, this is a process, as the sofa must be relocated to our shop and dismantled. Once we gain access and remove the damaged leather a new leather replacement panel is sewn in. The sofa is then re-assembled and prepped for a custom matched re-dye of this newly restored cushion. And while there is quite a bit of labor involved in this type of restoration, the cost is quite affordable when compared to buying a new, ‘top grain’ leather sofa. And what a shame it would be to get rid of a ‘like new’, three seat, full leather sofa that, incidentally, also had a matching chair and ottoman. Without a doubt, Leather Restoration versus Leather Replacement can save you thousands of dollars – especially when you have a roomful of matching pieces of furniture!
Claw, not Paw, Prints
When the master’s away, the hound will lay anywhere he likes! And don’t be surprised if his favorite spot just happens to be yours, too! But be ware, getting comfy & cozy on your furniture may cause unintentional pet damage. Even the thickest of leather hides will eventually be punctured under the pressure of claws. Take the large, sharp claws of a German Shepard, for example. The repetitive motion of a dog getting up on a piece of furniture, as well as going from a laying to a sitting position can cause much damage, as is evidenced in these pictures. Luckily, Fibrenew Upstate was able to repair and re-dye this damaged leather sofa recliner.
Most of us know that after a perfume’s scent is developed it is diluted with alcohol. But did you realize that full perfumes can contain up to 95 percent alcohol? That’s because a higher alcohol volume creates a more intense aroma. While a treat for your olfactory senses, it can be a disaster on your leather! Alcohol is a stripping agent and will pull the color out of leather, leaving the affect you see on this leather ottoman. Unnoticed, an overturned and leaking bottle of perfume remained laying here until the leather dye and protective top coat essentially turned to ‘goo’. While extreme, hopefully this accident will serve as a reminder of the potential hazards to your leather from products containing alcohol. Regardless of what you may have read or heard, it is never a good idea to try and remove stains or even clean and disinfect leather furniture with alcohol or alcohol wipes – especially when Fibrenew Upstate can take care of these needs for you!
Complete Sofa Restoration and Re-Dye
One of the fringe benefits of owning Fibrenew Upstate is the advantage of keeping our personal leather belongings in tip top shape. We have a 10+ year old leather sofa with non-removable cushions that had flattened over the years. Not only did this make the sofa look a bit tired, it just wasn’t as comfortable for sitting anymore. While somewhat laborious, dismantling sofas is a task that we tackle regularly. And since it also increases accessibility for re-dyeing, why not? We’re quite pleased with the customized tan color choice, newly stuffed cushions and overall ‘like new’ appearance.
If you originally invested in quality, thick leather hide furnishings that you still love and enjoy, restoring and re-dyeing may be a great alternative to buying new.
When restoring, re-dyeing and repairing leather and vinyl, whether it be furniture, car interiors, boat seats, restaurant seating, etc., every restoration is unique. There may be similarities in various jobs, such as pet damage, color loss, cuts and tears or just general aging. But we customize our work to suit individual needs. For instance, this sectional sofa had fading and was showing wear on the seating areas, while the remainder was still in good condition. So, obviously there was no reason for an entire restoration. We focused on renewing the areas in need and simply cleaned and conditioned the rest. Contact Fibrenew Upstate for your customized restoration needs.
The original Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman were released in 1956. It was the first chair that Charles & Ray Eames produced for a high-end market and has been in continued production ever since. Their vision was for a chair with “the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt”. Though many furniture companies have copied or been influenced by this design, Herman Miller (in America) and Vitra (in Europe) remain the only two companies to produce these chairs with the Eames name attached. You will find a 1956 original rosewood set in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and another on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. And while the first public debut was on the Arlene Francis’ Home show, which later became the Today Show, it is still used in popular culture today. It was in practically every episode of Fraiser and in the first season of Friends, as well as in Cougar Town, Scrubs and on CSI. You can currently see it on Mad Men and in the Up All Night TV series, as well as on the cover of Larry King’s new autobiography. The modern classic style, coupled with comfort and usability, have made this leather chair and ottoman set iconic. There is a market for used Eames chairs, with some collectors willing to pay high prices. New sets start at around $4500 and can go up to $7000 (US), depending on the wood veneers and leather used in production.
So, imagine our delight (and nerves) at being asked to restore a 45+ year old Eames chair and ottoman! Since we do not specialize in antique wood restoration, we commissioned the best in the Upstate of South Carolina, Mr. Thomas Brannock (Branncok Custom Woodworking 864.281.0812). He meticulously stripped and refinished all of the wood, to include the re-gluing and replacement of missing or chipped veneers. Additionally, all of the metal on both the chair and ottoman bases was cleaned, sanded and re-painted, along with the replacement of other hardware and the metal feet. Old material was removed and replaced with newly, custom dyed leather. The set had originally belonged to the father of the owner, but had been in attic storage for many years. It was his wife that decided to bring his childhood memory back to life as a surprise. Needless to say, we had quite a feeling of pride and accomplishment in placing this very special gift under the family Christmas Tree!