In general, unprotected leathers are highly absorbent and hydrophilic, meaning they have the propensity to absorb water based substances and oils. Liquids, foods, household substances, fatty oils and the oil from perspiration can all break down and damage the leather.
Leather in its purest form (called aniline leather) is typically the most expensive, as it is manufactured using the best quality hides and will appear luxuriously soft and supple. The leather will breathe naturally and allow air to pass through and ventilate the furniture. However, aniline leathers typically have no protective treatment and are difficult to keep clean and maintain. Therefore, such leathers, including nubuck and suede, are likely to require additional care in the form of leather protectors, cleaners and nourishers.
In general, the more manufactured the form of leather, the more likely it is that additional protective treatments have been applied, and therefore, less care and protection is required. The following table forms a general guide as to the level of care required for different forms of leather.
Although care will differ between the various forms of leather, some general suggestions will apply to the majority of leather products:
- Regularly wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth to prevent the build up of oils and grease.
- Vacuum or dust all surfaces and cushions regularly. Vacuum on low speed with the most appropriate brush accompanying the vacuum cleaner.
- Prevent ultra violet damage by keeping furniture away from direct sunlight to help minimise fading.
- Position furniture at least two metres from a heat source such as heaters or radiators.
- Do not sit on edges of cushions or arms as this can cause fractures in the timber frame or distortion of foam and cushioning.
- Keep pets and sharp objects away from fabric to avoid fabric discolouration, cuts or pulls.
By Dezign recommends Studio Leather & Fabric’s range of leather protection and leather cleaning products to extend the life and enhance the appearance of your leather furniture.