Advice - About Leather


ABOUT LEATHER

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEATHER

If you have ever bought leather goods, then you are probably already aware that there are several different types of leather out there. But did you know that the various types of leather respond differently to repair efforts?

Regardless of whether you are cleaning and conditioning leather furniture with our comprehensive range of cleaners and GT11 Leather Conditioner, touching up some leather scuff marks with our SCUFFmaster products or repairing badly damaged and cracked leather with our Flexicote Dyes, the leather type will have an effect on the results, and will also determine the best Liquid Leather product to use.

The first step in repairing leather is to determine what type of leather you are actually working with. If you don’t happen to know the type of leather, luckily there is an easy way to find out, and all you need is a drop of water!
To determine the type of leather, simply drip a small amount of water onto a hidden area and time how long the water remains on the surface.

Below is a list of the most common types of leather used in furniture, along with the water test times, and a rating of how successful repairs generally are on that particular type of leather.

 

Correct Grain 

Correct Grain or Sealed Leather

With a buffed surface sprayed with dye and a protective sealant, this leather is the easiest to repair and clean. A Liquid Leather Furniture Care Kit will effectively keep this leather looking its best.

Water Test: 15 Minutes Repair Rating: 100%

Semi-Aniline 

Semi-Aniline Leather

Similar to pure aniline, but with a protective sealant. Vertical repairs tend to look better, but using Liquid Leather SCUFFmaster Leather Touch-Up Kit on the entire leather panel can help conceal the repair. For cleaning, use Liquid Leather GT15.5 Foam Cleaner to avoid water stains.

Water Test: 5 Minutes Repair Rating: 75%

Wax Pull-Up 

Wax Pull-Up Leather

Pure aniline leather with a wax protective coating, making it easier to care for than other aniline leathers. Liquid Leather’s GT17 Wax Pull-Up Revivor contains vital oils to restore the coating and enhance the colour, remove some stains and blend in light scratches. For cleaning, we recommend Liquid Leather GT15.5 Foam Cleaner.

Water Test: 5-10 Minutes Repair Rating: 40-100%

Anitique Rubbed 

Anitique Rubbed Leather

Usually corrected grain leather with a dark shade of dye sprayed over a lighter shade with a thick protective sealant. By rubbing the raised areas of the leather, the darker shade is removed to give contrasting shades. Liquid Leather GT11 Leather Conditioner should be used at least 3 times a year to prevent cracking and maintain the health of the leather.

Water Test: 15 Minutes Repair Rating: 100%

Bicast 

Bicast or PU Leather

This is a very durable and hard-wearing leather which is often used on shoes and other clothing. It has a tough coating of polyurethane or plastic to protect the leather, making it easy to work with. Stubborn stains can be removed with Liquid Leather GT12 Intensive Cleaner.

Water Test: Indefinite           Repair Rating: 100%

CARING FOR LEATHER

With all the modern synthetic materials on the market today, real leather is still widely considered the best material for a wide range of applications including furniture, clothing, cars and motorcycles. However, owning leather comes with a certain responsibility of care to ensure that it stays in top form.

If you have read our page on the different types of leather, then you will know what kind of leather you have, and how each type of leather needs to be cared for differently, but there are a few rules which apply to caring for all types of leather.

  • NEVER clean your leather with soap. Soap dries the leather and causes it to shrink.
  • NEVER use a product containing ammonia on your leather. It will not only damage the stitching, but will also strip the natural oils – causing it to harden.
  • NEVER use beeswax on your leather. Natural as it may be, the wax will block the pores of the leather and make people sweat when in contact with it. Beeswax will also make the leather shiny, slippery and generally less pleasant to look at and touch. If you want a glossy finish on your leather, Liquid Leather GT21 Gloss Enhancer will do the trick without blocking the leather’s pores.
  • NEVER use any household cleaners on leather, especially those containing salt and caustic soda. Only use products developed specifically for use on your particular type of leather such as Liquid Leather GT15.5 Foam Cleaner and GT15 Gentle Cleaner.
  • NEVER use aerosol polishes on or around leather. They usually contain silicones, which can cause harm to the leather.
  • NEVER use dubbin, shoe polish or saddle care products on leather furniture, leather car seats, leather clothing or leather bags. These products are intended for use on thick, durable leathers, which do not need to “breathe”. Liquid Leather has a full range of leather cleaners and leather conditioners that have been developed specifically for furniture, upholstery and fashion leathers, so you can always find the one that’s right for the task.
  • NEVER use “all-in-one” leather cleaners and conditioners. They do not work. A good conditioner must soak into the leather immediately, and if there is dirt on the surface, it will soak in with it!
  • NEVER use leather conditioners or leather feeds that require you to “polish off” after a length of time. Needing to “polish off” a conditioner is another way of saying that the product doesn’t soak into the leather properly, leaves you with a residue that attracts dust and dirt.

We know, that’s a lot of NEVERs! But the truth is, properly taking care of your leather pays off in the long run, and can even leave you with leather products that out-live you!

THE REAL SMELL OF LEATHER

Remember that rich, exquisite smell of real leather that we all love so much? There was a time when that powerful, evocative aroma was present on practically every leather product produced, but sadly, that’s not the case today. These days when you buy a new car kitted-out with leather upholstery, you get that “new car” smell, but where’s the smell of that leather you paid so much extra cash for?

Modern tanning techniques may have greatly increased the efficiency in producing leathers, but unfortunately they have taken away that iconic leather smell that won over our hearts and minds.

But before you start digging through the attic trying to find your granddad’s old leather briefcase, just try one of Liquid Leather’s solutions to give you the scent that you’ve been missing.

Liquid Leather GT11 Leather Conditioner has been a favourite for many years now, and not just for it’s great leather conditioning ability. After using GT11 Leather Conditioner, your leather will smell just like a 1960 Rolls Royce or Jaguar – permeating with the fantastic smell of real English leather. No other product on the market has been able to recreate this wonderful smell like Liquid Leather, and since the smell was created with more than just scented “potions”, GT11 Leather Conditioner’s scent is long-lasting too.

In more recent years, Liquid Leather has been able to harness this much-loved scent from our GT11 Leather Conditioner’s and now offer it on both a hanging Leather Scented Air Freshener and a Leather Scented Aroma Pads.

The Leather Scented Air Freshener is perfect for hanging in your car, in your wardrobe next to your leather jacket or in your leather handbag; whereas the Leather Scented Aroma Pads can add that touch of class and elegance to your office, or can be placed under the seat of your car to make you feel like you’re driving a 1961 Jaguar E-Type (only much, much cheaper!).
So before you run off to the antique shop, try one of Liquid Leather’s leather-scented products and bring back the smell of real English Leather that we all miss so much!

LEATHER WIPES WHAT'S THEIR WORTH

Leather wipes, and other wipes for that matter, have a real appeal to today’s busy societies, but do they actually work or are they just capitalising on people’s need for time saving “solutions”?

Well after listening to an increasing number of people’s emails and phone calls expressing their disappointment with leather cleaning wipes, we decided to find out.

The results were shockingly clear. Every leather cleaning/cleaning and conditioning wipe we tried – from the cheapest to the most expensive – did very little to produce the results they claimed. Before we even looked at how effective the solution was, we found that some wipes could barely clean one arm of a chair before drying out and becoming useless! And since these wipes are often not cheap, you’re certainly not getting much for your money!

In terms of how effective the solutions were, well that was clear before we even opened the packaging on some of the products. We’re talking about the “clean and condition” leather wipes. Since any effective leather cleaners such as Liquid Leather GT15 Gentle Cleaner and GT15.5 Foam Cleaner are designed to take dirt OUT of the leather, and leather conditioners such as Liquid Leather GT11 Leather Conditioner are designed to put moisturisers and oils INTO the leather, it’s simply not possible to do both with one product.

Even the “best” dedicated leather cleaning wipes we found removed very little dirt from the leather, and such was evident when a following treatment of Liquid Leather Foam Cleaner still produced visible dirt on the Cotton Cloth.

We welcome you to do your own experiments with these leather wipes; but at the end of the day, you’ll always find that our Liquid Leather cleaners and conditioners to be far more effective. And don’t forget, when you use GT11 Leather Conditioner, you get the added bonus of that real leather smell!

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