10 Jan 2013
A leather lounge suite can be a good investment for your home furniture. It is resistant, long lasting and can be accessorised with just about anything.
However, as the leather gets older, cracks will start to appear if the leather is not conditioned regularly. Normal household furniture polish won't condition leather, it will only give it a false shine.
It's important to regularly clean and condition leather furniture with the correct products to keep them looking good and extend their lifetime. Once the leather starts to crack there isn't much you can do to repair it, but you can clean and apply leather conditioner to soften the look and prevent further damage.
Cracked leather is a common problem on leather furniture that is not maintained properly, and one that leather restoration experts can easily fix, but like most things with leather furniture, it's far cheaper to take care of the problem before it becomes an issue.
What causes leather to crack?
Leather is porous, so it soaks up oils and dirt from your body and hair. These oils are absorbed into the top coating on leather and become abrasive as it breaks down, causing wear and eventually, cracks on the surface.
How to maintain leather
It is important to clean and condition leather furniture at least twice a year. This removes any dirt and oil still sitting on the surface of furniture and prevents it from soaking in.
A regular cleaning with saddle soap and leather conditioner ensures the top of the leather stays clean and supple and because the seating cushions, backrest and arm are under constant wear, it is more important to pay particular attention to these areas.
1. After cleaning the suite, any large cracks you see can be stuck down using leather glue to prevent future cracking. Apply it according to the instructions and be sure to wipe away any excess glue that oozes out.
2. Use a soft sponge to apply leather balm over cracked areas. Follow the instructions.
Light coloured leather furniture may need cleaning before restoring the leather and applying leather conditioner. Saddle soap, or pure glycerin soap is the best product to use for cleaning leather. This soap doesn't contain any harsh chemicals that will damage the leather.
Use a clean, soft shoe polishing brush to apply saddle soap and to brush clean the surface.
A specialist leather cleaner will clean leather safely and effectively. These products are designed to loosen and lift out embedded grime. Apply and rub off with a damp cloth and after cleaning, condition with leather conditioner.
Leather Conditioner is the most effective way to restore leather. It nourishes, softens and protects while extending the life of the leather. Use it as a regular maintenance program to keep your leather furniture looking good.
Tip: Leather conditioner may darken light-coloured leathers. Apply with a damp cloth.
If you need to dye leather, make sure that you use a dye specifically designed for leather. Eco-Flow leather dye is available and comes in a variety of colours.
Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za
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