Leather is a natural product. It breathes, is warm and has individual characteristics, which makes each hide unique. Leather will always display traces of its origin such as brands, scars, creases and growth. These hallmarks add character to the suite and do not affect the wearing qualities of the product. Leather is highly resilient, durable over time and develops a patina that increasingly enhances its appeal.
A genuine, quality leather sofa is a rewarding investment. But just like any other kind of investment, it pays to look after it properly – and that’s why leather sofa care is so important. The first rule of leather sofa care is to find out what kind of leather your sofa is made from. There are a variety of different types of leather, each requiring treatment in its own special way. By attempting to treat leather with the wrong products, you could actually cause it to crack.
To find out what kind of leather your sofa is made from, refer to the manufacturer guide that came with your sofa. It should also have cleaning instructions, and adhering to these instructions should help ensure you don’t invalidate the warranty on the product. If you no longer have the cleaning or maintenance instructions, you may find these leather sofa care hints and tips useful – but we’d always recommend you try out any of these methods in a discreet, unseen area of the sofa first, just to be sure there’s no adverse reaction from the leather.
Aniline and Sauvage Leather
This leather made from the most carefully selected hides and is therefore expensive. Dyes are impregnated into the skin and the surface remains natural, with little or no protection. Minor imperfections and variations in shade can be clearly seen. Aniline leather will inevitably become soiled in use.
This process is designed to combine the natural feel and appearance of Aniline with a good level of protection. Skins are selected with only slight markings and the dye is impregnated. A light protective coating is then applied to give some degree of resistance to staining; this makes the leather a little stiffer to the touch than Aniline.
Leather conditioner is easily accessible in supermarkets and is a simple, cost-effective way to keep your leather sofa looking as good as the day you bought it. Make sure you only buy conditioner suitable for your type of leather – and check too that it is suitable for the colour of your leather sofa as some are colour specific. Clean with soap (and just a drop of water) As your leather sofa ages, the leather will steadily loses its moisture. You can effectively replace this lost moisture by regularly cleaning your sofa with soap and water. Only use a tiny amount of water though – don’t soak or rinse, simply dab with a damp cloth. This is the best way to prevent a build up of dust and dirt, and helps give your leather that ‘just bought’ shine.
Leather is a brilliantly durable material, which makes it ideal for household furniture. But if your leather sofa is cream or white, it won’t take too kindly to red wine or biro ink for example. These kind of stains give way to slightly more unusual cleaning methods – ink, for example, is something that can supposedly be treated with vinegar! Simply dab the vinegar onto the ink stain using cotton wool or a soft cloth, then dry the dampened area with a hairdryer. Odd – but effective. Likewise, red wine stains can be soaked up using salt. Of course these kind of troublesome marks can also be remedied by any number of commercially available leather cleaning products. Simply make sure that whatever you choose is suitable for your type of leather sofa – otherwise it’s feasible you’ll do more harm than good!