Cover your hide!Protect your leather from the sun and the elements
Causes of sun and heat damage
We all know that too much exposure to sunlight is bad for your skin, causing irreparable damage and premature ageing.
The same is true of leather. As a natural product, it is susceptible to the damaging effects of harmful ultra violet rays, so avoid sun damage and cover your hide!
Leather is naturally porous and as such will release moisture and natural oils when exposed to excessive light or heat.
This causes it to become dry, lose flexibility and ultimately become brittle and crack. Once the damage is done, while some repair can be made, it can’t be completely reversed. It also causes fading, particularly in semi-aniline and aniline leathers.
Fully-finished leathers that have a protective topcoat which can lessen these effects.
Not just sunlight, but direct heat sources such as heaters or fireplaces can harm your leather. Inappropriate cleaning products are another source of potential harm. Never use cleaning solvents, furniture polish, oils, varnish, abrasive cleaners, or strong detergent soaps, as these can damage your leather.
If in doubt, get in touch and we can assist further.
Preventing sun damage
If possible, keep your furniture out of direct sunlight.
The closer your furniture is positioned to a sunny window, the more likely that it will show signs of fading. You can avoid sun damage by rotating your furniture if the room allows or installing blinds or a window tint to prevent your leather fading or drying out.
If a small part of your furniture is unavoidably hit by regular sunlight, a carefully placed throw can help mitigate damage while adding interest to your room. (See our range of throws)
As a general rule, never place your leather furniture next to heat sources like fires, heaters or heat pumps. Intense heat will scorch and shrink the leather, while prolonged exposure can dry the leather out.
Don’t leave printed materials on the leather. Inks can leach into the leather and leave indelible stains. While your sofa may be a great place to read your favourite magazine, ensure it isn’t left in direct contact.
Keep your leather conditioned. It will keep it more supple and resilient while helping to keep much-needed moisture in the leather. You can find Leather Protection Cream in our leather care range.
Start by cleaning the leather with a recommended leather cleaner. This will help remove dirt and some stains that can leave marks. It also helps prepare the leather to better receive treatments. Note that the leather cleaner is best for pigmented leathers. For semi-aniline and aniline leather we recommend the elephant leather preserver, or our Leather Ulra Clean.
Apply a shield protector. This unique lotion reduces friction damage on high contact areas such as leading edges on car seats, or arm and headrest areas on furniture. It also minimises and inhibits colour and dye transfer from clothing and textiles onto leather and vinyl surfaces. It does this by modifying the surface of the topcoat polymers with tiny (100 nanometres) particles and additives, buffering the surface against friction damage and clothing dyes.
Finally, apply a leather conditioner, which is our Leather Protection Cream. This has a range of ultraviolet filters together with synthetic conditioning and moisturising agents, to avoid sun damage.
With regular use, the suppleness of leather is retained. Fading of colour is also significantly reduced and damage due to surface friction is minimised.
Reparing existing damage
If your leather has already been damaged, the sooner you can repair it the better. We can put you in touch with leather professionals, or we can give you guidance with our Furniture Clinic products, with full instructions. The treatments outlined above are also a good starting place and will help improve the leather.
Minor damages can easily be repaired with our Liquid Leather Repair Resin. It is a coloured filling material which can be used on small holes, tears, deeper scratches and cracks. An alternative is to use our Heavy Filler or Flexifil, depending upon the environment.
Ultimately, prevention is the best medicine so avoid direct sunlight and condition your leather regularly to ensure you will enjoy it for many years to come.