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Leather is a wonderful material that looks great when it's fresh and new.
However, after a while, it succumbs to the trials of life, especially with heavy use. Car seats are constantly rubbed by people getting in and out. Sofas probably have the worst of it, as we spend more time sitting on them than in our cars.
But whether it's car seats, sofas, chairs, handbags, shoes, coats, jackets, wallets or purses, leather items eventually look worn and faded.
Worn leather doesn't look so attractive. So what can be done about it?
The Leather Colour Doctor has the answer, with our leather colour restorer kit.
We are leather care professionals extraordinaire, with an amazing range of leather care products that are sure to include the solution to your leather-based problems.
You can discover more about our other products on the website, but to find out about faded leather and how to restore its colour, read on.
Leather is a naturally porous material. Essentially, it is very much like our own skin. And just like your skin, it needs proper care and attention to look its best.
Because of this, leather will absorb other materials, like dust, dirt, food particles, sweat, bodily oils and spilt drinks.
While this might seem like a negative point, dirty leather can be easily cleaned. And if leather wasn't porous, we wouldn't be able to dye it in the wonderful range of colours that are available. We would be limited to the natural colours of the animal's hide, and while there's nothing wrong with this, they don't suit all homes, tastes or settings.
Even so, these vibrant colours will begin to fade after a while as the dye is worn away by constant use.
Just as our skin is aged, dried out and burnt by powerful UV rays from the sun, leather is at risk of being bleached. Any leather that is exposed to sunlight long-term will begin to fade, with unsightly light patches.
The very best way to resolve this problem is with our leather colour restorer.
The first thing to note is that this is for restoring faded colour. If you want to change the colour of your leather item you'll need one of our specialist leather dyes.
Each kit contains three bottles as part of a three-stage process that we'll explain next:
A non-toxic water-based solution that uses a foaming action to penetrate the pores and lift away grease and dirt. It has an appealing fragrance that makes the leather smell fresh and clean.
Simply apply the fluid using a soft bristle brush (stiff bristles could damage the surface) and leave it to soak in as the foam starts to form.
After several minutes, wipe the foam away with a clean cloth.
The next step involves the wax balm to restore the original colour.
This is applied with a clean cloth using a gentle circular motion, making sure that you focus on any areas that are particularly worn and faded.
Allow the balm to soak into the leather surface and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the result. Dark colours will probably only need one coat, whereas lighter colours may need two coats.
Buff the dry surface until you get the sheen you desire.
Our conditioning cream is the final stage of the restoration process. It is non-greasy and keeps your leather feeling soft and supple. Apply this sparingly, using to circular motion to massage it into the leather.
It will protect your leather item from further damage by UV rays and prevent cracks, as well as guarding against stains.
Finally, our leather protection cream is infused with authentic leather scent, so your item will smell as good as it did when you first bought it.
Each leather colour restorer kit contains enough to clean and restore an entire three-piece suite or car interior.
The Leather Colour Doctor's leather colour restorer is suitable for most types (see below) and can be used on furniture, clothing, car interiors, and accessories.
As always, you should test the leather before using the product: put a small drop of water on the faded and damaged area. If it is absorbed into the surface, then it is okay to go ahead and use the leather colour restorer. If not, then our advice is to use one of our leather dyes instead.
Here are some of the leather types that are compatible with our leather colour restorer:
This is the most expensive leather as it is high-quality and retains its natural features. Aniline leather is also the least processed of all leather types. It is not sanded, and a transparent soluble aniline dye is added, giving it a soft, natural feel.
It is often reserved for high-end products and is more prone to damage and staining as it does not have a protective top coat.
The vast majority of modern leathers fall into this category. This is taken from the upper layers of the hide, and although it isn't considered the best quality leather, it is still durable and good quality material. It is different from full-grain leather in that the surface is usually buffed or sanded to remove imperfections.
Coloured pigments are used in the tanning process to achieve deep tones. As the natural grain is scoured away, an imitation grain is usually stamped into the surface.
This type of leather feels stronger and stiffer than aniline and is protected to some degree by the top coat. It is more water and stain-resistant than aniline leather.
Generally speaking, an antique is a collectable item that's over 100 years old. However, leather only has to be over 20 years old to be classed as antique, or vintage.
Either way, this leather is likely to be well-used and will have a lot of character. Even so, faded and worn leather needs protection to avoid further damage, and our leather colour restorer will do just this.
This can mean that two contrasting pigments are used on different sections of the item, although in the leather industry it's more likely to refer to extra layers of pigment added over a lighter base coat to create an antique effect, with light and dark areas.
Also called leatherette, this material is made from the lowest level of the hide. As it is not as durable as the upper layers (top and full-grain) a layer of polyurethane is applied and embossed to resemble leather grain.
Although not considered as good as other types, it was developed as a cheaper alternative to top-grain leather and has a range of uses.
This is a finishing technique rather than a type of leather. In a method known as hot-stuffing, where heated oil or wax is forced into the fibres, after which an aniline dye is added. As the leather is pulled or stretched, the dyes move through the leather fibres, creating an effect of ageing, similar to the two-tone look.
Our leather colour restorer is the ideal product and will revitalise all of these different types, making you fall in love with your leather again.
Although using our leather colour restorer is an excellent idea, it's always best to repair worn leather that has scratches, holes, burns or tears before doing so.
Our leather crack filler/scratch repair paste is perfect for renovating your sofa or car seats prior to using the colour restorer kit.
Simply apply the flexible paste with a spatula in thin coats, drying each layer with a hairdryer. Once it has cooled and hardened, the surface is sanded with an 800-grit sandpaper to get a smooth, level finish.
This is ideal if you want to cover those unsightly scratches and holes that spoil the look of your leather sofas or car seats.
Once finished, you are ready to use our professional leather colour restorer. In cases of heavy colour loss (or if you'd like to change the colour entirely), you may want to consider applying one of our superior leather dyes. See our website for more details or use our contact us facility.
If your leather items are in need of TLC, the Leather Colour Doctor has the ideal product to repair, restore and protect them and keep them looking great for years to come.
We are the experts to trust when it comes to caring for your leather goods, whether you want to fix minor scuffs and cracks, repair more serious damage, or change the colour of your leather completely.
So, if your leather furniture, car interior, clothing, or accessories are in need of a colour boost, our leather colour restorer is exactly what you need.
With the Leather Colour Doctor, you know that your leather is in safe hands.