Do you own a piece of leather furniture? Leather is an impressive upholstery material that beautifully complements every style of interiors, from contemporary to traditional. It’s a sturdy material that can last for decades with the right upkeep. Leather conditioning is one of the most crucial maintenance measures to keep your leather soft and supple in the long run. In this post, we’re answering frequently asked questions about leather conditioning. Take a look.
Before the leather was your furniture’s upholstery, it was a part of an animal’s body. Animals secrete body oils that keep leather soft and hydrated. Without the right level of moisture, the leather fibres tend to dry out and start cracking. Conditioning your leather furniture is necessary to nourish these fibres and keep them flexible. Furthermore, leather conditioners protect your furniture from stains. They also deepen the colour and help the leather age beautifully.
As the natural oils dissipate over time, the leather becomes brittle and dry. Furthermore, exposure to direct sunlight and high heat can make your leather upholstery shed its moisture as well as fade.
Usually, leather furniture should be conditioned at least twice a year. But if your leather furniture is placed in a hot environment or is subjected to frequent use, then it may need to be conditioned three or four times a year.
The internet is full of information, a lot of which can be often misleading. And this is specifically true for homemade leather cleaners. From olive oil to mayonnaise, you can find various homemade concoctions that promise to moisturise your leather furniture perfectly. In reality, such ingredients can have the opposite effect and lead to irreversible damage. Lathering leather furniture with mayonnaise or any other condiments will just lead to a hot mess and even develop mould. It’s better to save condiments for sandwiches and not leather conditioning.
Olive oil is another internet-favourite pantry staple for rehydrating leather. Instead of nourishing the leather, olive oil will penetrate the surface and deteriorate the leather from within. Applying any oils that aren’t specifically made for leather can make the surface sticky and may even become rancid.
Experts DO NOT recommend using condiments and other household ingredients to conditioning your leather. If you are determined to condition your leather furniture by yourself, it would be ideal to use commercial-grade products. However, the best and most convenient solution is consulting a leather care expert.
There are several leather conditioning products available on the market. You can choose from conditioning creams, oils and waxes, all of which offer a unique set of benefits. Conditioning creams rehydrate leather fibres without changing the colour. If you don’t mind your leather furniture darkening a couple of shades, then conditioning oil can be used to soften the leather. Wax conditioner is another option that doesn’t provide as much moisture as others but does a great job of protecting the leather from spills.
Before conditioning the leather, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean the upholstery. Otherwise, dust particles will get trapped in the pores and cause gradual yet permanent damage. Leather conditioners should be applied in a circular motion using a lint-free cloth. When it comes to leather conditioner, a little amount goes a long way. Using too much product can infuse excess moisture into the leather upholstery and cause it to develop mould or mildew. That’s why it’s imperative to only apply thin layers of conditioner. It’s also recommended to buff it afterwards to remove any extra product that wasn’t absorbed by the leather. Lastly, the leather furniture should be left to air dry completely before use. This can take anywhere between a night to a few days.
As previously mentioned, there are several leather conditioning products available. But choosing a suitable one can be tricky. It’s best to leave leather conditioning to expert leather technicians. They are familiar with different types of leather and will accordingly apply the best-suited product.