Love & Care | Maintenance of Leather - Scan Design | Modern and Contemporary Furniture Store

Love & Care | Leather

How to care for your leather furniture.

Leather is a natural material and, as such, cannot be expected to be "perfect." Leather has natural variations: scars, wrinkles, pores, stretch marks, lines, and blemishes from healed wounds – these variations are to common. As leather ages it reveals its true natural characteristics. This should be considered part of its beauty and will not affect the performance of the leather.

Leather is a natural material which will stretch and crease. It will conform to your body over time making it perfectly accustomed to you as it breaks in. Expect to see changes in the first few months.

A seat cushion becomes softer with time which will cause comfort wrinkles. This is a normal process for any type of upholstery. Be sure to change seating positons from time to time for even wear.

Dust your leather furniture regularly. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum for regular maintenance. Take care to not place newspapers, dark throws, and unwashed new denim on your leather furniture as dyes can transfer.

Keep leather clean at all times. To clean your leather furniture, use a clean cloth slightly dampened with distilled water. Most leather products can be cleaned with a leather cleaner/conditioner. This lotion should not be left on the leather to dry, but instead should be wiped off thoroughly with a dry, absorbent cloth. Check with your sales person before using a cleaner/conditioner. When cleaning your furniture be sure to use your leather cleaner followed by a leather conditioner over the full surface of your furniture. Do not saturate the leather. Some fine leathers have no or very little surface protection and will stain easily. Contact a professional for the removal of stains.

Some leathers have a protective top coat. This is not meant to be a catch all - it merely buys you time to tend to spills. Time is of the essence, be sure to promptly clean spills with a soft dry cloth. • Using the wrong cleaning product may damage or discolor your leather. Make sure the cleaner is made for leather and is oil free. Consider our love and care products as our leather cleaner is oil free.

Each of our stores has maintenance products available to help you preserve the beauty of your furniture. Please call or visit our website or one of our stores for information on these products.

Be sure to use leather conditioner 3-4 times a year to reduce the risk of desiccation, scratching and fading. This will help ensure the preservation of the leather’s natural characteristics and appearance.

Sunlight may cause discoloration, be sure to draw your curtains and blinds to limit exposure.

Please be aware that there are heart medications and blood pressure tablets that can actually affect leather as it seeps out of pores. Sweat and body oils penetrate the surface of the leather. Over time these fats can oxidize (degrade) which can cause the fibers to lose structure and disintegrate.

Leather care


Types of Leather and Finishes:

Top-grain Leather
The best leathers come from Europe, particularly northern Europe. Because of the climate there are no mosquitoes and therefore no scarring. They also use electric fences instead of barbed wire and again this reduces scarring.

Full-Grain Leather
Full-grain refers to the upper section of a hide that previously contained the hair, but was removed from the hide/skin. Full-grain refers to hides that have not been sanded or buffed (otherwise known as corrected) in order to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide.

*Once the surface has been embossed or corrected it is no longer full-grain leather (see Leather Terms below).

The leather grain remains in its natural state which will allow the best fiber strength, resulting in greater durability. The natural grain also has natural breathability. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a natural patina and change in its appearance over time. The finest leather furniture is made from full-grain leather. For these reasons only the best raw hides are used in order to create full-grain leather. Full-grain leathers are mainly aniline and semi-aniline dyed.

Full Aniline Leather
Full aniline leather is leather that has not received a pigmented finish or been chemically treated. This is the natural look and feel of leather. It is delicate, has low light resistance and is susceptible to stains with visible natural markings. This has an ultra-luxurious handle. Full aniline leather is not suitable for people with pets and children that desire a ‘family-friendly’ cover. The best hides will be selected to be full aniline leather. When cleaning, do not saturate the leather. There is no surface protection and it will stain easily. Contact a professional for the removal of stains.

Semi-aniline Leather
These leathers have been aniline dyed, but have been color corrected and have protection added to it. Many of the leathers at Scan Design are semi-aniline, have been color corrected and have a protected finish which is highly desired for a consistent look and are long lasting even in active environments with pets and children. When cleaning, do not saturate the leather. Contact a professional for the removal of stains.

Leather Textiles
(PU Leather/Eco-Leather/Eco-Pele/Leather-look Textile)

“Leather Textiles” are NOT leather. It is a man-made textile which imitates the look and feel of leather. It is a woven material and as such has similar characteristics to fabric. It will not last as long as real top grain leather, but it will last as long as a good fabric. Leather textiles are a good alternative at a much lower cost than real top grain leather.

Dusting: Vacuum the furniture to remove dust (using the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner).

Cleaning: Use a clean cloth dampened with distilled water to clean. Never use strong cleaning agents that may contain harmful chemicals as they will damage the surface. Use only a mild water-based detergent if needed.

Leather textile cannot withstand cuts/scratches from knives, scissors, keys, animal claws, etc.

Compared to Bonded leather and Split leather, eco-pele or leather-look textile is much more durable and consistent, but top grain is always best.

Eco-Cuoio (Eco-leather by vendor 1158-):
To clean Eco-cuoio Leather, use a clean cloth dampened with distilled water to remove all spots and dust. Do not apply any household cleaning substance that may contain chemicals, as these can cause potential separation of panel surface.

NOTE: The 3-year Limited Warranty offered by vendor 1158 covers manufacturing material defects only – any damages due to improper cleaning are not covered by the warranty.

Other Common Terminology used in the market:

Bonded Leather / Regenerated Leather:
Bonded leather is ground up leather fibers that have been glued (bonded) back together - many times it is mixed with a natural rubber or latex material. These are then painted to look like leather. It uses some of the leather fiber to create durability, but is not considered ‘leather’.

Bonded leather lacks the long term elastic qualities of well-maintained top grain leather due to the glue and paint surface. We do not carry furniture with bonded leather. Use a clean cloth dampened with distilled water to clean.

Split Leather:
Split leather (sometimes called bottom-grain leather) is from the second layer of the hide that does not contain any of the benefits of the top grain. They “split” the top and bottom of the leather. Then they take the split (bottom) portion and replace the top grain portion with paint/glue. That is why this type of leather does not age well and is not used on surfaces. Usually this is used on sides and backs to cut costs. We do not carry furniture with split leather.

Bycast Leather:
Similar to above, however, leather can be split into several layers. Bycast leather is a combination of natural split leather hides bonded to a man-made surface and then coated with a layer of polyurethane. The coating helps prevent scratching gives it a higher resistance to sunlight fading and is an excellent dirt-repelling surface. Bycast is ironed very smooth to remove most of the natural graining and has a shiny appearance. We do not carry furniture with bycast leather.

Use a clean cloth dampened with distilled water to clean. Heat from a hairdryer can be used to remove light scratches.

Corrected Leather:
Sanded, buffed, removing any imperfections on the surface due to insect bites, healed scars of brands and slight wrinkles

Embossed Leather:
Ironed smooth or stamped with a corrected grain pattern imprinted on the surface

Pigmented Leather:
A finish containing fine pigment particles in a binder that has been applied to the surface. The solid pigment helps hide the corrections or imperfections.

Love & Care | Maintenance


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