Because leather is a natural product, aging brings out its natural patina, making it even more beautiful over time and in turn making it a great investment. Here are some tips to keeps your leather furniture beautiful and resilient for many years ahead:
- Normally using a dry cloth to wipe over your leather, or a vacuum cleaner to tidy out corners and crevices should do most of the job. If you do this on a regular basis there isn’t much more that you need to do (other than conditioning). It’s as simple as that!
- Avoid exposing leather to the sun for too long as this can cause discolouration and uneven fading. This is true with other furnishings as well.
- It is recommended to use a leather conditioner every 6-12 months to keep the leather supple and prevent it from cracking. Rub in using a soft cloth so that the leather can properly absorb the conditioner.
- For minor spills or spots use an absorbent cloth to gently wipe away any excess liquid then use a damp cloth to lightly wipe away at the entire area. Let it air dry.
- For larger stains do not use any solvents, soaps, polishes etc as this may cause more damage than good. For grease, butter or oil stains just gently wipe away with a dry absorbent cloth and leave it alone. The oil stain should be absorbed by the leather naturally in a couple of weeks. If a stain just won’t budge then it might be time to call in specialist leather cleaner to avoid any further damage to the leather.
- If your leather has minor scratches just gently buff them in with your fingers or a soft cloth. However don’t worry too much about light scratches as they fade away with time. If you have large, deep scratches in your leather they can be disguised with commercial leather dye.
Suede, which is the velvety soft under-side of leather has a reputation of being leathers high maintenance sibling - however it is a lot more durable than most people think. Here are some tips to help keep your suede looking great for years to come:
- Again, avoid sunlight as this can cause discolouration and fading to the suede. If you can't avoid placing your furniture in an area which gets heavy exposure to sunlight then use a throw to cover the furniture during the sunniest periods to avoid discolouration.
- If you live in a very dry climate make sure that the indoor air is not overly dry as this can cause damage - if you do live in a very dry climate it is probably best to invest in a humidifier to keep the suede supple.
- Vacuum suede with a soft attachment brush, and when cleaning make sure you use specialist 'made for suede' cleaner.
- Again avoid using solvent, soaps, polishes etc as this will damage the suede and stain it. Avoid using a damp cloth on suede to remove spots. Instead use a soft art gum eraser, using gentle repetitive motions.
- When ever you chose to try a new cleaning method do a patch test on a hidden area first to convince yourself of the results.