If you’ve ever had a leather jacket that faded or wondered why your leather couch doesn’t look as dark as it once did, then you’ve experienced how the look of leather can alter with time.
When you’re thinking that your leather recliner doesn't look the way it used to, you’re probably right. The look of dyed leather may alter with time, and certain conditions can accelerate those changes.
Leather dyes are sensitive to fluctuations in their pH balance. Most natural water-based dyes are affected by changes in pH, which measures how acidic or alkaline water-based dyes are.
Where do leather colors go?
Light, body oils, dust, dirt, and temperature can affect the pH balance in leather, accelerating surface wear.
This causes a slow loss of color in the leather. Microscopic bits of the color come off over time, giving that leather sectional sofa a faded look. This is normal; leather is a natural material.
Preserving leather furniture
Leather dyes are organic compounds that have a molecular structure. The best way to slow down the surface wear on leather is to use a leather moisturizer. The routine maintenance we recommend takes very little time and will extend the life of the leather for years of enjoyment.
What to use: The type of leather moisturizer to use on furniture depends on the type of leather you’re treating. We sell leather conditioning kits at our stores.
How often: You’ll want to start the moisturizing process at the end of the first 6 months of normal use and repeat yearly (or every 6 months with heavy use).
Why moisturizing matters: Failure to start this maintenance will result in loss of color from normal use. As the surface of the leather dries out, even your clothes can act as mild sandpaper, rubbing the color off of the leather.
The loss is imperceptible at first, but over time the original color fades. This exposes the primer coat on the hide itself — which will not be the same as the leather color you fell in love within the furniture showroom.
To protect the look … protect your leather!