Effect Of The Sun On Leather Upholstery
The sun and your leather sofa don’t exactly mix well. Sunlight is one of the common causes of the leather units fading and drying out. This is mostly seen in aniline and semi-aniline leathers. With the fully furnished leather units, the protective topcoat that has been applied wards off the effects. If the leather sofa has been positioned next to the window and is bathed in lots of sunlight, it will likely start fading in as little as six months.
When it comes to drying, the effects of the sun cut across the board- whether the sofa has been fully finished or not. It’s all because of the heat, which causes the moisture that is in the material to evaporate. This affects the composition of the natural oils in the leather, gradually the unit dries out, stiffening and cracking. What does this mean? Do you have to live in a gloomy house, with the curtains drawn all day? Certainly not. Natural lighting is still required to brighten up the interior space. One just needs to take adequate preventive measures to protect the sofa.
Protecting your sofa from drying
First, there is the routine cleaning that is needed. When there is abrasive dirt and grime on the sofa, or spills that have winded up on it, these need to be cleaned off. Neglecting them increases the strain on the protective oils that it has been treated with. The longer this goes unattended to, the weaker the protective treatment becomes, resulting in more damage from the sun. After the sofa cleaning, it is conditioned, to restore the depleted oils, thus ensuring that the sofa retains its soft and supple feel. ‘
Next is the positioning. Keeping the leather sofa out of direct sunlight will go a long way in protecting it. Avoid positioning it directly in front of the window where it will be bathed in sunlight. This is especially for the sofas with dark upholstery. Remember that the darker a colour it, the more light- thus heat, it absorbs. This affects leather as well. It’s also recommended that you close the blinds during those really hot parts of the ay.
As mentioned, this mainly affects the aniline and seminaniline sofas. Here, what is important is simply keeping the furniture of the way of direct sunlight. In case the layout of the room requires the furniture to be placed in direct sunlight, it is recommended that you get a fully-finished leather sofa, as this comes with protective treatments that will be more resistant to fading.
Restoring the appeal to damaged leather sofas
Has your sofa faded? To restore its colour, one needs to simply re-dye it. This is best left to the professionals, to ensure that the dye has been properly applied.
When it comes to dry leather units, the most appropriate patch is having the unit patches and redyed. It can’t exactly be simply rehydrated. Once the natural oils in the leather are completely gone, there’s no going back. This is why routine sofa cleaning and conditioning are important.
One of the common misconceptions out there is that you can treat your leather sofa with olive oil to protect it from drying. This is ill-advised. Leather is an extremely porous material, and will readily soak up the oils that are placed on it- which ranges from body oils and popcorn grease, to olive oil. This oil gets deep into the material, sanding it over time. This leads to oil spots bring formed on your unit.
Additional DOs And DON’Ts When Dealing With Leather Upholstery
- DO wipe the sofa regularly. This is more so if you have kids and pets in the household, with the little ones hopping up and down on it often, or your furry friend napping on the sofa. Give it a good wipe to reduce the rate of body oils building up on the upholstery.
- DO dust the sofa or vacuum it, to remove the dry soiling that is accumulating on the surface. The dirty dirt is abrasive, and contributes to the wearing down of the finishes that the leather has been treated with.
- DO schedule routine professional leather cleaning sessions. When getting a company for the task, ensure that you have gone through the reviews and testimonials from its previous clients. You can even ask for references, and the contact details for those clients who were okay with being called up, and ask about the quality of service that they received. The company should be licenced, and also come with insurance coverage to protect your upholstery. The professionalism of the personnel, how they conduct themselves throughout the process- from when you’re cleaning in to make an enquiry, to the punctuality of arrival at your residence and the respect with which they have of your property will also be a key determinant in your personal satisfaction with the process. In addition, ask about the guarantee that the company has in place for their work, and the structures that have been put in place to address cases where the customer has complaints about the services rendered.
- DO have the leather sofa conditioned occasionally. This can be every 6 to 9 months or more frequently for highly trafficked areas. Conditioning restores softening and nourishing agents into the leather keeping it soft and supple.
- DON’T use cleaning agents that have harsh chemicals on your sofa. An acidic product can ruin the upholstery. Steer clear of the oils, silicone and saddle soaps, as they end up doing more harm than good to your unit. The products that are used for the leather upholstery cleaning should be especially developed for the task.
- DON’T wipe spills, as it will lead to them spreading more on the upholstery. Instead, blot up the liquid using a clean and dry porous cloth. This absorbs the spill into the cloth, instead of spreading it all over the sofa.
- DON’T add water to stains. Unlike the normal scenarios with other kinds of upholsteries and surfaces, water in this case would be counterproductive. Soaking the stain will cause a water stain, further adding to your problems.