It is really a double-edged sword: Leather is tougher than other upholstery materials and much easier to wash when you’ve got pets and children. Unfortunately, it’s also vulnerable to punctures, scratches and splitting, along with slices and fading. Much of the harm is not difficult to avoid if you condition your leather seat frequently and take steps to avoid harsh surroundings. But accidents happen. When they do, a couple of simple approaches will conserve your leather and leave it looking like nothing ever happened at all.
Identify the kind of leather. Start looking for a furniture tag underneath the seat or cushion. Instead, analyze the stuff: Cover your index finger with a moist washcloth and touch a seldom-used area of the seat, like the back or under a cushion. Press and hold about 20 seconds and eliminate. If the leather is darker and feels just like the material is wet, then you likely have aniline leather. Other leather goods, collectively referred to as “protected” leather (designated with a “P” on tags, in contrast to aniline’s “A”) are completed with a protective layer. Aniline leather repairs are restricted.
Remove scuff marks. Heating aniline leather, employing a hairdryer held at about a 30-degree angle into the leather, for four or five minutes. Rub your thumb or bend over the scuffed place, pressing firmly, to redistribute the wax and revive the sheen. Clean protected leather scuffs with a soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Then, buff with a leather cream. If the scuff remains, obtain a nitrocellulose or acrylic lacquer spray, available in a hardware store, and implement in short bursts, covering the scuffed area lightly. Dry and reapply until the sheen fits.
Mend small cuts and slices with either leather adhesive or leather filler. Either may be mixed with a dye to match your protected leather (that can be colored on the exterior finish only). Follow the manufacturer’s directions to blend the dye. Clean the damaged area with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Spread the adhesive or filler under the edges of the slit and round the surface. Catch the edges together and allow the adhesive to dry. Follow with a tiny leather protection cream to soften the leather and mix the repair with the surrounding material.
Abrade frayed, cracked or cracked areas and large rips. Gently sand with fine-grit sandpaper or an abrasive pad offered in a leather repair kit. Wash the area with a soft cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry. Trim the damaged edges, using small scissors or even a comparable sharp cutting tool, to eliminate frayed places, loose fibers or edges that stick up.
Prepare a financing if the damage is extensive or deep. Cut a sheet of canvas to slightly larger than the place. Using tweezers, insert the stuff under the leather, positioning and flattening as necessary.
Squirt or spread leather adhesive — mixed with tint if desired — beneath the repair’s edges to bond the leather into the canvas financing. Permit the adhesive to dry before spreading a leather filler over the surface to fill in the sunken places. Heating the surface with a hair dryer as you smooth the stitch. Repeat as necessary until the place blends with the undamaged filler, working fast to avoid developing a sticky mess. Dry between layers. Finish by sponging to a tint, if necessary, then sanding the surface smooth. Follow a spray of either nitrocellulose or acrylic lacquer, applied thinly, to improve the repaired region’s sheen.