Important notice:
All our products have been subjected to exhaustive testing. However, since every leather is unique, both in terms of the raw materials, products employed and tanning methods used in its preparation, we recommend that a test be made on a less visible part of the article prior to the application of any leather care product.
» FAQ / SUPPORT » HOW TO RESTORE LEATHER JACKETS?

HOW TO RESTORE LEATHER JACKETS?

Leather jacket color restoration technique

Leather Jacket - Before and After color restoration
Before-After leather jacket restoration

GENERAL INFORMATION

Most leather jackets are made of lamb skin; very soft and supple leather that could also be said to be “porous”.  There is no protective coating to prevent the dye and restoration ingredients from penetrating deep into the leather.  This is why the restoration method below works so well for the vast majority of leather jackets! Also, dark colors are easier to restore.  In other words, the color restoration of black lamb skin jackets is the most common restoration project and they are the easiest to restore! However, this method as also been used successfully to restore various other leather articles such as leather bags, gloves and furniture, in a wide range of colors and types of leather.

Before you begin:

What you'll need:

Color restoration basic kit AND
COSTA BRAVA leather dye (50 to 100 ml of the needed color for one jacket) (not included in kit)

Preparation:

  • Read this article from top to bottom (including notes).
  • Look for any dirt spots that would prevent the dye from penetrating leather.
    If present, see Conditional step A.0 .
  • Inspect the leather for signs of “sun burn” e.g. shiny washed out color.  (Conditional step A.3c )
  • For a black jacket, you could simply use COSTA BRAVA black dye.  But if you need to make your own custom dye color, now is the time to do it.  COSTA BRAVA is available in many colors including all primary colors, white, black and clear.  Mixing these, you can make any color! See color swatch here.
    Tip: Use a small amount on a piece of white paper to compare.
  • Set up where you can freely move the jacket without spilling the dye.
  • If needed put tape to cover the buttons and other areas.

The restoration method

Let’s get down to business! This method is basically in three parts, (A) first you restore the color, (B) you restore and correct texture and shine (C) then you protect.

  1. 1st coat - Restore the color
    1. Put 5ml of Lanolin in a boll.
    2. Shake your COSTA BRAVA dye bottle thoroughly and mix about 30ml of COSTA BRAVA dye with the oil.  Add about 15ml of TENDERLY.  Mix well.
    3. Test 1st coat on areas that is most discolored.  Evaluate if any conditional steps apply.
    4. Apply 1st coat to the areas that are most discolored.
      On black leather jackets, these color damaged spots will be visible as grayish to almost white areas.
    5. Repeat if needed
  2. Finishing coat - restore and correct texture and shine
    1. Add 30ml of Tenderly to what is left of the 1st coating dye mixture.
      (*There should be enough left from 1st coating mix, if not also add more dye.)
      Mix well.
    2. Test 2st coat and adjust mixture.  * Add URAD to get more shine (see conditional step B.1a).
    3. Apply 2nd coating on the whole jacket, not only to the most discolored areas.
      Hang to dry for a few hours.  The restoration should now be complete.  If not, and this is rare, it may be necessary to apply yet another coating.  Otherwise, finish up by applying some industrial strength protection.
  3. Protective coat
    1. Apply SAHARA: Preferably outdoors or in a well ventilated area and preferably wearing a mask, spray a thin layers of Sahara on the jacket.  Hang to dry for 8 hours without moving the jacket.  For longer lasting result, repeat this step once.

Et voila! You saved your jacket! Good job!

 

Additional information

Conditional steps:

(Numbered to be inserted in the method steps above)

    1. If leather is dirty, clean it using AQUILA (*Not included in kit) leather cleaner.  Spray Aquila and gently wipe.  Let dry for 15 to 20 minutes.  Repeat if necessary.
      If it is a light color jacket and there are spots with no color left at all, use COSTA BRAVA on these spots first, then clean with Aquila otherwise these spots may darken.
      1. If discoloration is generalized but mild, on 1st coat, step 4, simply do the full jacket instead of only the worst areas.
      2. If the test results show that the mixture does not bring back the color enough: One patch of leather at a time, apply pure COSTA BRAVA dye to badly discolored areas of that patch, then, before the pure dye dries, go over that area and the owl leather patch with the mixture (to prevent dye demarcations).
      3. If step A.3b) did not work, you can suspect “Burned leather”: Sun, body grease, silicon and hair spray (among other things) can “burn” leather preventing the dye from properly penetrating; in that case, adding CAMOCIO PRO (Liquid version of CAMOSCIO, not included in the restoration kit) to the dye mixture may work.  It’s worth a shot because if that does not work, we know of nothing else that does.
    1. Small repairs are better done after first coating (after step A).  See our support section for further instructions for these repairs.  (1 to 2ml of leather glue.  Not Included in kit).
      1. Add 30 to 50ml of URAD to add more shine.  (Shake URAD jar until liquefied and add to the mixture.  Mix well.)

Restore leather jacket, boots, pants and more
Restore leather jacket, boots, pants and more

Notes:

  • This method is not for changing the color of your leather.  It is a color restoration process.
  • This restoration process is not the regular maintenance of leather jackets.  Read How to care for leather jacket article.
  • Don’t worry if your dye color is not an exact perfect match.  The color pigments will blend-in by penetrating the leather so it will not be noticeably different if it is only slightly off.
  • Quantity given here is for a short jacket and will vary wildly from one jacket to the other depending on the type of leather and how much product it absorbs.
  • Don't forget to buy the COSTA BRAVA dye as it is not included in the Color Restoration kit.
  • Every leather article is unique in terms of the raw materials, products employed and tanning methods used in its preparation; we recommend a test be made on a less visible part of the article at every step of the way.
  • Six to twelve months after the restoration is completed, you can use URAD and TENDERLY as regular conditioning and maintenance, as described in the article How to care for leather jackets?.

 

CONCLUSION

Congratulations! By using the color restoration kit and the method described above, you’re on your way to give a new life to your leather.  Leather is a very noble material and has incredible longevity, provided it is well cared for! It could be old and otherwise lost, it could be just slightly discolored, it could be worth thousands of dollars or have sentimental value...  Either way, using these simple steps and with only minimum effort, in most case, you will end up with a piece looking new again!

 

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