How to choose leather furniture?
Furniture and Upholstery Leather (part 2)
How to clean and condition leather furniture?
with Urad and Tenderly
When made aware of the many considerations and details involved in making leather furnishing, one may think that its proper care and maintenance will be complicated and difficult. Fortunately, it is not so!
With the exception of Nubuck, all types of leather (named in part 1) are more or less cared for and maintained the same way, with only minor variations.
How to clean and condition leather furniture?
Spray AQUILA (Urad's gentle leather cleaner) on a soft cloth and gently wipe the surface of your leather sofa. Pay special attention to the armrests and headrest areas. Repeat if needed. On certain types of leather (especially Top grain or Corrected and Pigmented Grain), and in certain situations (for example to remove grease stains on headrests), AQUILA can be sprayed onto leather directly. Always test in a hidden area first.
There are no problems cleaning your leather furniture regularly. On the contrary, we recommend cleaning once a month, or more, particularly the armrests and headrests. Grease and sebum accumulation must be avoided at all cost because once leather is stained and/or « burned » with these, it is very difficult if not impossible to clean or restore.
Leave to dry before moving on to the next step.
- Moisturizing or Conditioning
A mixture of two products is usually what produces the best results: URAD cream and TENDERLY softener
The rule of thumb is the more porous the leather, the more TENDERLY should be used in the mixture. For example, for calf skin, a recipe containing about ¾ TENDERLY for ¼ URAD is usually what gives the best results. On Full grain aniline, the proportions become half-and-half or even completely reversed to ¼ TENDERLY for ¾ URAD.
You can determine the degree of porosity of your leather by performing a test on a hidden or less visible area. Try spreading a drop of water and see what happens. Porosity is the essential characteristic when it comes to conditioning and to help visualize the concept, try to imagine what would happen if this test was performed on Nubuck. The drop of water might only stay on the surface a few seconds whereas on any pigmented grain, it would evaporate before ever penetrating leather's surface!
Another way to determine the best ratio of TENDERLY / URAD is to simply go ahead and try it, and see what gives the best results:
- Apply a very small amount of URAD on the sponge (provided), and spread it on a hidden area of your leather furniture.
- Apply a very small amount of URAD as well as a small amount of TENDERLY and spread it on another hidden area of your leather furniture.
- Leave to dry a couple of minutes and compare.
Which one feels and looks better?
- If there are no noticeable differences, use the mixture of URAD-TENDERLY (half-and-half) as opposed to URAD alone. Using them mixed together makes it easier to apply smoothly and uniformly compared to one on top the other.
- If one of the test areas remained somewhat tacky? (even after 5 minutes)
Whichever test is tacky, more TENDERLY should be used in the mixture. (See video of how to use Urad & Tenderly together).
Apply the mixture like you would apply skin cream. It is better to use very little and spread it thin, making it penetrate leather by quick and delicate wipes.
It is advisable to perform this step once or twice a year.
- When mixing URAD with TENDERLY, before opening the URAD jar, shake it vigorously until it liquifies, making it easy to blend in with TENDERLY.
- The surface pigmented treatment that certain leather receive can be scratched. The color of the grain dye may be slightly different than the grain color. Full grain aniline do not have that additional protective surface layers and are not subject to these differences.
- URAD cream contains carnauba wax which has a natural yellowish-brownish color, more or less dark with each harvest. While URAD neutral can be used on all colors, it may slightly darken very light-colored leather (white leather couch for example) if applied too thick. For this reason, the lighter the color, the more TENDERLY is used in the mixture.
- With its extreme degree of porosity, the above care instructions do not apply to NUBUCK. The methods used to maintain and care for Nubuck furnishing is addressed in a separate article : Nubuck leather.
Gum on leather furniture
- Put a few ice cubes in a small plastic bag and put the bag on the gum until it hardens. It will then be easy to remove from leather without scratching leather.
Liquid spills on leather furniture
- Immediately wipe off the liquid using paper towels.
Discoloration and Scratches on leather furniture
- COSTA BRAVA dye, using a Q-tip, on the scratches (right before applying the mix URAD-TENDERLY) and/or add some to the mix URAD-TENDERLY to rejuvenate and re-dye the discolored areas and even out colors for the full sofa. If the sofa is badly discolored, read the article concerning the leather color restoration method.
Old or new, antique or modern, in your living room or in a public waiting room, in your dining room or at the corner diners... leather is always a good choice for its incomparable sensuality, unsurpassed longevity, and its natural and noble rich texture and aesthetic looks. When well cared for, it is sound economics and an ecological choice. With these few care and maintenance tips, you should be able to enjoy leather's unique qualities for many years to come!