Friday, February 26, 2010

Leather Furniture

***First of all, let me say this: “some professionals” will disagree with this suggestion about cleaning and protecting your leather. With that said, I want to say that many times people are conditioned with what they believe for the reason that it’s what they were taught.***

Prolonging your leather furniture’s life is simple. Many people believe that leather furniture needs to be conditioned regularly with professional products—NOT SO! In most cases the only cleaning required is weekly dusting with a soft vacuum brush or a micro-fiber towel, and a warm damp cloth (no soap) to wash the surface. Constantly using the leather cleaners, soaps, and oils can cause a build up over time, and in the long run actually shorten the life of your leather furniture.

Most people arrange their furniture with seating placement in mind, and never consider the furniture’s exposure to light from a window, heat from an air duct-vent, radiator or even space heaters. All this can damage your leather. If you must place the furniture in front of a large window, keep the drapes or blinds closed during the time of day that exposes the leather to direct sunlight—that will fade the color. If this is not possible, then place an old sheet over the back or arms—any part that will be exposed to the sunlight. Keep leather pieces away from heating sources that will dry it out, and eventually cause cracking.

What should be avoided at all cost is a newspaper or magazine on a leather sofa or chair. The chemicals can be damaging, and in some cases transfer the print to the leather, especially if there’s a build up of body oil on the leather. I know it’s a habit of convenience to put reading material on the nearest surface, but leather is not the place you should do this. Another enemy of leather is alcoholic drinks. Alcohol should be wiped off immediately, and washed with a hot damp cloth at least twice to remove all the residue. Alcohol can dry out leather, but it can cause the leather to stretch.

Leather has long been a favorite for it’s durability, and especially for how it holds it’s shape compared to regular fabrics that stretch with time. However, leather upholstered cushions should be fluffed and turned regularly. If you don’t flip and rotate the leather seat cushions, they can become wrinkled over time, and be impossible to repair. Yes a well worn leather chair may be comfortable, but it’s not eye appealing with a saggy seat, so remember rotate, fluff, and protect, and no chemicals!

***If you have a stain, it’s best to contact a professional cleaner who is experienced in leather. You could make the stain worse or set the stain permanently if you try cleaning it yourself. Leather is too pricey to take the chance that your attempt will not harm the furniture.

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