Accessorize

Bring leather to life

In the long run: Regular maintenence is required to avoid wear and tear. Photo: By Special Arrangement  

Be it online stores or offline ones, leather furniture is available in a range of styles. Plump couches, smart dining chairs, comfortable recliners and easy ottomans in leather are extremely popular and can spruce up any space.

Leather lends itself extremely well to furniture but needs to be maintained regularly or it can crack and peel. Ensure that you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer or at the store you pick up your leather furniture from.

1. Keep all leather, be it furniture or accessories, out of direct sunlight. If the position can’t be helped, keep them shaded by using window dressings such as blinds and drapes.

2. Clean the leather regularly with a soft dry cloth and vacuum corners. Don’t use a lot of water, soap, ammonia or cleaning solvents. Opt for a leather conditioner once in a while.

3. Always choose a cleaner that helps preserve the leather’s natural lubricating oils and not one that strips them away.

4. Avoid cleaners that leave any sort of grease or residue. Residue can make leather vulnerable to bacteria, which will tarnish leather and eventually break down the stitching.

5. If leather gets too wet, remember to dry it slowly. Speed drying leather changes its chemical structure, and you end up with stiff crinkle. Opt for room temperature with gentle air rather than a session with a hair-dryer.

6. Condition your leather items often, especially during the monsoon or if exposed to severe heat. Avoid conditioners that leave a greasy residue. Look for products that penetrate the leather’s fibres.

7. Treat your leather with a simple DIY. Run a damp cloth across a bar of moisturising soap and lather the leather lightly. Buff for a super shine.

8. An easy DIY leather moisturiser recipe: Pour one part white vinegar and two parts linseed oil into a jar. Seal, shake well, and apply onto leather with a soft cloth. Buff after 12 hours for a supple look and gentle shine.

9. Be extra careful when treating favourite spots on the couch. The areas on the sofa or couch where everyone sits on often will be the spots that show the first signs of wear and tear.

10. A nubuck cloth is a super leather care tool. Invest in one to clean and restore your furniture and accessories to their original look.

11. Keep pets away from leather furniture as their claws can do irreparable damage. Children and indelible markers don’t spell good news for leather, especially when in light shades.

12. In the monsoon, mildew tends to builds up on leather. Get rid of it by mixing one cup of rubbing alcohol with one cup of water. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and wipe the mildewed area.

13. For mildew that refused to go away, use mild soap containing germicide and water. Wipe the excess soap with a clean cloth and let dry.

14. Tackle oil or grease stains by sprinkling the affected area with powdered blackboard chalk. Leave the powder on for one full day to lift the stain.

15. Keep your leather items in top condition by spraying with a protective spray that shields leather from moisture and staining. Pick one that’s recommended for all types of leather.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 7:34:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/accessorize/Bring-leather-to-life/article13988459.ece

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