3 Leather Damage Types You Should Know
Leather is a highly desirable material incorporated into textiles, bags, and furniture, to name a few. The versatile and elegant material allows for decades of use as long as you provide it with optimal care. But did you know that there are several leather damage types you need to watch for?
At Elite Cleaners, we’ve spent over 30 years providing leather cleaning in Wichita, KS, and the surrounding areas. Below, our specialized team unpacks what you need to know about this durable yet sensitive material if you want it to last a lifetime.
#1 Fading and Discoloration
Leather comes in hundreds of different tones, from classic black to softer browns and whites. After spending some time deciding on your color choice, the last thing you want is to see it degrade.
Unfortunately, just as for skin, UV rays damage treated leather by drawing moisture from the porous material and causing it to fade. It also absorbs dirt and harsh chemicals that you may spill on it or pick up during your outings, which breaks down the finish and discolors the material.
As a Drycleaning & Laundry Institute member, Elite Cleaners sees this type of leather damage fairly often. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution: store your leather in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, such as in a windowless closet. With frequent wear, you should also consider regular cleanings and wiping your leather items down with a gentle UV protectant.
#2 Cracking and Tearing
As UV rays and high heat dehydrate leather, the natural oils tend to evaporate and make it brittle. Cracking ensues, leaving irreversible lines and wrinkles behind. While a few minor imperfections are inevitable after years of use, keeping your leather garments away from vents, hair dryers, and laundry dryers helps reduce these signs of aging.
However, ignoring cracks will lead to other leather damage types, like tears. That’s because the material weakens and succumbs to sharp objects, from belts to your pet’s claws. Once the leather weakens, these items can easily scratch or go through it.
Keeping abrasive items away from your accessory is a start. However, if the damage has already happened, you’ll need to consider leather repair services.
Some leather damage also occurs due to water damage. If you wear your piece out in the rain or spill things on it, the porous material will soak up that moisture and could allow fungal growth. If mold and mildew take hold, they will spread and degrade the material.
Has your piece accidentally come into contact with water? Immediately wipe it with a cloth and leave it to dry naturally. Avoid placing it on radiators, near vents, or near heat-generating appliances, as these will dry and crack the leather.
More From Wichita’s Finest!
At Elite Cleaners, we carefully hand-finish leather, suede, and other gorgeous materials to return your items to you better than you left them. We offer dry cleaning, preservation, and restoration on top of traditional washing and pressing, making us your one-stop shop.
Learn more about leather damage types at (316) 651-5997 or take advantage of our free pickup and delivery services!