Caring for Aniline leather
Type A - Aniline Leather Also called Natural, Pure, Naked or Unprotected
Leather in its purest form is called aniline leather. Aniline leather is made from the best quality hides. It is dyed, but has no pigmented or topcoat applied. It has a luxurious look and a soft, natural feel.
Very delicate leather, it will absorb stains very easily so should always be protected.
These leathers are coloured with transparent dye stuff. This means that you are able to see the actual surface grain and markings.
HOW TO IDENTIFY ANILINE LEATHER
1. Feel the leather. Aniline leather will feel buttery and soft.
2. The scratch test. Lightly scratch the surface of the leather with a finger nail to see if it leaves a scratch mark which is a lighter colour than the leather. If it does, the leather is aniline. A similar effect will be noticed on some nubuck leathers, so this is not the only test.
3. The water test. Wet your finger and lightly rub it into the leather. If the leather darkens slightly, but dries invisibly, it is aniline
For the purpose of CLEANING this section includes all leathers that absorb moisture within a minute or so of application.
Because the leathers only have light surface protection (shown by absorbency rate) they will also absorb dirt and spillages more readily, this will make cleaning less effective because dirt will only clean off the surface of leather not out of it.
The other problem you will encounter is that the leather will absorb your cleaning product, which means you will have to work quickly and in small areas.
CAUTION: excessive body oils (from hair, skin etc.) will show as dark areas that mark pale when scratched. These will not clean off and will require special treatment beyond simple cleaning.
Absorbent leathers will usually go dark when they absorb product but should dry back to normal quite quickly. It is best to test this in several places to get used to the reaction and ensure it dries without dramatic shading. Some shade change would be expected.
Aniline leather comes in various styles and they will all react slightly differently. The main factor when cleaning aniline and sensitive leathers is how quickly the leather absorbs your cleaning product and the size of area you clean at any time will be dictated by this.
Lightly vacuum or brush the surface if there is excessive dust and dirt present (try not to use a metal nozzle as this can easily scratch aniline leather). Try not to over wet any area by concentrating on any one patch, it is best to give a general clean rather than clean one individual patch. Once you have cleaned an area (seat, back, arm etc.) dry the area with a hair dryer and re-clean if you feel it is necessary
After cleaning all aniline style leathers should be treated with a protection cream which will help to inhibit grease and dirt from being absorbed into the leather and make subsequent cleaning easier.
Ink marks on Aniline
As aniline style leathers are largely absorbent it means that the ink will have soaked straight into the leather itself. This makes it impossible to remove. No product will successfully remove the ink.
DO NOT try ink removing products or ink lifters on aniline style leathers as most will leave a greasy residue which will then cause another problem.
Because aniline style leathers are absorbent the ink will carry on moving through the leather and may become less obvious over time. Cleaning and protecting will also help to dissipate the ink.
What Products to use?
You should use products only recommended for Aniline or Type A leather
Leather Master Leather Soft Cleaner
Leather Master Leather Protection Cream.
These products are available as either a liquid form or as convenient wipes