Caring for Nubuck Leather

NUBUCK - cleaning code N

Nubuck is aniline leather that has had its surface buffed or sanded. Buffing removes the grain, or skins surface, of the leather. This makes nubuck leather incredibly soft and it gives it a texture similar to velvet. But, it also makes nubuck the most difficult leather to maintain.

1. Feel the leather. The surface should have a texture similar to velvet. Move your hand across the surface of the leather to see if it leaves traces similar to the effect when you vacuum a carpet in one direction and then in another. If it does, the leather is nubuck.

2. The water test. Wet your finger and rub it lightly on an inconspicuous area of the leather. The surface will darken and will remain a slightly darker colour when it dries.
Nubucks leather is often mistaken for suede. Nubuck is not suede. Suede is the flesh side of a piece of leather, while nubuck is an effect achieved by modifying the grain side of the leather.

Because Nubuck is very sensitive leather it is essential to follow a strict maintenance regime to ensure the leather retains its look and soft texture.
If you have allowed your furniture to become excessively dirty (high use areas have become matted down and taken on a dark slimy appearance) it is advisable to contact a cleaning specialist to restore your furniture before continuing with the process outlined below.
All Nubuck should be ideally be treated with a water-resisting product from the outset. High use areas (arms, seats and backs) should be lightly vacuumed regularly, taking care not to scratch the surface.

Firstly you should protect your new nubuck leather furniture with Nubuck Eco Protector before you use it. It’s a good idea to apply two layers of protection to all the contact areas – arm rests, head rests, seats etc

Secondly Clean regularly but not excessively

As a guide
Weekly: you should dust your furniture with a soft cloth or use a vacuum with a soft brush head or upholstery attachment and set the vacuum cleaner to low suction.

Monthly: after vacuuming, you should clean the heavy use areas – arm rests, head rests, seats etc - using a Nubuck Cleaning Cloth, then reapply Nubuck Eco Protector.

Every 3-6 months: you should thoroughly clean your furniture. You can do this using the nubuck cloth. If your furniture is heavily soiled, we recommend Nubuck Cleaner. When cleaning nubuck with a liquid cleaner, you will need to clean the entire piece of furniture to make sure the colour remains even. Light coloured leather and furniture that is heavily used will require cleaning more often.

RE-PROTECT After cleaning with either the Nubuck Cleaning Cloth or Nubuck Cleaner, you should always re-apply Eco Protector.

General notes:
Spillages and marks on Nubuck should be attended to as quickly as possible.
Wet spillages should be blotted gently from the surface - do not be tempted to rub, as you will force the spillage deeper into the leather. Once you have blotted as much as you can, assess what remains. The next step, if you decide it is required, would be a wet cleaning process and should ideally be carried out before the original spill has dried out.
Apply a nubuck cleaner using a sponge to dampen the affected area (always treat the whole panel of leather not just the area – Nubuck ‘watermarks’ very easily) and again blot with paper towel or dry cloth. Repeat this process several times before drying with a hairdryer. When thoroughly dry re-nap with a dry sponge.
Heavier spills, foodstuffs etc. should be gently scraped off with a blunt knife. Then gently wipe over with Nubuck foam and sponge (as above). Dry, re-nap and protect.
Never attempt to remove marks on Nubuck with solvent cleaners. They will only dissolve the dirt and drive it deeper into the leather.

What Products to use?
Leather Master Nubuck Cleaning & Protection Kit