Caring for Pigmented/Protected leathers
Pigmented leather is the most common type of leather. It gets its name from the layer of coloured pigment that is applied to the surface of the leather. Pigmented leather is sometimes called protected leather. This is because it also has a protective topcoat. It is this protective topcoat that makes pigmented leather the most robust and the most practical upholstery leather.
If you have children, pets, or entertain regularly, then pigmented leather is the best choice for you.
HOW TO IDENTIFY PIGMENTED LEATHER
1. Touch the leather. Pigmented leather is stiffer to the touch and will feel smoother and less natural than aniline or nubuck leather leather.
2. The surface of pigmented leather should have a slight sheen.
3. The scratch test. Lightly scratch the surface of the leather with a finger nail. Did your nail leave a scratch mark? If not, it is pigmented leather.
4. The water test. Wet your finger and lightly rub it into the leather. If the water sits on top of the leather and doesn’t darken it, then it’s pigmented leather. A more accurate version of this test can be done using Soft Cleaner. Use Soft Cleaner to clean the leather. If it is pigmented leather, the cleaner should stay on top of the finish and should not darken the leather.
Pigment/Protected leathers are designed to be serviceable and will usually clean well.
- When the leather is new Leather Master Protection cream or leather master Starter protection cream should be applied, this will help prevent staining and make the leather easier to maintain and keep clean.
This will help in resisting dirt and stains and make future cleaning much more successful. This is particularly important if your leather is white, pale cream or pale coloured as this will help in resisting and removing dye transfer.CAUTION: Two-tone, sauvage, and antique finishes - even on new leather - can sometimes be delicate and simply wash off (always test a cleaning product in an inconspicuous area first).
- Once a week the leather should be dusted with a dry duster, if the dust is left to build up when the leather is used the dust can act as abrasive that will deteriorate the surface of the leather.
- Once a month the leather should be wiped over with a damp cloth, this will remove more stubborn soiling that the weekly dust does not remove.
- Once every 3 months or more frequently if the leather has become soiled a thorough maintenance clean should be undertaken. We recommend cleaning with leather Soft Cleaner or Leather mousse and then when the leather is clean & dry the leather should be retreated with Leather Master Protection Cream.
Ocassionaly lightly vacuum or brush the surface if there is excessive dust and dirt present. This step will not normally be necessary for regular cleaning.
Excessive body oils (from hair, skin etc.) may show as dark or tacky areas that mark pale when scratched. These areas should be cleaned very carefully as there is likely to be damage to the surface of the leather. If there is any sign of colour loss stop immediately and get professional advice.
When you have cleaned once, check the results and repeat process as required. Several gentle cleans are better than one heavy scrub. It may not be necessary to clean the whole piece of furniture each time. Outside arms and backs will not get as much dirt or body contact as the seats, arms and back cushions and may only need cleaning once or twice a year. Contact areas (seats, arms and back cushions) will need cleaning more often.
It is best not to let dirt build up as this can permanently damage the protective coating on the leather.
White, cream and pale coloured suites may have a blue/grey shading from dye transfer. This is more difficult to fix and may need a stronger product such as the StayBrite kit.
When a satisfactory result has been achieved, treat with leather protection cream. A thin coat is all that is required and any excess should be wiped off. Allow to dry thoroughly, or use a hairdryer.
What products should I use?
Type P products only, such as:
Leather Soft Cleaner
Leather Strong Cleaner or Ultra Cleaner - for stubborn areas only
Leather Protection Cream
Leather Ink Lifter