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Don;t Let Your Leather Weather
Here are a few tips to take care of expensive leather upholstry.
India produces high quality garment leather but it does not make good upholstery leather. This leather is imported from Germany, Austria and Italy. Genuine leather comes in 'hides', marked by the square meter. Distinctive natural characteristics on the hide such as growth/stretch marks, natural wrinkles and scars reveal the natural course of the hide. Genuine leather is porous and therefore breathes, making it ideal for asthmatics and is environmentally adaptive. It is flexible, absorbs sound, is stain-proof, anti-static and flame retardant.

Leather care
The delicate finish of leather upholstery can be damaged by exposure to extreme temperatures and conditions. Leather must be handled with care, and kept away from abrasive materials and hot objects. Regular cleaning flushes out the dirt from the natural pores and crevices on the surface, thereby increasing the life of leather.

Leather range
The range encompasses a variety of both performance and full top-grain aniline upholstery leathers, originating in different parts of the world. Each type is distinguished by its thickness, grain structure and constituents in the tanning process. The range totals over 70 colours, from classic browns, whites and blacks to reds, blues and greens. Full top-grain leather is natural to the touch and yet tough and highly durable. Companies like Stanley make absolutely no mechanical correction of hide surfaces, and they make sure that grain patterns and colour hues are retained.

The leather range includes-

Classic:
Of North American origin.
0.9 mm thick leather with printed grain structure.
Ideal for after-market automotive, domestic and office furnishing.

Satin:
Of North European origin.
1.2 mm thick, high-performance premium matte leather.
Suitable for automobile upholstery and high-end corporate furnishing.

Pibroch:
Of European origin.
1 mm thick, full grain.
Semi-aniline, prime calf leather.
Suitable for high-end designers, domestic and office use.

Montana:
Of Swedish origin.
1.4 mm thick full grain premium leather with a 100 per cent aniline finish and a milled grain.
Suitable for high-quality contract and domestic applications.

Nappa:
Considered to be the finest leather in the world.
Nappa is of Austrian-Germanic origin.
1.2-1.3 mm thick with a 100 per cent flat grain look, made of oxen hide.
Suitable for luxury cars, aircraft and high-quality domestic applications.

Metal pearlised:
Of European origin.
1 mm thick, full grain, semi-aniline, prime calf leather.
Suitable for high-end designers, domestic and office use.

DOS
For regular cleaning (preferably once a week), you can use a vacuum cleaner and then a damp cloth to wipe
For thorough cleaning, you can use a soft cloth soaked in mild soapsuds, but never use detergent. Wipe the surface lightly, in a circular motion. Repeat with clean water.
Clean the leather surface occasionally using leather cleaner, preferably once a month. Do not rub!
Sponge gently until all the stains have been removed.
A leather conditioner should be used once a month to restore natural oils and keep the surface soft and supple. Leather conditioners are best applied when the leather is warm, for the pores of the leather to absorb the solution.
Leather of lighter shades needs a little more care and attention, to avoid discoloration
For butter, or greasy stains, wipe the leather with a clean, dry cloth and leave it alone. The spot should dissipate into the leather in a short while.
Protect leather from direct sunlight, and make sure that it is kept away at least 20-30 cm away from any heat source.
Use only guaranteed cleanser products. Common cleaning materials and chemicals can cause severe damage.

DONT's
Do not use saddle soaps, oils, abrasive cleaners, soaps, furniture polish, varnish or ammonia based products.
Do not soak leather, or use water to try and wash a butter, oil or grease spot.
Do not use a solvent-based conditioner because it will accelerate the ageing process of leather upholstery.
Do not rub leather sofas regularly. Instead a light circular motion will do the job perfectly well.
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Posted on : 1/2/2006
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