by Toni Farrell-Higgins, Rooms ReNew Stylist
at Discovery Furniture in Topeka, KS
There's no mystery to caring for leather furniture.
If leather furniture is well cared for it can last
for 15-20 years instead of the 4-5 years many other
furniture coverings average. That's a great incentive
for both purchasing and learning how to care for
this beautiful furniture, isn't it?
To know how to care for leather depends upon
how the leather was prepared. The qualities of
leather vary depending upon production methods.
Leather is often classified as "corrected" and "uncorrected." If
the original animal hide contained imperfections
then it may have been "corrected" by sanding or
buffing. This leather is often dyed or pigmented,
then embossed to produce a uniform grain. A urethane
finish is then applied to protect it. While these
leathers aren't considered premium, they are the
most stain resistant and therefore are more family
"Uncorrected" leather is in good enough condition
that it is not buffed or sanded. Because hide is
a natural product, each piece of leather will have
its own unique patina. A single hide may in fact
have color variations or minor markings which add
to its unique character.
Leather products are actually quite simple to
care for. First, leather should not be placed in
direct sunlight. Like wood, leather can fade and
could possibly stiffen from heat exposure. Secondly,
because of leather's tendency to absorb other dyes,
avoid placing printed materials on leather as the
ink can transfer and leave a stain. Third, simple
care will keep your leather looking wonderful.
Use a clean white cloth to dust every week or two
to prevent buildup of regular household soil. If
any soil does accumulate, use a damp, soft white
cloth to wipe the leather surface clean. But before
you apply any moisture to the leather, be sure
to place a few drops of water in an inconspicuous
spot to make sure the leather doesn't absorb it.
If the leather does absorb water use only dry cloths.
The final step in caring for your leather furniture
is to clean every 5-6 months with a mild leather
cleaner. After cleaning apply a protective leather
cream to keep it soft and supple.
To insure your leather furniture's long life,
consider purchasing a protection plan. Protection
1st, an excellent furniture care program, picks
up where the manufacturer's warranty stops. Often
manufacturers' warranties cover construction defects,
but Protection 1st covers accidental stains and
damage caused by food, pets, cosmetics or ink.
Puncture damage, tears or burns can also be repaired
under this plan. Some exclusions may apply, but
a protection plan will help ensure the value of
your new beautiful leather furniture for years