How to clean, condition and repair minor damages on leather clothing

Leather clothing can fade and become dirty. Visible signs of wear also start showing. The leather must be treated according to the type of leather. There are many different types of leather which lead to many questions. How shall I clean? Hand cleaning? Washing machine? Is a colour repair possible? How shall I care and protect the leather in future? Most people tend to get their leather items dry cleaned but this can cost a fair amount of money. By following the procedures below, most leather clothing can de cleaned effectively at a fraction of the cost of getting it dry cleaned.

DIRTY SMOOTH LEATHER, SUEDE AND NUBUK

Normal soiling and dirt can be cleaned with LEDER FEIN Leather & Fur Wash Concentrate. The LEDER FEIN Leather & Fur Wash Concentrate can be used to wash by hand or in a washing machine. Apart from cleaning agents, this liquid detergent also has oils that keep the leather soft. Pay attention to the detailed washing instructions.

Extremely darkened collars in skin contact areas can only be successfully cleaned in a dry cleaning process. In case of washing at home, pre-treat such areas according to the washing instruction.

SMOOTH LEATHER WITH ABRASIONS, CRACKS AND FADING

If your leather garment has rips, deep cracks or is faded, contact us with photos so we can assist you further. Minor abrasions and scuffed edges on smooth pigmented leather can be corrected with COLOURLOCK Leather Fresh.

NUBUCK AND SUEDE WITH RIPS AND FADING

Rips in Nubuck or suede can almost solely be repaired by replacing with new leather. Sometimes such damages can be hidden by skilled sewing work. If same leather is not available and sewing can’t solve the problem, the object cannot be restored.

THE PROTECTION AND CARE OF LEATHER CLOTHING

SMOOTH PIGMENTED LEATHER

Pigmented smooth leather should be cared and protected one to two times a year with COLOURLOCK Leather Care & Waterproofing Oil. The COLOURLOCK Leather Care & Waterproofing Oil keeps leather soft and protects it against humidity.

NUBUCK, SUEDE, ANILINE AND FUR

Old and dry aniline, nubuck, suede or fur should be maintained one to two times a year with COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector. The oils contained in this product protect the leather from aging and fading.

Porous leather should always be protected additionally with COLOURLOCK Waterproofing for Leather & Textiles. Porous leathers are not suitable for humid and wet weather. Ensure you take care and wear these garments during appropriate times.

More about leather washing in our video:

Recommended products for repair and cleaning leather clothing

Refresher for scratches
Leather Fresh Dye
Leather Fresh is a colour refresher (dye) for scratches, worn, or faded leather. Leather Fresh is ideal to refresh colour damages on car leather, furniture leather, leather garments and handbags. Do not use on porous leathers unless colouring the entire surface - it can make the surface appear patchy. It can be sponged on or sprayed using an airbrush.  Application Always test any products first on a hidden area to test for colour match!Firstly, clean the leather thoroughly and prepare the surface. Use Mild Leather Cleaner for normal degrees of soiling or Strong Leather Cleaner to remove heavier dirt (where the leather has been neglected for many years). Cleaning prior to treatment ensures the paint bonds to the surface well and ensures durability. Use Leather Cleaning Brush to effectively remove all ingrained dirt. Cleaning removes dirt but for long lasting results you should also de-grease using Leather Cleaning Spirit.Use a sponge to apply the colour evenly, working from seam to seam. Dry afterwards with a hair dryer. On small spots, a one application is sufficient. Apply multiple thin layers and dry each layer using a hair dryer.A day later, after it dries, apply Leather Protector. It gives the leather a good sheen and helps blend the repair. It contains antioxidants, which stops the leather's decay, and its UV filters protect the surfaces of old and valuable leathers from bleaching and fading. Also keeps the leather supple.  46 standard colours and prepared special colours according to sample or manufacturer name.Find car leather colours for Leather Fresh Dye in our Car Leather Reapair category.
Standard-F-Colours
Leather and Fur Wash Concentrate
Before washing please note: Heavily soiled garments or greasy collars, cuffs etc. should be pre-soaked in luke-warm water and the problem areas pre-treated with the Wash Concentrate and a soft brush. With leather garments of more than one color, or those made from a mixture of leather and textile, or with a light colored lining, some color-bleeding can occur. In such cases always soak in LEDER FEIN® Leather Fixative before washing. Never wash two different garments together. Always wash the two or three parts of a dress or trouser suit, together. Fading and scuff marks may be hidden by the soiling and can become visible after cleaning. On some leather types the dyes have not been fixed to the fibre. Others are coated with oils or waxes. Such garments will be clean after washing but will have a changed surface or appearance. Loose buttons or too loosely sewn decorative applications must be removed or secured before washing. Sheepskins with a white underside: Always cut off a small piece and use it for a test. If it becomes hard, it means the garment has been subject to a kind of tanning that is washed out in water. In which case, do not wash. Leather Fixative Pre-treatment LEDER FEIN® Leather Fixative is used to fix colors on leather garments during washing. It can also be used for the removal of water stains on natural and aniline leather. For leather-textile mixtures, multi-colored garments, single-colored garments in black, red, blue, bordeaux and green: Always pre-soak in a basin with Leather Fixative! Effect: Fixes tanning agents, colors, and lipids inside the leather. Prevents the colors from washing out. Use preferably prior to washing.  Soak in a basin or bathtub, not in the washing machine. Add half a bottle to approx. 10 litres hand hot water, max. 30 °C until covered. Motorcycle suits: use a full bottle. Soak the garment thoroughly for approx. 60 minutes, moving occasionally. Put it into the washing machine, without rinsing. Careful: The product contains natural volatile acids. Avoid skin contact, use rubber gloves. Wash off skin or eyes with generous amounts of water. Keep away from children.  Leather & Fur Washing Concentrate Hand Wash Instructions Suitable for hand-washing all suede and nappa leathers, including jackets, coats, shirts, trousers, motorcycle suits and gloves. Depending on the garment size use ⅓ – ½ bottle + approx. 12 litres of warm water. Cover the garment. Keep the temperature below 35°C (95°F). For a complete motorcycle suit or large coat, use 1 bottle and enough water to cover. Soak for about 30 minutes and wash by hand. Treat heavy soiling with a soft brush. When clean, remove and rinse once in clean warm water. Surface Cleaning: using a thin concentrate 1:50, wipe the surface or use a brush.  Leather & Fur Washing Concentrate Machine Wash Only use the delicates or wool program and do not exceed 35°C (95°F). Suitable for all suede and grain leather, such as jackets, coats, shirts, trousers, folklore costumes, motorcycle clothing and gloves. Also ideal for leather/textile-combinations. Depending on garment size add ⅓ – ½ bottle to the machine. Motorcycle suits or large coats will need one whole bottle. Heavy soiling: soak for 1 hour and pre-treat with a soft brush dipped in concentrate. Wash with the delicates or wool program at no more than 35°C (95°F). At the end of the wash-cycle, only spin for about 30 seconds. Remove the wet garment, shake and stretch out the folds. Hang or lay the wet garment on a towel at room temperature away from sun or heat. This can sometimes take several days, depending on the leather…but it’s worth it. Important: Never dry in a drier or with heat! After drying, the leather fibres will be stuck together. Pull and stretch the garment into shape in all directions and, if needed, cold tumble dry (inside out), for about 15 - 30 minutes. Do not use heat. Nubuck and suede should be brushed with a soft brush.   The Care of Leather Garments Coated Top-Grain Leather Many top-grain leathers (such as motorcycle leather) have pigmented protective coatings to make them waterproof and more resistant to fading and staining. These leathers are easy to recognize, as rubbed-on moisture will not sink in and darken the leather. Care instructions: Scuffs and wear can be easily repaired with COLOURLOCK Leather Fresh in the correct tone. Top-Grain leather clothing should be protected and nourished by wiping with LEDER FEIN® Leather Care & Waterproofing Oil at least twice a year. This prevents cracking, shrinkage and stains.  Open Pored Top Grain Leather (napa, aniline) These are leathers which are dyed throughout but, in order to maintain their look and feel, their surfaces have not been coated. A little pressure or rubbing with moisture will darken these. Care instructions: Regular treatment with COLOURLOCK Aniline Cream (every 2-3 months) will prevent water or fat stains. Older aniline leathers can be revitalized by regular treatment with our COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector. This adds softening oils, anti-oxidants, UV-filters and intensifies the dyes. For heavy fading consult a leather professional.  Suedes and Nubucks These are leathers with a velour (slightly furry) surface. Typical are pig, goat, cow-hide, nubuck or suede, deerskin, elk and lamb. Care instructions: treat at least 1-2 times per year with our COLOURLOCK Aniline Protector, an aerosol designed to protect against fading and dryness. It is also ideal for re-conditioning suedes and nubucks after washing. It restores the freshness of the color. Heavy fading of all kinds of leather can only be restored by a professional. Do not forget to waterproof the open surface of such leathers with LEDER FEIN® Leather Waterproofing Pump Spray. To remove light soiling, brush with our soft Leather Brush or use the Nubuck Eraser.
Available Sizes
Leather Care and Waterproofing Oil
For the care and waterproofing of natural leather on suitcases, bags, straps or saddles, for motorcycle suits and other leather garments with nappa leather (the type where a drop of water rubbed in does not darken the leather), shoes, boots, greasy and oily leathers. Not suitable for suede and nubuck!Amount: 175 ml.Application areas: Leather ClothingFor: Pigmented leather Area of application COLOURLOCK Leather Care and Waterproofing Oil was specially developed by a tannery master. It makes dry leather supple again, protects it from weathering and makes it waterproof.Amount: 175 ml. This is usually sufficient for multiple treatments, even of larger surfaces.  Application Always test any products first on a hidden area in case they affect the colour.Apply sparingly and evenly, in a circular motion, with a sponge or piece of cloth. Do not dilute. If the leather is very dry, repeat the process. Treatment should be re-applied twice a year.