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Glossy or matt finish on leather?

Sunday, 29 November 2015 16:02:41 Europe/London

Leather can be glossy or matt. Which is best depends on individual preference and also the purpose of the item. Modern leather car interiors are usually matt, while most leather shoes tend to be very glossy. However, friction from daily use can make matt leather shiny. In cars, this is particularly noticeable in the driver’s seat.

The good news is that restoring a leather matt finish can be done. You can also change the look from gloss to matt, or vice versa. Here’s how.

How to alter gloss or matt finish on leather

To remove some gloss from pigmented leather we recommend cleaning the surface with Colourlock Strong Leather Cleaner and a Colourlock Leather Cleaning Brush. This process will take some of the gloss off. If cleaning the leather achieves the desired degree of dullness, we advise you to apply Colourlock Leather Protector to maintain the leather and retain the finish.  

If you still need to bring down the shine on your leather item, you should degrease the surface using Colourlock Leather Cleaning Spirit after following the cleaning process described above. The cleaning spirit will dull the surface of the leather completely, so it might be necessary to use the Colourlock Leather Protector or Colourlock Leather Shield (for newer leather) to bring some of the gloss back. Make sure you don’t buff or polish the surface when applying these products to avoid making the surface glossier.

Ideally, you will be able to achieve the desired finish with the above options. However, if these didn’t produce the correct level of gloss, you can apply Colourlock Leather Fresh Neutral Gloss or Colourlock Leather Fresh Neutral Dull, depending on the finish required. These products can alter the level of gloss or matt on the surface. It is always easier to turn matt glossy, than remove the shine. If you would like to make shiny leather less glossy, we advise you to contact a specialist, particularly for large areas, as the product could leave visible marks when applied at home. A leather professional will be able to spray the product on more evenly for a uniform result. If you would like to commission them, please contact us by email and we will assist you. 

If you are attempting to do this yourself, it is very important to follow the instruction for each product, and the process as explained here to ensure you achieve a good result.

Firstly, degrease the area thoroughly with Colourlock Leather Cleaning Spirit. Apply it with a clean cloth in order to remove any traces of fat or grease on the leather surface.

After this, apply Colourlock Leather Fresh Neutral on the required level of gloss. This can be applied lightly with a sponge, or a spray gun for a more even finish. 

We recommend protecting the leather with Colourlock Leather Shield for new dull leather. Older leather should be protected with Colourlock Leather Protector. The Colourlock Elephant Leather Preserve is one of our best selling products - it is great for protecting and maintaining glossy leather. Please be aware that applying too much product could make the surface very glossy. Don't try to remove it by polishing it as that again will bring more gloss to the surface. Instead, use a lightly wet cloth to remove the excess product. 

And to end this article, a bit of science! When inspected under a microscope, you can see the level of gloss on a piece of leather. These images show cross-sections of leather as seen under the microscope. Matt leather (images 1 and 2) has sharper deeper edges, and it is their reflection of the light and shadows that creates the dull effect. The smoother the surface, the less shadows reflected, and hence it looks shinier (images 3 and 4). This explains why polishing or buffing leather makes it shiny!

Matt Leather cross-sectionGloss Leather cross-section

Posted in Info Articles By Ram Iyer

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Cleaning and care of Nubuck and Suede

Saturday, 21 November 2015 13:04:12 Europe/London

Autumn is here and out come all our warmer leather garments such as nubuck and suede boots, jackets, coats and gloves. These leather types have a nice soft and warm velvety surface, making them a big favourite in cold weather. Although elegant and comfortable, they are also very prone to staining in wet weather.

Suede and nubuck are both split leather made from the flesh side (back) of the skin. They have a soft, sanded and velvet-like surface. Although nubuck has a finer structure, they’re both treated and protected in the same way. Their biggest disadvantage is their sensitivity, as the surface can easily become shiny and greasy with the use, stains remain visible and the colour tends to fade.

It is important to start by protecting these garments before wearing them to prevent marks. We recommend using the Colourlock Aniline Protector. This spray protects suede and nubuck leather from drying and colour fading, as well as keeping it soft. If you are planning on wearing the garment out in the wet it is best to protect it additionally with Colourlock Waterproofing for Nubuck, Suede Leather & Textiles - this waterproofing should always be applied after the Aniline Protector. We would suggest starting this treatment within the first year of use and repeat it regularly afterwards, depending on how often the item is used.

If you didn’t protect the item in advance and some stains have already made their way onto your garment, we have put together a set to treat and remove marks from this very delicate leather. The Colourlock Nubuck & Suede Care Set is great for removing stains and making the surface even again. This leather repair kit contains all you need to look after your suede and nubuck leather items. Each item can also be purchased separately if required.

Colourlock Suede Cleaning & Care Kit

We recommend using Colourlock Leather Sanding Padwhich has two equally granulated faces for sanding down large stains or slightly greasy areas. Using liquid Suede Cleaners, there is a always a risk of leaving bigger stains and rims. The kit also comes with a Colourlock Nubuck Eraser for tougher and dried stains.

If the stains cannot be removed satisfactorily with the Sanding Pad and/or Eraser, you can use Colourlock Leather Cleaning Spirit (not in the kit). Wet a lint free cloth with a small amount of the Cleaning Spirit and lightly apply across the surface without making it too wet. Always test in a hidden area first, don`t rub it too hard and always let dry first.

If your garment or suede furniture has fresh fat or oil stains, the Colourlock Fat Absorber Spray is the first choice. This is a spray containing solvents and an additional white absorbent powder. The solvent dissolves fats and oils, the powder soaks these up afterwards.

Removable leather covers or garments can be washed entirely with LEDER FEIN Leather & Fur Wash Concentrate by hand or in the washing machine. We recommend using the Colourlock Waterproofing for Nubuck, Suede & Textiles after washing.

The colour of darker suede which has bleached or faded a little bit can be refreshed with our Colourlock Nubuck Fresh. Usually a 1 litre bottle will be necessary for one set of furniture, due to the strong absorbent nature of suede. You can visit our shop or contact us directly for colours available.

It is extremely important to look after and care for Suede and Nubuck garments or items.They are sensitive materials and will never return to their original state or look like new after cleaning and repair. However, with our recommended products and treatments, you can achieve the best possible result without having to consult a specialist. Items with strong fading, too many stains or extremely greasy areas should be referred to a professional.

Posted in Info Articles By Ram Iyer

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How to remove dye stains from leather

Sunday, 15 November 2015 13:43:23 Europe/London

Dye stains from clothing on leather car seats and sofas are a common problem, with denim being the biggest culprit. The lighter the leather, the more visible the stains will be. How to remove them will depend on the type of leather. For pigmented leather, monochrome, semi-gloss and smooth leather, conventional leather cleaning products will get rid of dye stains in most cases. But, if the dye has been in contact with the leather for too long, it might have penetrated the surface, making it harder to remove the stain just by cleaning, in which case a dye might be needed to restore the leather.

Colourlock Dye transfer examples

How to remove dye stains

Simply follow our recommended steps below. Please note: for any other types of leather other than those mentioned above, please consult a leather specialist first as these are more sensitive and conventional cleaners could make the damage worse. 

The first step should always be to try to remove dye stains with Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner or Colourlock Strong Leather Cleaner for more stubborn stains. We recommend using a Colourlock Leather Cleaning Brush to help the product get deeper into the grain of the leather surface. If you notice that after using the cleaner the stain hasn’t completely been removed, you might need to also apply Colourlock GLD Solvent. This product is specifically designed to slightly dissolve the top colour coating on the leather. The GLD Solvent should be used carefully, applying it with a lightly damp lint-free cloth. Some of the colour of the leather will come off together with the dye you are trying to remove, but you should be careful not to take off too much of the original leather colour. If this can’t be avoided because the stains are still visible, you will need to restore the colour of the affected area with Colourlock Leather Fresh (Leather Dye). Please check our website or contact us directly to obtain a matching colour so the leather restoration won’t be noticeable.

We recommend using Colourlock Leather Shield after the treatment to protect the leather from further discolouration. This product offers protection against abrasion, stains and discolouration. If the leather is sensitive to discolouration, the Colourlock Leather Shield should be used during the next years. This is not necessary if a strong colouring textile was the reason behind the stains. But if the leather is generally sensitive, this recommendation is true for all contact areas. Traditional care products contain oils and waxes to soften the leather. But they also soften the colour layer and make them somewhat sticky. This promotes soiling and discolouration. As long as the leather doesn't appear to be too dry, Colourlock Leather Shield is the first choice for the contact areas. The rest can be treated as recommended for furniture leather.

How to remove dye transfer from leather - colourlock steps


How to remove dye stains from faux leather?

In case of synthetic leather or vinyl, the Colourlock Vinyl Cleaner should be the first choice. If this doesn't remove the stains and the discolouration persists, there is no way to clean it. Even a leather specialist will have little chance, as even recolouring the stain could still allow the dye to move back on to the top layer becoming visible again.



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Posted in Info Articles By Ram Iyer

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