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How to clean, care & protect pull-up, waxed and oiled leather

In order to know the best methods to clean and condition Pull-Up, waxed or oiled leather, it is first important to understand some basics information about the leather. 

What is Pull Up leather?, What are the main characteristics of this type of leather? and Pro's & Con's of Pull Up leather 

Pull Up leather is a type of aniline leather that is coloured with aniline dyes that are sealed using natural oils and/or waxes instead of paints, pigments and top coats. They end up having a coloured wax or oil finish on the top. Pull-Up leather is therefore also called as waxed leather or oiled leather. They are mainly used for making shoes and bags but they have also been used for making furniture.

Pull-Up leather has a sanded surface underneath the finish. However, on some Pull Up leather, the natural grain remains undamaged. The grain structure can be fine or coarse with either a gloss or a matt finish. The main characteristic of these leather types is they develop patina very quickly. Pull Up leather also have a lighter colour when they are stretched or when they get scratched.

Pull-Up, waxed and oiled leather tend to develop patina very quickly in comparison to other leather types. 

Pro's & Con's of Pull Up Leather

The leather gets scratched easily and you can remove some of the colour if you rub the surface with a damp cloth. On the plus side, Pull Up leather is extremely soft and feels very natural. They develop a beautiful patina and have a lived in look. They are porous leathers and hence need to be protected from the outset as liquids can penetrate the surface and cause stains which can be difficult to remove.  

Important to note: Pull Up leather should not be confused with PU leather. These are polyurethane coated split leather called PU-Leather or Bicast. Please refer to the appropriate manual. 


Important! Such leather must be maintained differently! Otherwise you can cause damages.

Do not confuse Pull Up leather with PU leather which is split leather with a layer of polyurethane coating (vinyl) applied to the surface.

How to clean & protect Pull Up leather?

Most new oiled and waxed leather(Pull up leather) are usually porous. Water, wine, coffee and other fluids will penetrate into the leather and can cause stains that are hard to remove by general cleaning. Find out how porous your leather is by running a simple test. Rub or drip a drop of water in a hidden area and check if water penetrates the surface. If it is Pull Up leather, you will notice it penetrates the surface. In such cases COLOURLOCK Waterproofing Spray for Leather & Textile is the first choice for protection. If the water doesn’t penetrate into the leather, COLOURLOCK Aniline Cream or COLOURLOCK Gloss-Cream is recommended as care depending on the gloss level. The use of the cream is better when scratches have to be removed. The creams do offer a more intensive protection and if you want to use the creams, we recommend using it in conjunction with the Waterproof Spray. First, apply the waterproof Spray and wait for a few minutes. Once the surface has a base level protection, apply wither the ANiline cream or Gloss cream for enhanced protection. 

Dust down waxed and oiled leather with a soft cloth or a feather duster. It can also be wiped with a slightly damp cloth. Don't get the cloth too wet and don`t rub too hard, all the while ensuring you don't stain the surface or remove any colour. 

Oiled and waxed leather get traces or patina after a very short period of usage. That is a desired effect of this type of leather. 

Slight traces of tear and wear can be polished with a soft, dry cloth. The fat or oil on the surface moves and the scratches can barely be seen. In case of more and stronger traces of wear, the cloth may slightly be moistened with water. Heavier traces can be polished by using Aniline Cream or Gloss-Cream (depending on the gloss grade of the leather) with a soft cloth. Always test the procedure first for safety in a hidden area! Extremely sensitive leather should be treated with Waterproofing before the polishing.

Dark areas can be lightened by stretching the surface. In all procedures try as much as possible to get an even tone on the surface. If treating shoes, always treat both shoes, entire surfaces of bags and all the seats of a couch.


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