Upholstery grade leather-based has about 25% moisture content material because it leaves the tannery. This moisture content material is often pure oils like neetsfoot that’s infused into the fiber construction imparting suppleness. These oils are unstable, which means they evaporate away additional time at a price depending on warmth and humidity. If you’re in a really dry local weather and the leather-based is uncovered to direct solar or different warmth supply then the evaporation price is significantly accelerated in comparison with a humid local weather or the place the leather-based isn’t uncovered to a direct warmth supply just like the warming solar PU leather.
As moisture evaporates from leather-based two issues occur: 1. the leather-based shrinks as a result of lose of mass, and a couple of. the leather-based loses is inner lubrication. In both case the impact is stiffening. Sooner or later, the place the moisture content material drops beneath 5% or so, the leather-based feels and behaves like a chunk of cardboard. That is its demise.
Leather-based conditioners comprise replenishing oils. The purpose of conditioning leather-based then is instill misplaced lubrication to maintain the moisture content material elevated. Consequently, this straightforward upkeep process prolongs the leather-based’s life. It is a fairly easy idea. Nonetheless, there’s extra to the story. Listed below are some vital issues:
pH Difficulty. pH measures acidity or alkalinity. The vary is from 1 to 14 with pure water being impartial at 7.zero. Leather-based is acidic. It measures four.5 to five.zero on a pH scale. Moreover, the pH scale is logarithmic, which means that every entire quantity is 10 occasions roughly acidic or alkaline than the subsequent quantity within the scale. While you combine two parts which have differing pH, a chemical response happens. Within the case of leather-based, this chemical response accelerates the breakdown of leather-based fibers. Subsequently, any conditioner utilized to leather-based must be pH balanced to leather-based in order to not harm the leather-based.
Coated (Pigmented) Leather-based. Most leather-based has a floor colour coating. This coating can be coated with a transparent coat offering safety and put on resistance. So, if one thing spills on the leather-based, it’s simply wiped up with out penetrating and marking the leather-based. These coatings are typically chemical engineered to have a sure diploma of porosity, permitting the leather-based to breath. Nonetheless, the power for a conditioning agent to penetrate by this protecting barrier is a problem. That is notably true with vehicle grade leather-based. For vehicle leather-based, the best process is to heat the leather-based up a bit (go away the automotive within the solar for a number of hours) earlier than you apply a conditioner. Warming the leather-based reduces viscosity permitting the next absorption potential. Then, aggressively massaging the conditioner into the leather-based will assist.
Over conditioning. If a little bit is nice, then rather a lot have to be higher, proper? A typical mistake is to use an excessive amount of conditioner. Consider a sponge totally laden with water. Including extra water isn’t doable. That is additionally true with leather-based. If the moisture content material is at its most, then including extra conditioner does nothing besides to sit down on the leather-based floor, drying over time and turning sticky and gooey.