Leather Upholstery Cleaning & Conditioning
We Do Leather Cleaning & Conditioning
After years of use, your leather furniture can become stiff, soiled, stained, faded and show scratches from use. Despite this appearance, the leather beneath may be in good condition with many more years of useful life. Our experts thoroughly clean your protected or unprotected leather upholstery to remove soil, apply a matching color to make scratches less noticeable, and perform a thorough conditioning of the leather to prevent cracking and restore its appearance.
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Types of Leather Upholstery
Aniline (“Unprotected”, “Naked”) Leather
Aniline leather has been treated with an aniline dye to impart color throughout the hide. The dye allows the grain and natural characteristics of the leather to show through. Aniline leather does not offer the liquid repellency and soil resistance of a protected leather and will darken dramatically when wet. Over time, aniline leather will “patina”, a natural effect where body oils are absorbed in the leather enriching its natural appearance.
Protected (“Finished”, “Pigmented”) Leather
Protected leather, the most common leathers used in upholstery, is aniline leather (base color) that has a protective finish and topcoat(s) applied to the top-grain side of the hide to provide greater water repellency and cleanability. Adding pigment (color) and topcoats to the leather can also cover imperfections in the leather and enhance its appearance. With use, the protective topcoats can be worn away, risking permanent staining to the leather.
Suede (“Nubuck”) Leather
Sometimes called nubuck, most upholstery suede is actually a regular leather that has been mechanically brushed or sanded to create a nap. Nubuck has a surface area that is roughly double that of true suede and is therefore favored for high-end upholstered furniture. Nubuck is very absorbent, easily soiled and difficult to clean.
Leather that has had wax or oil impregnated through the leather is referred to as a wax pull-up or oil pull-up.
Wax and oil pull-ups provide some soil and stain protection and create a desired appearance effect. Wax pull-ups occur in both aniline and nubuck leathers. Oil pull-ups occur only in aniline leathers.
Caring for Your Leather Upholstery
Aniline and protected leather can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Suede—or nubuck—leather can be brushed with a soft bristle brush, a fine abrasive pad or a nubuck block specifically designed to clean suede. Loose fibers and soil can then be vacuumed away.
Professional Cleaning & Conditioning:
The experts at D. A. Burns can professionally clean and condition your aniline and protected leather upholstery to restore its soiled, worn appearance and protect the leather from unsightly drying and cracking—adding years of use and enjoyment.
FAQ's About Leather Upholstery
I have a “bonded” leather chair. What does bonded mean?
Bonded leather is a hybrid product made in much the same way that sawdust is made into particle board. Leather remnants are chopped into fine particles and “bonded” with a polymer to create a semi-plastic, semi-leather product that looks and smells like leather. Qualities and lifespan vary.
My sofa cushions look like suede in some areas. Can you fix that?
Once the top grain of the leather is worn through there isn’t anything that cleaning can do to restore the leather’s original appearance. It may be possible for an upholsterer to replace the worn areas if a suitable color match is available.
The color is worn off of the arms of my husband’s favorite chair. Will your color repair fix that?
The color we can rub into cracks and scratches is not durable when used for surface color repair. We’ve found that getting a good color match with a custom mix of leather paint is not possible, so if the color coat is worn through, it is usually best to recolor the entire piece of furniture. The better option is often to have an upholsterer replace the worn areas if the balance of the chair leather is in good shape.
Conditioning of Leather Upholstery
Although your favorite leather chair or sofa may exhibit a slightly worn appearance, our leather cleaning and conditioning can restore it to its near-new appearance. The leather beneath is usually in good condition, ready to offer many more years of useful life and enjoyment. Our cleaning removes the oils and soils that can make your leather furniture look tired and the leather conditioning restores that soft texture, nourishing and strengthening the leather to prevent cracking.
We can also “rub in” color to make minor scratches and abrasions less conspicuous. It’s best to keep your leather furniture away from direct sunlight to prevent the leather from drying out and fading in color.
With proper care, leather can last for generations. Our cleaning and conditioning can restore the beauty of your leather furniture and allow it to age gracefully.
Schedule Leather Upholstery Cleaning & Conditioning
Drop off your leather upholstery at our Seattle or Bellevue locations or schedule in-home cleaning and receive a 20% discount. We also offer pickup and delivery service for our in-plant upholstery cleaning.
D. A. Burns on-location technicians service Seattle, Bellevue and the surrounding areas (view map of our service area). For questions or to schedule an appointment, call (206) 782-2268 or use our online scheduling form to request an appointment.