Leather Care Basics Made Easy

You want your leather to last a lifetime, but good leather care can seem overwhelming. Online searches leave you wondering what type of leather you have and what product you need.

This article answers those questions and makes the basics of leather care easy.

Identifying Your Leather

Not all leather can be treated the same way, so it’s important to know what category your leather fits in. Fortunately, identifying the different types is simple.

Three main categories of leather:

1. Dry Tanned – Suede, NuBuck, and Brushed
How to tell – If you can rub your hand over the surface of the leather and there is a nap that changes color, the leather is a dry tanned leather.

2. Oil Tanned – Vegetable, Chrome, Naked, and Exotic
How to tell – For leather that is smooth or textured-smooth, gently scratch the surface with your fingernail or put a droplet of water on the leather. If the scratch leaves a mark or the leather darkens from the water, treat the leather as oil tanned leather unless it’s white (white leather takes special care).

3. Coated/Finished – Vinyl, Acrylic, Patent, and Colored
How to tell – If the scratch test and water drop test did not leave a mark or darken the leather, it’s a coated or finished leather.

Treating Your Leather

Now that you know what category your leather fits in, let’s talk leather care.

1. Dry Tanned stains easily. Treat it with Pecard’s Silicone Protectant or Pecard’s Suede and NuBuck Spray.

2. Oil Tanned leather can be treated with Pecard Boot Oil, Pecard Leather Dressing, Pecard Cream Dressing, or Pecard Leather Lotion.

Which one? It depends on what you want to happen with the color.

  • The oil darkens leather
  • The dressing causes very little color change
  • The cream is a merging of the oil and dressing for medium color change
  • The leather lotion is the choice for white leather or if you want the color unchanged

3. Coated/Finished needs Pecard Leather Lotion or the Pecard High Gloss Spray for an extra shiny finish.

Now you know the basics of leather care that will help keep your leather healthy.

If you have questions about repair, waterproofing, washing and cleaning (including when there’s salt, mold, stains, etc.), caring for antiques, and safely storing leather, we’ll have answers for you in future blogs or contact us here.

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