Leather repair encompasses the range of services that can be performed to remove small spots and stains, treat scuffs and scratches, repair minor color issues, and address tears and other wounds that are less than 2 inches in length and width. Most of these repair projects can be performed on site over the course of one to three hours.
It is important to note that these remedies are repairs to a skin-like textile. It is very similar to performing cosmetic or plastic surgery on human skin, but with the added benefit that our professionals can add color to the affected areas to reduce the visibility of the repair. Thus, while it is always the goal of our specialists to render a repair invisible, it is possible that some scarring or color differential – particularly the difference between an older color that has been subjected to wear and exposure and a fresh application of “new” color – may be detectable, especially when you know where to look.
Our desire for a perfect repair can also be impacted by:
- The leather type
- Condition of the color system
- The age of the leather
For instance, a repair to a five-year-old semi-aniline leather cushion with a tear of two inches will be much less apparent than a similar repair to a ten-year-old aniline leather, since the dyed color will be less apt to mask the repair than a color system that is a little more opaque. Furthermore, the repair of a clean wound will be less visible than the repair of a jagged wound.
Some examples of leather repairs are as follows:
In the world of leather care, many believe that most of their leather problems and concerns that have built up over the years can simply be corrected by cleaning. In plain fact, the overwhelming majority of these issues can only be addressed properly over time, in our lab, and require fairly extensive repair and color restoration. For example, the buildup of body oil that has penetrated and darkened leather is something that most clients consider strictly a cleaning issue. The perception is that a leather specialist can simply apply some type of miracle oil remover and the oil will disappear, leaving the leather, color, and finish intact.
In reality, oils must actually be drawn out of the leather by a medium, like a poultice. This requites a full leather restoration process.
Similarly, many of the following issues will also require more extensive restoration work than our clients expect:
- The removal of ink from either aniline or nubuck leather, or from pigmented or semi-aniline leather after 48 to 72 hours
- Pet scratch removal
- The correction of faded nubuck, aniline, semi-aniline, or pigmented color
- The correction of lost or peeling color ( ALL of the failing color must be removed before the color system can be re-applied)
- Addressing spots and stains (although virtually ALL spots are permanent stains on certain leather types) on aniline and nubuck leather
- Spot color correction
- Large wound repair
- Replacement of damaged leather panels
- Seam repair (most seam repair will require machine-stitching of the entire length of seam for the best and most lasting repair)
- Partial or full restoration of the leather and color, or full color changes
Many of these restoration projects can take from one to three weeks to be performed properly, depending upon the condition of the leather and how the leather accepts repair and restoration. Please understand that leather restoration is both an art and a science, and no two pieces of leather are identical. Since our goal is not only to restore the beauty of the leather but also to maintain its “hand” or feel, its vitality, and its durability, we are limited in the amount of repair or restoration that can be performed to any given leather piece per day. Drying, curing, color absorption, and the absorption of moisture are all elements that cannot be forced or expedited during the restoration process, and there are necessary and proprietary steps that must be undertaken by our professionals in between each course of treatment to ensure the best possible result. All of these exhaustive procedures help our leather professionals deliver the kind of results that our clients desire: