How to Care for Aniline Leather

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Aniline leather needs to be cared for in a very particular way to insure the longevity of the product. Find out how to care for aniline leather with help from a leather and vinyl professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Leather Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Aubrey from the Leather Doctor in Utah. We're talking today about how to care for aniline leather. Now, aniline leather is similar to what we call nubuck leather, in that it's a very unfinished leather. The beauty of the leather is accentuated by the fact that their using what's called an aniline stain, it's a transparent soluble stain that allows us to see the beauty of the leather, and also retain a very soft and buttery feel of the leather. So aniline leather, like nubuck leather, the unfinished types of leather, have some disadvantages. And the disadvantages being that they're very open, they're very receptive to any kind of liquid, any kind of staining, any oil, water, or anything like that will penetrate straight into the fibers of the leather, and if it is a, something that can stain and leave a residue, then it's gonna leave a stain. The other thing is it's very vulnerable to UV light. So, these are some of the problems with aniline leathers. Now, unfortunately, once a stain gets into the fibers of an aniline leather, it's very hard to get it out, very hard. And, it's gonna cause you problems. And in most cases, it's not possible to get it out. So the key to maintaining your aniline leather is to be very vigilant and diligent in keeping it clean and looking for any kind of problem areas. If anything spills on it, try and clean it up straight away. Now, the way to clean it is to find a compatible aniline cleaner, something that isn't gonna leave any residue, leave any marks when it dries. You always, even if it says, you know, you buy a cleaner that says it's designed for aniline or nubuck leathers, you wanna make sure you test it first and see how it goes. You can test it out, you know, by applying a little bit to a corner of the leather, and just observing it. You can observe it, let it dry naturally, or you can apply some heat to it and allow it to dry. Now I've dried that, and I've found that it's not leaving any stains. Now, the objective with a cleaner, seeing that it's compatible now with the leather, is to get it on and get it off pretty quickly. You don't necessarily wanna let it penetrate for too far and too long into the leather. That could cause some problems. So, I'm going to apply this in a fairly, what would appear to be a fairly superficial way. I'm applying some pressure, but I'm not necessarily letting it soak right into the, into the leather. I'm working it on a surface level. You can see that it's highly absorbent, absorbs straight into the leather. Having done that, I'm gonna dry it. And having dried it, I can now apply a conditioner, and again, you wanna make sure the conditioner's gonna work for you, and not cause any adverse problems to the leather. So again, test it first. I've already tested this, so I know it works well. This is a lanolin-based product, it's got some natural fat liquors, and natural, or natural properties in there that are compatible with leather. So I know it's safe with this particular product. And here again, I'm just gonna apply it in a circular motion. It's going to look as if it's blotching, you know, here darker patches, but I'm applying it, again in a similar fashion to the cleaner, fairly quick, fairly superficially. And I can allow that to dry, just let it dry naturally, and that product will be absorbed by the leather, but I know it wont leave a stain, so it's gonna be safe. The leather is gonna be clean, and it's gonna be re-hydrated, and it's going to have a much better feel. So that's how you take care of aniline leathers.

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