Making leather look washed..

Discussion in 'Workshop - DIY - Do it yourself' started by Kimkhuu, Apr 25, 2009.

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  1. Kimkhuu

    Kimkhuu New Member

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    Just a weird question....... How can I turn regular plain *plastic-y* leather into WASHED LEATHER?????

    To get the washed/wrinkled/looks-like-suede/uneven look?

    Do I simply put it in the washer then the dryer?

    :innocent:
     
  2. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    yes- put in in the washer...on warm...
    maybe skip the dryer as it could distort the shape and shrink it too much...

    though- if it's too 'plastic-y'...it may not work as well...
    it works better with softer leathers...

    :flower:
     
  3. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    Long and short... No. Putting your leather in the washer and dryer will not achieve your purpose. You might get the affect, but you also may do irreparable damage to the leather.

    Water can be an enemy to leather and strip away many of the natural oils the leather needs to remain supple. One of the most critical time in the production of leather is the first stage in which the leather is dried to stop the decay process. This is the "curing" process. Most of the time to achieve and preserve the leather, they are salted, the leather is later soaked in water to remove the salt, and then treated with combinations of minerals or chromium sulfate.

    The "washed lambskin" is an enzyme wash process in which special enzymes are used to help soften the leather. Most of these are aniline leathers which beyond dying only have a limited amount of surface protection. This allows them to breathe more, but also makes them fragile to the elements.

    Most garment leathers are a semi-aniline leather which have a little heavier treatment, but make them more resistant to stains, etc. Biggest difference in the semi-aniline is that other dyes are used besides aniline. (aniline is the type of dye)

    Leather should never be placed in a dryer and by the same token, leather furniture should not be placed near fireplaces, radiators, etc. Dried leather loses its oils and becomes stiff and brittle and will crack over time.

    Also. Watch the dry-cleaners. Many of them use a heavy chemical process that will strip the leather of their oils. I know almost immediately when I come across a dry-cleaned leather because instead of being soft and silky, the leather has almost a papery feel. Most of the time I come across this with white colored leather garments being sold and the people are trying to remove some of the soiling, but in the process really destroy the leather.

    There are several leather specialists nationwide who do fabulous jobs cleaning leathers, and will even go to the point of removing the surface and re-dying faded areas that are very prevalent in older aniline leathers like the Plonge Lambskin used by Jitrois, Chanel and other.
     
  4. Kimkhuu

    Kimkhuu New Member

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    That was helpful, thanks a lot
    designerleather! :heart:
     
  5. xing

    xing New Member

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    That's wonderful advice on cleaning leather designerleather.

    How do I get that worn out, slghtly falling apart look from a brand new leather jacket? It's neither soft nor comfortable right now. It's very smooth and very new and I don't think I'll have the patience to wear it until it's nice and soft and wrinkly in all the right places. What can I do to speed things up?
     
  6. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    Conditioning it will loosen it up a bit. Conditioners that contain silicone should be avoided.

    The one I regularly use is from Arrow Cleaners who are also great if you have leather that has faded, which can be common with some of colored leathers, especially the ultra soft lambskin.

    Another product I like a lot can be found in a loot of shoe and boot repair stores is called Cadillac (not the car company)

    A lot will also depend on the leather hides themselves and the finish. Both of these will greatly affect how soft the leather will become, but even some of your heavier cowhides will break in over time. Took close to a year for my Vanson riding leather to really break in, but I can also say, I definitely trust my life and skin to it.

    Cowhides will tend to stay a little stiffer and also tend to come with a little heavier finish. These will soften but not nearly as much as most of your lambskin and calfskin leathers.

    With leather especially, before conditioning, ALWAYS test a small hidden area of the leather to see if it darkens. Some leather really is leather professional care only and if you condition the item it may darken or become off balanced with some sections darker, etc.
     

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