FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – LEATHER
WHAT IS ANILINE DYE?
Aniline dye was invented in the mid-19th century and became famous in the Victorian times. Aniline dye allowed the development of a new colour, Mauve – which became all the rage in England and France. More importantly it has a transparency that enhances the characteristics of natural materials, such as linen, silk, wood and leather. Today aniline is an industry term for transparent dyes that are used to colour top quality hides.
WHY IS ANILINE DYED LEATHER CONSIDERED TO BE THE BEST?
The top grain hides selected for aniline dyeing come from the best 5% of all leather produced. The hides are soaked through in aniline dyes and drummed for softness. Being transparent, aniline dyes impart a translucency and retain the personality and definition of each individual hide. This contrasts with the majority of leather furniture available, which relies mainly on ‘corrected grain’ (artificial texture printed on using rollers) and ‘pigmented’ or painted finishes. In some cases, ‘split’ leather (the bottom layer of a hide) is used, which is inferior in strength and finish. While such leathers are cheaper, they often take on a less characterful, more vinyl-like appearance.
HOW CONSISTENT ARE COLOURS?
Colours vary across individual hides and between different hides. Dyes are absorbed differently and change in thickness, location and moisture content – which will influence its colour density and hue. Texture and tone will vary across each individual furniture piece. In some cases, the appearance of our leathers are enhanced by the addition of surface colour to provide an antique effect or to strengthen the density of colour, particularly in the case of light cream hides.
HOW DOES LIGHT AND HEAT AFFECT LEATHER?
Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent that causes leather and fabrics to fade. Excessive heat will draw out the moisture naturally present in leather and may lead to deterioration in it’s performance. Never place aniline dyed leather furniture in direct sunlight as this will cause it to fade, dry out and crack.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY LEATHER UPHOLSTERY?
All Duresta aniline dyed leathers include a light surface finish to help resist stains and scratches. In the event of an accidental spillage, it is imperative to act quickly. Carefully soak up any excess liquid, ideally using the edge of a paper towel, then dab gently with a fresh towel, taking care to avoid spreading or soaking in the remaining liquid. Please note that not all types of stains will clean away. Please bear in mind that all aniline leather requires some maintenance. In addition to regular dusting – light scratches and scuffs can be removed by gently buffing with a slightly damp, soft cloth or chamois.
It is important to rub very gently, to avoid colour change. Saddle soap, cleaning solvents, furniture polish, oils, waxes, abrasive cleaners, general stain removers and any silicone or ammonia based products should never be used. While scratch removal cream can be very effective, always check that they are suitable for aniline leathers before use.
Should you have any further questions regarding the quality and care of your Duresta upholstery, please contact your Duresta retailer.