Sun bleached aniline sofaPosted on November 4th, 2014
This sofa has been sitting in a conservatory…
Aniline leather is unsealed, and thus unprotected from UV damage, it fades extremely quickly in sunlight. Re-colouring it is notoriously difficult to get right as the leather was originally dyed in trays rather than coated. The standard way of colouring sun damaged aniline is to use aniline dyes, applied by hand, and then lightly sealed with either a blend of creams and waxes or a very light coating of leather sealant. This is the most common of the techniques that we use, although it is still difficult to blend sun faded areas with those that aren’t!
In the worst of cases the leather may have “boiled”, this is where all of the moisture from the leather has evaporated and the leather is left dry and highly absorbent. If we apply dyes to these areas the dye is immediately absorbed and leaves the area very dark. In these cases we have to apply moisture reviving balms and oils to the leather which are either pigmented or dyed to match the original colour of the sofa as best as possible.
In extreme cases it may be necessary to coat the leather and effectively turn it into a pigmented leather… this is always a last resort as the “feel” of the leather can be affected, but it has advantages. The leather will now be more fade resistant, it will be more stain resistant, and it is much more likely to have a more uniform appearance.
This sofa has had a combination of all 3 techniques, and not only looks great, but feels superb and should be less likely to fade in the future!