Leather’s look and feel was prized for centuries, but leather will not have environmental enemies that may greatly shorten its useful life from decades to just years. Chief among these enemies is the sun. However, there are things you can do to secure your fine leather couch and other furniture.
Keep It Shaded
The surest way to protect a leather couch and other leather-upholstered furniture from sun damage is to put the furniture at a spot that’s out of direct sunlight. Strong sunlight can fade dyed leather in as little as four to six weeks. Direct sun also causes leather to dry out and crack since the sun’s heat causes the leather’s natural oils to disappear.
If you can’t move the couch or other leather furniture to a shaded spot, close the drapes, shades or blinds, or cover the piece with a decorative blanket during the sunniest, hottest aspect of the afternoon. As an alternative, you might employ commercial tinting film to the windows to prevent the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which cause the maximum harm.
Wash and Protect
Regular cleaning and conditioning assist your leather upholstery withstand the sun. About every 3 months, clean the upholstery with a commercial leather cleaner. Don’t use ammonia-containing products, furniture wax or abrasive cleansers. Apply a commercial leather conditioner twice a year to help keep leather from drying out.
Leather upholstery comes in three types that differ in their opposition to sun damage. Most furniture manufacturers use “fully finished” leather that’s dyed with opaque colours and ended with a surface layer which strongly resists sun damage, stains and wear. Some furniture is covered with aniline leather that’s colored with a transparent dye that emphasizes the grain of the leather but has no surface layer. Additionally, there is semi-aniline leather which uses transparent dyes and has a thin surface layer. These leathers are softer, but much more vulnerable to damage from sunlight, scratches and stains.