3 Tips to prevent leather cracking
Leather is one of the most durable and long-lasting materials. Definitely, you made the right choice selecting it, it is also comfortable, soft, and luxurious material. Leather is made from animal hide, due to which it is also difficult to manufacture, and that’s what makes it expensive as well. Although leather has more unique characteristics than other fabrics, it might crack if not maintained properly. However, if we take care and follow the tips to prevent the leather from cracking and peeling, we can definitely make it live even longer.
But before jumping into the detail there is a question that should be answered to maintain leather from cracking and fading its color off.
Why does leather crack and fade?
Avoid Dryness of leather:
Dryness or lower humidity is one of the key factors why leather cracks up and fades. So, how dryness affects the leather? As we all know that leather on its surface has thousands and thousands of small “pores” which are invisible to the naked eye. You might not be able to see these pores but they play a big role in the characteristics of leather. Depending upon the humidity level, surrounding these pores constantly absorb and release moisture. So, how do these pores affect leather? When the surrounding of leather has a humid environment, moisture vapor will be in excess, and that moisture will settle on the surface of leather, ultimately pores will absorb it, and mold growth will occur. But on the other hand, when the surrounding of leather has a dry environment, now the pores will release moisture into the air, and leather will become drier. This dryness causes cracks in the leather, however, if the humidity level of the surrounding is normal and not too high or low then it doesn’t affect much.
Buy Good Quality Leather:
Sometimes the manufacturer doesn’t properly stretch the fully-finished leather before putting a layer of dye and protective coating on it and as leather is stretchable, so when people sit on it, it might stretch more than its dye limit cannot handle it and ultimately the coating will crack. So, if the leather is properly stretched and then given dye and protective coating cracks might come up as quickly as in the earlier case.
Prevent Leather from Body Dirt & Oil:
As we discussed earlier, leather has thousands and thousands of pores in it, so there are high chances of getting dirt and oil into them. Commonly this dirt and oil come from our bare arms, legs, neck, and hair when they touch leather. This dirt and oil get to soak into the top coating of leather. After some time this dirt and oil become abrasive, and it breaks the dye and coating, creating cracks at the surface of leather.
Prevent Leather from Direct light:
You might have seen somewhere that leather should be avoided from direct sunlight, artificial light, and temperature fluctuations. This is due to the dye’s sensitivity to pH levels which is more than the other fabrics or materials and this change in pH which is due to sunlight, artificial light and temperature changes affect the appearance of leather; loss of its colors, and faded look. Too much friction can also cause the fading and cracking of leather pieces.
So now, if you ever see a leather having cracks and faded looks that might be because of these reasons so make sure you maintain and prevent the leather from cracking and fading.
How to Prevent Leather from Cracking?
Keep Leather Clean to Prevent Cracking:
As leather has thousands of pours on its surface so keeping the leather clean is very necessary. You should do the following things in order to keep leather clean and avoid cracking.
- Clean leather at least 3 to 4 times a year.
- By cleaning it you will get rid of the dirt and oil from soaking into it.
- After that use a good protection cream to fill the pores which will remove the possibility of soaking the dirt and oil into leather.
- This will also improve its ability to hold up the daily wear and tear.
- Cleaned leather is also less susceptible to changing its color and texture.
Avoid Dirt & Oil to Prevent Cracking:
Yes, you have cleaned your leather properly but what to do after that to maintain it properly. For that, you should avoid exposure to dirt and body oil from entering into leather. So, how you can avoid dirt and oil from entering into leather:
- Avoid sitting or sleeping on your couch if you are sweaty or wearing dirty clothes.
- Use less expensive seats to sit if you are using sunscreen or might have greasy hands.
- Put covers on leather if the surrounding has too much dirt.
- If you are going to rest put a blanket or cover over the headrest of the recliner.
Tip: Use lemon essential oil, which is a homemade leather conditioner, Just damp a microfiber cloth add some drops of lemon essential oil, then massage it over the leather surface.
Maintain Humidity Level:
Not properly controlled humidity levels can damage the leather. Follow these tips to make proper humidity level:
- Keep 40 to 50% relative humidity. You can buy a simple humidity reader to measure humidity in your room. A lot of people know the temperature in their rooms but not humidity, so if you have leather products make sure to check the humidity level.
- If you keep the humidity high mold growth will occur, to reduce the humidity a little bit use dehumidifier that extracts moisture vapor from the air.
- If the humidity is too low leather can dry and start cracking, to increase the humidity use humidifier.
Choose Good Quality Leather:
- Select high-quality leather from preventing it from cracking.
- Some companies do not give proper stretch to leather due to which later when it gets stretch more from its limit dye might not be able to it and start showing cracks, so make sure to select a good leather.
- Some companies also use low-grade leather, which will damage quickly over time, because it will be more susceptible to cracking.
- So, always select a good quality leather, it will definitely save cost in long run.
- This is why it’s better to spend more money on better quality products because they last longer than other low-quality products.
Follow the Care Label:
- Always follow the care label given on a leather product.
- You can find care labels on products easily if you have a shirt or jacket, the care label will be attached somewhere inside, if you have pant care label will be attached inside the waistband, and if you have a leather sofa or couch care label will be somewhere below cushions, etc.
- It’s always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s advice to prevent the leather from cracking and any other damage.
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