How To

How To

How To Recondition Leather

Leather is one of the most luxurious materials used in making a variety of different products. People love the feel, the smell, and the durability that leather brings to products. Over time leather tends to lose its luster and some people will choose to discard the item, but there is no reason to be discouraged or lose your favorite clothing, accessory item, or even furniture. The leather can be reconditioned to be just as good a new. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Clean the Leather

The first step in the reconditioning process is to clean the leather. Leather can dull overtime and the shine or the texture can become quite rough. Most of that comes from the leather being dirty. Leather cleaners are specialized solutions that clean the leather in a way that does not erode the quality. It is not recommended to use water simply because of its harmful effects on most types of leather. When you purchase a leather cleaner, make certain that you know which type of leather you need to recondition. There are differences and using the wrong type of cleaner will damage the material to the point where the reconditioning process will be ineffective.


​Before you go to the next part of the process, the leather has to dry. Whether you are reconditioning pair of boots, a leather sofa, or even a jacket, a clean dry surface is the way to ensure that the remainder of this process is most effective. Hang clothing and hand bags in a dry place away from the sun so as not to bleach the product. Some will try to dry the product faster by hanging it in the sun, but always remember that the best reconditioning regimen is one that is slow and methodical.

​Reconditioning Cream

You can purchase leather reconditioning cream from a variety of different places. Convenient stores as well as large scale retailers may have what you need, but if you truly care about the product you are reconditioning, just buying any leather reconditioning product simply will not do. Your leather product was purchased because you love the product and putting some generic reconditioning agent on it is not way to treat the product.

​Leather professionals understand that the type of leather is an important factor in which reconditioning product you choose. When you go to the average retailer for help with the leather reconditioning project, they are not going to be a professional in the process. They will simply show you a product that is general use for all types of leather and that can damage the product depending on what type of leather is being reconditioned. If it is your first time reconditioning the leather product, you want to do it the right way and trusting in a leather professional such as will ensure that you have the right reconditioning cream for the right type of leather.

​Apply the Cream

Leather conditioning cream is not something that is just sprayed on and left alone. It takes time and concern to do it the right way. First, choose a cloth that is right for the job. Using a washcloth or a paper towel will likely leave behind a considerable amount of dust and debris that can soak into the leather making it dull. The best cloth to use is either a cloth diaper or a cloth napkin. These types of cloth will allow you to leave a clean surface behind to make the leather product look perfectly refreshed.

​Apply a small amount of reconditioning cream to the cloth and slowly apply it to the product being reconditioned. You never want to use a lot of the reconditioning cream in one are due to the fact that you can cause the leather to appear uneven when the reconditioning process is complete. You will also want to use gloves while you using the cream to keep away from any adverse skin reactions.

​When applying the cream to the leather product, gently rub the leather with the cloth and massage the cream into the material. Using a circular motion can help to apply the product evenly and show a smoother finish, but if you leather product of has a specific grain, it is best to go along with that. Work in small areas until the entire product is covered with the conditioner.

​Dry Properly

​There are some people that will simply put the leather reconditioning cream on the product and put it away or use it right away. This is no way to ensure that the conditioning process is a success. The cream has to have ample time to dry properly. To dry the product correctly, hang it up in a cool place and away from the sun just like when you first cleaned it. The reconditioning cream needs to have time to set into the product, but once it is dry you are able to put the product away until it is needed or used again.

​How Often do You Recondition Leather?

​The leather reconditioning process can take up a lot of time, but luckily, it is not something that has to be done all the time. Reconditioning leather is recommended to be done once per year. This will allow for your leather products to maintain their shape and texture throughout the year and maximize the overall lifespan of the product. When leather is properly taken care of, the product can and will last for decades and therefore, your initial investment into the product will be quite minimal when compared to the overall lifespan of other products.

​Leather products are timeless and hold their value much better than many other materials on the market today. Trusting your leather product to a leather craftsman for purchase as well as advice on keeping the leather fresh will also enhance its usability and lifespan. We at Rainier Leather want your leather products to last for your entire life, so trust us for all your leather needs.

How To

How To Darken Leather

When purchasing leather, you may find that the leather that you want is lighter than what you expected. While it is true that in some cases you can exchange the leather for a darker hue, there are times when you will be pressed for time, or the leather is non-exchangeable. In these situations, you will need to know a practical way in which to darken your leather. Here are a few methods.

Method One: Use Oil

​One method in which to darken leather is to use coconut oil or a non-scented oil on the leather. Ensure that the oil will not cause the leather to rot or mildew. It is best to use a natural oil. Apply the oil evenly using a cotton swab or a clean non-abrasive cloth. Keep in mind that the darker you want he leather the more coats you should add. Another consideration is that some oils when they dry will cause your leather to stiffen, so keep that in mind.

​Method Two: Shoe Polish

A bit crude of a method to changing the color of your leather, shoe polish can be added to darken up the shade a bit, especially if you have leather shoes. How to darken leather is easy. Simply apply the shoe polish evenly (small circles) over the entire surface of the leather. Let it dry and then with another rag, buff it. The downside to using shoe polish is that it is rather messy and rather smelly. However, the pros are that shoe polish is relatively cheap, does not require specialty equipment, and that the results are instantaneous.

​The trick to darkening the leather using polish is to pick a shade which corresponds to the natural leather and then go one or two shades darker. I would not advocate using a mega store to find shoe polish, but rather go to your local leather artisan or leather provider and seek a professional brand.

Method Three: Dye

When you buy leather, you should take into consideration whether or not the leather is Aniline or not. If the leather is Aniline, you should be able to saturate the leather in a dye to darken it. You can choose how to darken leather products by choosing different colors. When dye is applied, you will need to let the leather completely soak into the pores. Keep in mind that when the dye dries the color could be lighten.

Semi-Aniline products can be dyed in some cases. However, the protective coating over the leather would have to be sanded off or another method would need to be applied in order to have the dye adhere to the skin.

Method Four: Use Professional Leather Darkening Oil

Some use cleaner and conditioners to darken their leather. Depending upon the conditioner which is used there may be some slight alteration to the color for a time. However, as the leather dries out the color is apt to lighten. If using a cleaner and conditioner, it will be the conditioner which darkens the leather. Check with your provider to see how to darken leather in this way.

Leather Darkening Oil is similar to conditioners as well as the coconut oil method, only it is a professional product which is specifically designed to darken leather. Apply the darkening oil in the same method that you would apply any cleaner, solvent, or polish to leather unless the instructions tell you otherwise. Let it dry completely to see the results before applying any additional coatings to the leather.

Method Five: Heat

This method is a bit dangerous for your leather project and I would only suggest that you try it under the careful watch of a leather professional. You can apply a measure of heat to the skin of your leather to darken it. Keep in mind that you are essentially cooking the skin (think of the skin of a ham before and after it is roasted and you will get the concept). It is very easy to burn the edges of the leather or to tarnish the skin. If using the heating method keep the temperature low and the leather located well enough above the heat to avoid burning. Note also that due to leather being a pore based skin, the longer you apply heat, the stiffer it will become as it dries out.

Get some help before you commit to the change

If you are new to darkening leather, you should seek out the advice of a professional leather artisan. The professional should be able to show you how to darken the leather properly, or to offer that service to you. In addition to their expertise on darkening leather, they should be able to advise which products are best suited for your specific project.

How To

How To Soften And Stiffen Leather

When working with leather, it is important for the craftsman to have the ability to shape and shape the leather to his liking. The skin should not control the artist but the artist should control the skin. Therefore, whether you are a beginner or an experienced hobbyist who wants to become a professional, you need to understand on the site how to soften and harden leather.

How to soften leather

To soften your leather you need to clean the pores of the leather or expand the pores of the skin. Think about your own skin. When it is moisturized, you have more flexibility. However, when the skin is dry and cracked movement is limited. There are a few options which will open up the leather pores for you. Wiki suggest using rubbing alcohol. And while this may clean out the pores, I would be adverse to using such on quality leather. Instead, use a top quality cleaner and conditioner. The leather will look and certainly smell better. To make the leather soften use a petroleum jelly ensuring that you let the jelly seep into the pores and that you cover the surface evenly. Once that is completed, wipe down the belt and apply additional cleaner and leather conditioner if needed.

Another method for softening leather would be to use coconut oil. To do so, take your coconut oil and a cotton swab to apply a level coat over the entire leather surface. As you apply the coating you will see a substantial darkening of the oil. The oil does not give the leather an oily feel once it dries. Keep in mind, the more oil you add, the darker the leather will ultimately appear. Once the oil dries the leather will be harder. Again, the more oil that you apply the harder the leather will become. You can try to warm up the oil and brush it on if you do not want to apply it from the typical hard form. It is not advised that you use olive oil or another type of scented oil on your leather as most people do not want to have their leather smelling like an Italian restaurant.

How to stiffen Leather

​If leather gets a bit soft, you can stiffen up the leather in a few ways. An artisan may find that leathers which are soft and inexpensive. Hard leathers are a bit more expensive and harder to come by. To harden the leather you will need to have some beeswax. You do want to ensure that you do not have any coloring to the wax as this could discolor the leather. Melt the wax down and then add the leather to it. You do want to keep the coat consistent. Once the leather is completely saturated, pull it out and and shape it how you want. When it hardens it will be stiff and will not be too easy to mold. Keep in mind that the leather will darken due to the wax.

​Should you not want to use wax you can use water in an iron skillet/ cauldron. Bring the water to abou 180 degrees. Do not boil the water as it will burn the leather. Drop the leather into the water. It will roll up as it hardens. The material will start to unwind as it gets harder. It will also get darker and thicker. When you first pull out the leather it will be pliable and rubbery. When you get this done use a clamp to squeeze the leather between two pieces of wood. This will push out some of the water. Let it sit for a few days. This cauldron and press method produces leather which is flat and somewhat like cardboard. It can be cut and sanded. Additionally, should you want to shape the leather to a specific shape, you could press it onto a curved or specialty mold.

What you should not do

​Do not put your leather in the oven. While the leather will shrink up and it can get hard, you are cooking the leather and exposing the material to fire. It is a bad combination for many reason, but the primary reason on why this is not how to stiffen leather is simple. If you burn the leather, it is useless.

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​Need some help? Get advice

​Leather is a bit fickle to get mastered and it does require that you take a level of practice and trial and error. To understand the best methods for softening or stiffening leather, go and observe a professional leather artisan. Keep in mind that various leathers have different ways in which they are softened and stiffened. You would not want to kettle boil nubuck leather.

How To

Choosing The Right Leather Sofa For Your Home

When furnishing a house, it is essential that a person goes beyond just picking out what goes with the walls and the windows, and find furniture that transforms the space into a home, for there is a difference between having a house and having a home. A home is a space where one can relax, it is a refuge from the exterior world. That is why having furniture which adds to the comfort, relaxation, and tranquility of the home is so important. When picking out a leather sofa for your home there are a few considerations you should keep in mind. Here are a few.

The color

Color plays a very important role into a person’s moods and overall mental health. According to an article by Penn State entitled Do certain Colors Evoke Emotion, there are social as well as innate reactions to color. Therefore, the color of the sofa should be considered. A red leather sofa has a tendency to relate love and joy as well as leadership and courage. A blue leather sofa may relate a sense of health, faith, power, and knowledge. Typically, oranges and yellows should be avoided as these have a tendency to give off a sense of uncertainty and caution. Grey leather sofas, black leather sofas, and white leather sofas convey power, elegance, mystery, and cleanliness.

Of course, the color of the sofa is not the only indicator as to the emotional ambiance of a room. Pairing the sofa with the other décor is essential. You do not want to have the sofa as a focal point due to it clashing with the rest of the home.

Pairing the interior space

Picking your sofa should be a merger of the existing interior space and the new furniture. Keep in mind the color of the walls, the main curtains, the textures throughout the room, etc. If you have a room which is minimalistic focusing mainly on blacks and whites, then a gray leather sofa may be the best option for space. At the same time, if you wish to make the sofa a highlighted center point of the room you could choose a dark red leather sofa. Just ensure that the rest of the room has subtle hints of red so as not to overpower the space.


There are variations to the types of leather sofas which are available, primarily in the construction and the type of leather. As such, the use of the couch should be calculated. If the sofa is to be placed in a room with high traffic and use, such as an entertainment room or home theater, then the leather should be thicker to maximize the durability. Cowhide is preferable in this instance. Rooms which have minimal use or “soft” usage may wish to have a nubuck leather sofa. Buyers should understand that nubuck leather sofas do require a bit more cleaning and care than the standard leather sofa. However, the feel is a bit more luxurious and can tie a day room or parlor together quite nicely.

​Studs, brass, connectors, and legs

Consider the studs, metal, and other connector/supporting elements of the sofa before you buy. While the leather may be the perfect color, if the arms have excessive studs or antiquated stud nails that modern look which you are trying to obtain may not work. Additionally, you have to consider the durability of any arm embellishments. Wicker and latticework may have aesthetic demand in the market, but in terms of durability and functionality, it is weak. Homes with small children or pets should avoid buying a leather sofa with fragile detail work.

​Legs of the sofa should be of solid wood. There are some which will argue and state that as long as the core is solid that the exterior can be of a different material or have detail work on it. Yet, from my experience, I have found that (1) the legs are not really seen unless they are damaged and an eyesore, and (2) by having wicker or detail work on the legs (apart from perhaps carvings into the wood) a person is more apt to have damage to the lower portion of the sofa.

​Weight and size

​Like any piece of large furniture, the sofa’s weight should be a factor when choosing the best leather sofa for your home. Although the orange leather sofa may look appealing in your living room now, you may decide that you want to redecorate that room and move the sofa to the day room. If the sofa weighs a ton, then I can guarantee you that your attachment to the furniture will diminish. Also, ensure that the sofa clears your doors and hallways before purchase. It does no good to have a stunning couch which is too wide to fit into your interior space. This may sound a bit redundant, but I cannot count the number of times which I have had to jimmy furniture this way and that to help friends get a sofa into their apartments and homes.

​Cost calculations

When determining whether you wish to purchase a sofa for your home, take note of the costs. By this, I do not mean that you should pick one which is more expensive over another. Instead, I mean that you should calculate if the cost is worth it due to the craftsmanship. Is the leather durable? How have the seams been bound? Is the leather dyed throughout or just on the topmost layer of the design? Do the legs support the weight of the couch? What filler is used on the cushions and will that filler warp the leather over time? Such are the questions you should ask. Just because a business puts a large sticker on a sofa does not make it a quality product. On the same note, just because a price sticker is low does not indicate poor craftsmanship. It could just be that the store is trying to move some inventory.

​Consider cleaning and care

​Leather requires a level of cleaning and care. You will have to use leather cleaners and conditioners on the sofa from time to time to maintain that shine and a new look. Nubuck and other “luxury” leather options will require additional care and consideration. If you have little time to allocate to yourself and to the upkeep of the leather, choosing a low-maintenance option will be the best solution.

​Above all get a sofa that is comfortable

​Regardless of whether you choose a yellow leather sofa, blue leather sofa, black leather sofa, or neon pink leather sofa, it has to be comfortable for you. You will be sitting on it and enjoying the room. If it looks good but does not feel good, what is the point of having it? Get something which meets your style, is comfortable, affordable, and has a warranty. Should you have any questions about how to find the best leather soft for your home, ask your local leather artisan. Should you have questions about a specific make or brand of the sofa, do some online research. Almost every sofa will have reviews which list the pros and cons.

How To

A Basic Guide On How To Dye Leather – Step By Step

Have you ever wondered how leather craftsmen get such bright colors or how dark black and light brown come about? The answer is of course dye. If you are a hobbyist or even a professional leather crafter, dyeing leather may be something new. It’s a process and you need to practice, but Cheap Air Tickets‘ guide will help you in the process. Here is a basic guide on how to dye leather.

The equipment you must prepare:

  • Cloth or sponge
  • Latex gloves
  • ​Leather dye
  • Leather finish

Step One: Don’t Dye your skin

Leather is skin. You are about to dye the skin of another animal. That being stated, you do not want to have your skin dyed. Put some gloves on (latex is best) and have a few to spare just in case you rip through them. While it may be a bit tiresome to change out gloves throughout the process, in the long run it saves a lot of soap and frustration.

Step Two: Open a window

As dye is chemically based, you will want to have a lot of ventilation. No, you will not dye incautiously if you do not ventilate the room, but you may get as high as a kite. Physically, the chemicals can cause headaches, vomiting, etc. if you are exposed over long periods of time. It is best to have a fan or something to circulate the air and to keep as many doors and windows open as possible.

Step Three: Chose your leather and clean it

The only real concern that you should have for the type of leather is in the treatments which have been done prior to it as well as to the grain. Yep, you need to consider about everything. First, if the leather has been pre-dyed then you need to look for waxes and other such things on the leather which will prevent the dye from setting. If the leather is untreated, then consideration needs to be made to the thickness of the leather (as the thicker it is the more dye will be needed to fully saturate the leather). Top grain leather should be noted as a concern as, by definition, the leather is on the top surface. This means that imperfections and defects will be accented when dyed.

Before you progress to the dyeing phase, you should clean the leather. Leather Cleaning in this circumstance does not necessarily mean using deep conditioners and such. You may be able to simply wipe it down.

Step Four: Avoid the water down

Some leather artisans have advocated that a water based dye can be watered down and applied to your product. But this is a bit counterproductive. If you add a water based dye, then you will need to add an oil based coat to put oils back into the leather once you are done, as overwatering can damage the leather. So, my advice would be just to find a color that you want and to apply the coats in thin layers, rather than trying to cut the dye.

Step Five: Add the first coat

Applying the first dye coat should be done in small circles. Use a non-abrasive cloth or a sponge and apply the dye from the left to the right. It is important that you keep a consistency to the circles. Do not make large and small circles. Additionally, you will want to overlap your circles. Typically a ½ inch overlap is sufficient. Do not neglect the edges of the leather. This is where that attention to detail will really shine. Even if you are performing a dye to an already died leather, such as a vegetable dye, it is crucial that you apply a base coat and that it is applied in a consistent method.

Step Six: Diagonal coats

After you have given the first coat a chance to dry, then apply a diagonal coat either from the left to the right or from the right to the left. The important thing is that you apply your coat with even strokes and overlap. The diagonal coat will cover up some of the circle marks from the previous coat. Let the first diagonal coat dry and then apply an additional coat in the opposite direction (so if you went from left to right, go right to left). Allow it to dry.

Step Seven: Apply a finish and buff

Once you are satisfied with the dye color, I use Fibbing’s Tan Kote to finish. After the finish  had time to dry, buff the leather with cotton cloth to ensure that you have the consistent look. When the buffing is done, you want to look at the leather for any definitive lines in the dye. If you see that there are, then it is advised that you add another thin dye coat. Remember, you want the leather to have a clean and professional look.

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Step Eight: Let it rest a day and then condition it

Let the leather sit and settle/dry for a day or two. You will not be able to tell right off the bat the effectiveness of the dying. It takes a few days some times to have the leather take on and absorb the color. Do not rush the process. The last thing that you want is to have your leather blotchy because you decided that this area and that area need more dye (which you should not apply to selected areas but rather do full coats to avoid this).

Conditioning and cleaning of the leather should be done only after you are completely satisfied with the end result. As these cleaner contain chemicals and weather proofing elements, it may be quite difficult to have dye adhere to the skin after application.

If you get stuck, ask a pro.

If you get stuck on the dye process, contact me directly via blog comment. Most importantly, practice often. It is a skill and it does take some practice to master.