View Full Version : Skin (Python) - Browning - How to Restore a Brown-out Python Skin Ottoman?

09-23-2009, 03:50 PM
Roger I have been cleaning and conditioning this Python ottoman for 5-7 years now.

It was very faded and blotchy originally.

I clean it, condition it and protect it about every year since I was hired 5-7 years ago.

However; i believe it is 20 years old now.

The client is satisfied with the look however I was wondering if the detail of the python markings could be restored.

The client has several new skins, that are tanned a different color but reveil more of the natural markings.

#1] how it looks now

#2] with new skin laid over it

#3] close up of new skin

Roger Koh
09-24-2009, 10:26 AM
Lets recall how it looks the first time you saw it - was the color already the same as it is now?

The products residue may have to be completely removed if those you have used are not “leather-safe” (pH 3 - 5).

Alkalinity pH above 7 cleaners will tend to brown or yellow just like cleaning off white Haitian Cotton.

And it is common to see children cotton pillow case with yellow or brown stains most often with saliva and tears.

It is the same pH exposure phenomena that causes to the Python skin to brown-out.

Otherwise it could be the oil contents that hydrolyze or oxidized that turns yellow too.

Another possibility is the reaction with some inert gases from the atmosphere that turns white to yellow - especially near combustion areas like the kitchen where white plastic or paints eventually turns yellow.

A test with cotton swab should first be conducted in this sequence of processes:

1. Degrease - use d’Grease2.2 to strip off all foreign contamination.

2. Acidifier Rinse - use rinse3.0 to rinse off all residue and check the health of the skin - squeaky is healthy and tacky or sticky is bad (reverse-tanning to raw skin).

3. Acidification - use acidifier2.0 and check with wet thumb to make sure the skin squeak.

4. Inspection - check for color improvement when dry.

5. Test out further browning removal - use d’Tannin3.5.

6. Inspection - check for color improvement when dry.

7. Test out further browning removal - use d’Tarnish1.3.

8. Inspection - check for color improvement when dry.

9. Test out removing hydrolyze or oxidized yellowing effect - use d’Yellow6.7.

These are the test to be conducted to improve the browning effect before we move on to the next phase of conditioning the skin.

Alternatively you can ship it to me to conduct all the testing to rectify the browning effect.

What do you think?

Roger Koh
Leather Doctor®

09-24-2009, 07:27 PM
I agree that it is probably browned out!

The first time I worked on it, it was blotchy with this shade of orange / brown and what I thought was a faded beige color.

However; the detail of the original markings have never been prominent since I first saw it.

I will see if she wants us to proceed further with it, or if she is satisfied with it for now.

09-26-2009, 10:32 AM
She's happy with it now.

She will have me pick-up this spring and try to restore it.

Until then it will be on hold.

08-06-2015, 05:43 AM
Python is back after several years. I experimented on the side where it had some dark marks. I saturated with acidifier and covered with stretchy paper towels and let dry overnight. It turned the entire area darker. Do you think it's possible to remove this orange look? and how would I proceed to make it look more uniform?

8-6A Original dark areas

8-6B Acidifier with stretched paper towels over the area left to dry overnight

8-6C How it looked after drying overnight.

Roger Koh
08-06-2015, 08:30 AM

We have been talking about pH, pH and more pH and leather sometimes behaves just like a litmus paper or a flower such as the above "Hydrengea".

Acidity or alkalinity affects the color of the flower and the flower color changes accordingly.

Likewise, this leather need a thorough treatment with "Acidifier-2.0" to pH balance and even out the color.

Roger Koh
08-06-2015, 08:47 AM
>>> 8-6B Acidifier with stretched paper towels over the area left to dry overnight

To achieve an even darkening appearance - do the following:

1 - Apply Acidifier-2.0 and work to saturate with horsehair Brush-1 to an even appearance.
2 - Stretch Towel-T5 avoiding any air space tight to the leather surface.
3 - Lightly plastic cling wrapped it to control evaporation.
4 - Regular interval inspection to replenish Acidifier-2.0 by spraying onto the Towel-T5
5 - Keep it for up to 72 hours for an inspection.
6 - Repeat the above process until satisfaction.

Roger Koh
Leather Care System Formulator / Practitioner / Consultant / Instructor / Coach
[email protected]

Roger Koh
08-07-2015, 09:10 AM
Acidifier-2.0 has a low pH value of 2.0

Hydrator-3.3 has a higher pH value of 3.3 with additional surface-active agent which may help to activate the dormant dye stuff better.

However, Acidifier-2.0 will achieve a darker color and Hydrator-3.3 may even out blotchiness better.

They may be combine to give the best performance and result.

Let me know how it works out!

08-10-2015, 01:31 PM
8-10A I used Acidifier and stretchy towels on bottom panels and client thinks it looks too dark around the bottom? I think I could make the top darker and more uniform to match the bottom. Is there a way to lighten it up? I soaked with Acidifier and covered with plastic for several hours then let the paper towels wick up excess dye ( the paper towels only had a little color on them.
I went on line and looked up Python skins and I think these were the orange color originally but I have no way of knowing for sure.


Roger Koh
08-10-2015, 02:15 PM
>>> Is there a way to lighten it up?

Prep-7.7 > Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 may lighten it up but appearance may be unpredictable.

I would rather stay with Acidifier-2.0 to have an even darkening appearance.

Lightening up is an UV time factor.

And may again require periodic darkening again.

08-11-2015, 10:49 AM
08-11A Shes not happy says it looks blotchy, it does but not much more than in 2009

08-11B I hydrated and fatliquored in her house several times, some areas got really dark, I'm not sure if they will lighten when dry.

08-11C Overall top looks a little more uniform.

If she lets me take it how best to proceed to get it uniform in color without loosing the natural python markings?

Roger Koh
08-11-2015, 11:02 AM
>>> If she lets me take it how best to proceed to get it uniform in color without loosing the natural python markings?

What was the process you used to improve the appearance of this "08-11C Overall top looks a little more uniform." you may want to improve on it

Roger Koh
08-11-2015, 11:06 AM
>>> 08-11B I hydrated and fatliquored in her house several times, some areas got really dark, I'm not sure if they will lighten when dry.


Hydrator-3.3 helps to break the surface tension and reduce blotchiness it will also freshen up the color intensity.

Fatliquor-5.0 softens the leather and also will increase the color intensity - Hydrator-3.3 helps to spread out the fatliquor so that the appearance looks more even-out.

Acidifier-2.0 can be mixed with Hydrator-3.3 to spray on lighter areas to balance up the color appearance.

08-11-2015, 12:25 PM
I sprayed with Hydrator and used a sponge to work in to lighter areas, then I sprayed fatliquor and used the same sponge to work the fatliquor in the same way a repeated the process several times. trying to work the fatliquor and hydrator into the lighter areas. It's impossible to not darken the surrounding areas and some areas are just much more absorbent and darken quickly. I know working hydrator and fatliquor into the leather with strengthen and soften it but I'm afraid of getting it too dark. I would like to hydrate it overnight and cover it and fatliquor it thoroughly overnight, but I'm afraid of getting it too blotchy.

If I had it for several weeks we could figure something out.

Roger Koh
08-12-2015, 07:35 AM
>>> but I'm afraid of getting it too blotchy.

Blotchiness is partly due to insufficient hydrating moisture level and dwell time.