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Thread: Louis Vuitton - Vachetta Leather Trim - Restoring Shiny Surface

  1. #1
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    Default Louis Vuitton - Vachetta Leather Trim - Restoring Shiny Surface

    Could you please give me a product recommendation, as well as detailed instructions for cleaning and conditioning my Louis Vuitton Alma?

    I have a four-year old Alma that I purchased pre-owned last month. When I purchased it, the handles were very shiny, with a medium brown patina. After taking the suggestions of others at The Purse Forum, I used alcohol-free baby wipes to clean the leather parts. When that didn't seem to clean well enough, I applied Apple Leather Care Conditioner to the handles with a Magic Eraser with light pressure. That didn't seem to do much, so I've been routinely cleaning the handles with baby wipes. Not only has that taken away the shine, but has left the handles dry with a chalk-like finish (the chalky appearance is mostly prevalent when I bend the under-side of the rolled handles). I've since applied a leather conditioner, as well as neats foot oil to try and restore the moisture and sheen - this not only didn't take away the dry appearance, but darkened the leather.

    Is there anything I can do to clean the leather, and hopefully return that glossy shine/sheen? I thought the neats foot oil would help, but it has not. I also do not mind the patina, I am mainly concerned with cleaning and restoring a glossy finish. I've attached some pictures of how the leather looks now. I have also attached a picture of an area I didn't try to clean. (picture 5) This area has a nice glossy finish - this is what I would like all the leather areas to look like.


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    (picture 5) This area has a nice glossy finish - this is what I would like all the leather areas to look like.
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  2. #2
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    >>> When I purchased it, the handles were very shiny, with a medium brown patina.

    Vachetta is unfinished leather and thus this shine makes the leather looks artificial – deviated from original appearance.


    >>> After taking the suggestions of others at The Purse Forum, I used alcohol-free baby wipes to clean the leather parts.

    Only use cleaners of any kind with a pH value of between 3 and 5.
    Vachetta a vegetable-tanned leather has a pH value lower than the typical chrome-tanned leathers.
    Thus more sensitive to most solution even with water with a pH of 7 will tends to browns, spots or rings it.


    >>> When that didn't seem to clean well enough, I applied Apple Leather Care Conditioner to the handles with a Magic Eraser with light pressure.


    Please check the pH of this alcohol-free baby wipe if the pH is more than 5 it will cause problem to the leather by first browning it.
    Magic Eraser works like a fine sandpaper that erode or abrade the crust and as it eats into the crust the surface becomes coarse.
    Conditioner can be good, bad or ugly if they are mismatched to the leather or finish types. Need to know the characteristic of the conditioner to know whey the leather need it.


    >>> That didn't seem to do much, so I've been routinely cleaning the handles with baby wipes.

    Leather protein fiber is an amphoteric material and solution with a pH value higher than its isoelectric point or pH neutral (2-5) or pI will cause the protein fiber shifting it ionic negative (-ve). Leather constituents like the vegetable tanning agents and fatliquor are non-amphoteric ionic negative (-ve), and thus remain unchanged. With continuous ionic overexposure, like a magnet “like poles repels” the leather denatures and in extreme cases reverts to rawhide.


    >>> Not only has that taken away the shine, but has left the handles dry with a chalk-like finish (the chalky appearance is mostly prevalent when I bend the under-side of the rolled handles).

    This chalky appearance is most likely the ionic negative (-ve) fatliquor that has been repel by the shifting ionic negative (-ve) protein fiber and becomes fugitives. Without the fatliquor that both plumps the leather structure and lubricates it, the leather will soon develops cracks when stress or flexed.


    >>> I've since applied a leather conditioner, as well as neats foot oil to try and restore the moisture and sheen - this not only didn't take away the dry appearance, but also darkened the leather. I thought the neats foot oil would help, but it has not.

    A leather conditioner does not mean any good if we do not know if it is for below surface or above surface.
    Neatsfoot oil is raw oil; it only darkens the leather and seals up the breathing pores, kill natural leather transpiration and attracting soiling like magnets.


    >>> Is there anything I can do to clean the leather, and hopefully return that glossy shine/sheen?

    It is the wrong idea to keep a shine to the original unfinished vachetta leather – the leather should look natural with Leather Doctor® Vachetta-Fix or Protector-D.


    >>> I also do not mind the patina; I am mainly concerned with cleaning and restoring a glossy finish.


    The unknown shine should be completely removed with Leather Doctor® Stripper-2.3.
    General maintenance cleaning for vachetta leather is done with Vachetta-2.3.
    When the surface have an even appearance, it is follows with rejuvenating the leather with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 system from developing cracks often seen on neglected vachetta leathers.


    >>>I've attached some pictures of how the leather looks now.

    I have also attached a picture of an area I didn't try to clean (picture 5).
    This area has a nice glossy finish - this is what I would like all the leather areas to look like.

    An alternative to the unnatural gloss finish is with Vachetta-Fix without the artificial gloss.
    Gloss or satin is restore with AnilineTop-21G for gloss or 21S for satin from this link:
    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/servlet...-21/Categories

    >>> Could you please give me a product recommendation, as well as detailed instructions for cleaning and conditioning my Louis Vuitton Alma?

    Recommended kit for Louis Vuitton is this Kit V7, other kits that matches your requirement and individual products with instructions are also available from the on-line store: http://www.leatherdoctor.com/servlet...%29/Categories

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    Leather Doctor Kit V7 – LV Vachetta Leather Care Kit
    Leather Doctor® Kit V7 design for the care of Louis Vuitton (LV) bags is a combination problem solving kit that is an upgrade from Kit V6 with an addition of Protector-B+ for the simulated leather to impart a non-stick rub-resistant buttery-feel with a classic leather scent. Common stains encounter in the course of vachetta leathers lifetime includes the darkening effect from neglected body oil, grease and sweat contact, the occasion ink and dye transfer, and the browning from liquid and sun tanning seasoning effect just like our skin. The protein leather fiber is an ionic positive (+ve) “amphoteric” material thus pH sensitive to influence by alkaline solution shifting ionic negative (-ve), even water with a pH of 7 often discolors or browns it. Its other non-amphoteric leather constituents like the tanning agent and the fatliquor remains ionic negative (-ve), hence just like a magnet – “like poles repel”, breaking of the hydrogen bond between them, the leather denatures and in extreme cases revert to rawhide. This adverse contamination is rectify by Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 system, both to simultaneously degrease and protonate the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve) to its pH chemistry integrity. Ballpoint, printing ink, dye transfer, gum, sticky substance and accumulated soiling will require the penetrating, lubricating and suspending power of Prep-4.4 follows with Clean-3.8 to remove the sticky residue and Rinse-3.0 to a healthy squeaky feel. Browning from liquid stain or sun tanning is eliminated or reduced by chemical reaction from Vachetta-2.8 when dry. The above describe the three common class of stain removal. Leather rejuvenating mandatory sequence follows to soften and strength the leather from stiffness that may leads to cracking when flexed. Among leather finishes type, vachetta leathers is the most fatliquor (emulsified fat, oil and water) thirsty and will require more fatliquor to soften it then chrome-tanned leathers. In order to lubricate each fibril within the leather structure behaving like millions of interconnecting hinges the fat and oil has to be hydrogen bonded to the fibrils. This is accomplished by preconditioning the leather structure with Hydrator-3.3 effectively prior to faliquor replenishing it with Fatliquor-5.0 in between drying cycle until fully saturated. Natural slow drying in between application produces softer leather. Protecting the leather with Protector-D reduces wear to the grain of the leather, conceal scuff with its healing properties that also allows transpiration to take place or breaths naturally. Note that the mentioned products suffix numbers denotes its pH value in this holistic approach to removing the common problems associated with vachetta leathers.


    You may post your questions on how best to proceed and I will follow-up.


    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com
    [email protected]

  3. #3
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    Thank you, Roger!

    One last question, do I need to to use all the products in the V7 kit? If not, which products specifically do I need to use, and in which order do I need to use them?

    I would like to order the products today, so your prompt reply is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

  4. #4
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    This Vachetta (V) Leather Problem Solving Guide will gives you the holistic system approach to each particular problem. The number from left to right is the recommended product in sequence.

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  5. #5
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    Thank you for your quick reply!

    I am confused as to whether or not I need to follow the instructions for the "Heavy Periodic Cleaning", the "Greasy Periodic Cleaning", the "Accumulative Restorative Cleaning" or the "Penetrated Oil, Grease & Sweat Cleaning"? Or, do I need some combination of the three?

  6. #6
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    Let me know if you would like to keep the shine of picture #5.

    This shine is not the original.

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    Damp a cotton swab with distilled water and test if it darkens to picture #5
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 05-12-2014 at 10:56 AM.

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    I want the leather deep cleaned and healthy. If possible, I would like to keep the shine.

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    I don't have any distilled water to test with.

  10. #10
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    OK!

    This is the recommended sequence of procedure to maintain the shine and to remove soiling from the handle.

    1. Use Vachetta-2.8 to clean all soiling surface areas and inspect the result thereafter.
    2. Any oil, grease and sweat may need to re-clean with Degreaser-2.2 follows with Acidifier-2.0
    3. Leather rejuvenating system for suppleness with softness and strength is accomplished with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0
    4. Shine is accomplished with AnilineTop-21 Gloss or Satin luster for the worn handles to match with picture #5.

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    Great, thank you!

    Regarding the AnilineTop-21 - is it safe for Vachetta leather? Also, is it a coating that will eventually rub off? I applied a Saddle Lacquer to another handbag, with VERY POOR results; the lacquer cracked on the handles, leaving the vachetta in very poor condition, and had to be removed with a deglazer. Will this happen with the AnilineTop-21?

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    Here are the 4 version of AnilineTop-21

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    Leather Doctor AnilineTop-21
    Leather Doctor® AnilineTop-21 is available in four luster level gloss (G), satin (S), and waxy-matte (W) and natural (N).

    AnilineTop-21G, gloss luster is the most commonly used for aniline leathers and is the strongest among the range. This is a waterbased polyurethane topcoat that is lightfast and non-yellowing. It has excellent flow and leveling properties, recoatable and forms a flexible film coat that gives good performing results from friction wear. Matching non-stick, rub-resistant protection is to use the buttery-feel leather-scented Protector-B+ or the scentless Protector-B.

    AnilineTop-21S, satin luster is used to match original luster or in a mix with gloss to produce a custom luster. This is a waterbased polyurethane topcoat that is lightfast and non-yellowing. It has excellent flow and leveling properties, recoatable and forms a flexible film coat that gives good performing results from friction wear. Matching non-stick, rub-resistant protection is to use the buttery-feel leather-scented Protector-B+ or the scentless Protector-B.

    AnilineTop-21W, waxy-matte is a more delicate waterbased emulsion topcoat that produces a matte luster with a waxy feel to match original finishes. Matching non-stick, rub-resistant protection is to use the waxy-feel leather-scented Protector-W+ or the scentless Protector-W.

    AnilineTop-21N, natural luster is the finest topcoat design for pure-aniline lambskin with the most natural feel of the skin that forms a discontinuous film for extra breathing comfort. This is a waterbased formulation to improve wet rub fastness and reduces bleeding over Aniline-21. Matching non-stick, rub-resistant protection is to use the silky-feel leather-scented Protector-S+ or the scentless Protector-S.


    >>> Also, is it a coating that will eventually rub off?

    All coating will eventually rub off or develops cracks depending how soft it is. AnilineTop-21N will not and it allows the leather to breathe while the other three will not.


    >>> I applied a Saddle Lacquer to another handbag, with VERY POOR results; the lacquer cracked on the handles, leaving the vachetta in very poor condition, and had to be removed with a deglazer. Will this happen with the AnilineTop-21?

    Old fashion solvent-based lacquer is more prone to cracks as the coating is more rigid like wood furnishing lacquer.
    AnilineTop-21G and S is a waterbased super soft urethane that can take more flexing before it cracks. You may compare it and do the counting of flexes.

  13. #13
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    Thank you, Roger!

    I am about to place my order now for the V6 kit. I was wondering if you can offer any discounts?

    Thank you so very much!

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    A kit has already a build-in discount!

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    So, the AnilineTop-21N will NOT crack, correct?

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    AnilineTop-21N forms a natural cracking discontinuous film - so it already cracks for extra leather transpiration for holding comfort.

    As it maintain the leather natural appearance it produces no luster or sheen or shine.

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