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Thread: Recolor 60 year old Nubuck leather couch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    Default Recolor 60 year old Nubuck leather couch

    Hi new to the forum,

    I am looking to restore color to this faded 60 year old Nubuck leather sofa. The leather itself feels supple/silky to touch- there is one crusty stain on one of the cushions, does not have any cracks or peeling.

    New to nubuck leather any tips and direction on how to bring it back to it's original condition?


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    Last edited by philcro; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    >>> I am looking to restore color to this faded 60 year old Nubuck leather sofa.

    Color fading is the result of sunlight or UV lights and diminishing fatliquor (fat and oil contents original tannery standard is average 14%). Color fading is rejuvenated if the thickness of the leather retains excess richness of dyestuff. This dormant dyestuff will redistribute to the surface when the entire thickness of the leather is soak through with Hydrator-3.3. When percentage of fatliquor content drops the color saturation lightens and increase when fatliquor contents increases with Fatliquor-5.0


    >>> The leather itself feels supple/silky to touch-

    Leather structural suppleness increases when fatliquor is at optimum level. The silky tactile feel to the touch is enhanced with Protector-S+.


    >>> there is one crusty stain on one of the cushions,

    Looks like a dye transfer and removed by DyeRemover-7.9 > Acidifier-2.0 > Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Protector-S+.


    Leather Stain Identification:

    Appearance - Stain identification by appearance will show whether it the characteristic of a spill, rub-on, penetrated or deposited. It may also reveal dye or finishes damages cause by the stain.

    Odor - Stain identification by smell can be very helpful in positive identification. Some of the more common odor may be moldy, smoke, putrid or ammonic from urine.

    Color - Stain identification by color will also give a clue to the staining material. If the stain is red, it could be beverages, nail polish, lipstick, blood, or some other things. Color identification may not necessary be right; with time, a red bloodstain may turn to a stain that is tan to black. The color of the leather may mesmerize or alter the color of the stain.
    Feel of Hand - Stain identification by feel of hand may help determine the stain types. For instance, if it is sticky and red it could be candy, beverages or other things that have sugar in them. If the stain is brittle and stiff, it may be nail polish, shellac or paint. If it smears, it may have grease base to it, such as lipstick.

    Location - Stain identification by location may give a clue as to the makeup of the staining substance. If it is dark at the headrest or the edge of the armrest, it is most likely stain by body oil, grease and perspiration by hand or by head.

    Buildup or Absorbed - A stain may take several appearances. The stain may be lying on top of the leather (buildup) on most pigmented leather or absorbed into the leather on most unfinished, aniline and nubuck leathers. Naturally, it could also be a combination of absorbed and built up. If it has been absorbed, this will be an indication that it was a liquid when it penetrates the leather. It should also alert us that it may have chemically changed the dye of the leather. An example of this would be a perspiration stain that has reacted with the leather dye and changed it in some way. This would occur more likely on dyed absorbent leathers. The perspiration could also have weakened the fibers of the leather. In any event, this leather may show a marked color change in that area after spotting, and possibly after cleaning. Examples of built up stains are paint and some foodstuff, etc. Examples of absorbed stains are beverages, wine, tea, coffee, etc. A combination stain may be lipstick, ink, mustard, etc. it will have part of its staining matter absorbed into the leather and part of it accumulated on the surface. A stain may also be a substance that has wet solvent-soluble and dry solvent-soluble components combined. An example of this would be gravy which contains grease, flour (from plant), and milk (from an animal). Paint type stains are readily detected because of their stiff nature and generally bright colors and they seem to be sitting on top of the leather. When identifying stains always try to a determine whether they are of a protein, cellulose, oil based, or a colloidal make-up nature. Three common types of soiling or stain are solvent-soluble, water-soluble and insoluble. Stains are frequently of a combination nature, and in most instances, there will be no information from the customer regarding the stain especially if they are bought used.

    Identify the leather problem from the left column with the top row product recommended and the numbers denotes the sequence of steps. When leather have compound issue combine the soiling, stain and odor types as the cleaning phase-1 and the leather rejuvenating with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 as the second phase-2. Structural problem as third phase-3, Finishing as phase-4 and protection of the finishes as phase-5.

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    Leather Doctor® Kit-N3 - nubuck care kit is an innovative leather-safe (pH 3 - 5) system formulated for keeping nubuck at their highest level of appearance at all time, maintaining its pH chemistry integrity, enhancing their suppleness and prevents premature ageing. Nubuck that faced the sun, closed to fireplace and heaters dries out its fatliquor (fat and oil) sooner than the non-heat exposed areas thus compromise its suppleness. The diminishing of the fatliquor through evaporation results in the fibers structure being stick closer together that results in stiffness and when flexed during used will lead to cracks. Periodic use of Hydrator-3.3 to plumps the stick together fibers prior to fatliquor replenishing with Fatliquor-5.0 will maintain its suppleness and strength. Thus, reduce the premature ageing against stiffness and cracking. The surface wear is greatly reduced in preventive care with a rub-resistant Protector-S (leather-scented version Protector-S+) that enhances a non-stick silky-feel to shield against sticky soiling. Periodic cleaning and rinsing with CleanNubuck-3.8 follows by RinseNubuck-3.0 to the body contact areas like headrest and armrest helps reduce greasy soiling build-up. Restorative cleaning and occasional dye stains removal from new blue jeans is accomplished with Prep-4.4. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this leather-safe holistic care system for nubuck. This kit comes with reduced weight option to save on shipping thus all the 250ml concentrate ratio spray bottles have to be cut and filled up with distilled water prior to use.
    Nubuck-Safe System Cycle of Care - Preventive, Routine, Periodic & Restorative . . .

    Preventive Care:
    A non-stick, rub-resistant protection is recommended to be in place before putting the leather to daily use. Protector-S imparts a soft natural silky-feel that enhances the leather luxuriously to the sense of touch. The non-stick surface shields the leather from sticky soiling thus prolonging the high level of appearance. Rub-resistant ability reduces friction noises that translate into less friction wear. This leather-scented Protector-S+ (optional) diffuses a classic leather scent that boost the sensuous leather more appealing to the leather lover. This preventive care is kept in place at each level of routine, periodic or restorative cleaning cycle. A simply spray and brush prolongs the need for cleaning heavy soiling. Protecting: Instruction . . . 1- Mist sprays Protector-S brush to distribute evenly and when dry brush again to raise the nap and is ready for use.

    Routine Care:
    Routine care includes procedures such as general dust cleaning, attending to spots and stains as required especially the pH balancing of sweat stains from shifting alkaline. Thus prevents leather from tackiness. A routine non-stick rub resistant protection after neutralizing rinse helps keep leather in a more attractive and healthy state while preventing premature wears by . . . 1st step – Rinsing: Instruction . . . 1- Spray RinseNubuck-3.0, nubuckBrush-2 agitates and towel extract until it shows clean. 2nd step – Protecting:Instruction . . . 2- Mist sprays Protector-S brush to spread evenly, let dry and brush again to raise nap and is ready for use.

    Periodic Care:
    Periodic care is recommended before soiling causes damages to the nap. This keeps nubuck consistently clean and healthy at all times. Body contact areas would require more frequent attention than the unused areas. While the headrest, hand rest, handles etc. gets the most of body oil and sweat contacts by . . . 1st step – General Cleaning: Instruction . . . 1- Spray CleanNubuck-3.8 and agitate with nubuckBrush-2; ensuring a uniform application over the entire surfaces a section at a time. 2- Towel extract until it shows clean. 3- Remaining residues are spray rinse with RinseNubuck-3.0 and towel extract to a squeaky-clean. 4- Let dry and inspect for satisfaction, otherwise repeat cleaning process as necessary or proceed to hydrating. Hydrating is essential to relax and separate the stick together collapsing fibrous structure. Moreover, it is used to check for surface tension from blotchiness prior to fat and oil replenishing by . . . 2nd step – Hydrating: Instruction . . . 1- Spray Hydrator-3.3 to check for an even appearance. Fatliquor evaporates as VOC (volatile organic compound) when temperature rises especially from exposed surfaces. Periodic fatliquoring maintains its structure integrity and pliability thus strengthen these exposed areas from cracking by . . . 3rd step – Fatliquoring: Instruction . . . 1- Spray Fatliquor-5.0 in like manner as Hydrator-3.3 and let dry naturally. 2- Then repeat application in-between drying until saturated. 3- It is left for slow natural drying for extra softness. 4- Surface strays are wiped with Hydrator-3.3 to free of sticky residue and let to natural drying. 4th step – Protecting: Instruction . . . 1- Mist sprays Protector-S spread by brushing, when dry brush again to raise nap and is ready for use.

    Restorative Care:
    This is the ultimate restorative or salvage care system that removes accumulated soiling including aged conditioners. Accumulated soiling that fills creases is often mistaken for cracks. Using Prep-4.4 performs restorative cleaning. It works by chemical reaction to emulsify soiling through its penetrating, lubricating and suspending power. Detailing nubuckBrush-2 is recommended to worked into heavily soiled areas sufficiently to avoid excessive agitation that might damage already weaken finishes especially on heavily used areas by . . . 1st step - Restorative Cleaning: Instruction . . . 1- Apply Prep-4.4 and agitate with horsehair Brush-1, ensuring a uniform application over the entire surfaces a section at a time. 2- Allow a dwell time of 10 to 30 minutes or before it dries prior to towel extraction until it shows clean. 3- Sticky residue is removed by Clean-3.8 with gentle brush agitation and towel extracts until it shows clean. 4- Remaining residues are spray rinse with Rinse-3.0 and towel extracts to a squeaky-clean. 5- Let dry and inspect for satisfaction, otherwise repeat cleaning process as necessary or proceed to hydrating. Hydrating is essential to relax and separate the stick together collapsing fibrous structure. Its surfactancy helps check for surface tension of blotchiness prior to fat and oil replenishing. 2nd step – Hydrating: Instruction . . . 1- Spray Hydrator-3.3 to saturate with an even appearance to soften up the leather. 2- Let dwell 10 to 30 minutes and towel extract wick up soiling until it shows clean. Fat and oil replenishing maintains the leather’s structure integrity and pliability thus strengthen these exposed leather from cracking. 3rd step – Fatliquoring: Instruction . . . 1- Spray Fatliquor-5.0 in like manner as Hydrator-3.3 and let dry naturally. 2- Repeat application in between drying until saturated. 3- The leather is left for slow natural drying for extra softness. 4- Surface strays are wiped with Hydrator-3.3 to free of sticky residue. 4th step – Protecting: Instruction . . . 1- Mist sprays Protector-B spread with lint free towel and is ready for use when dry. Note: Use Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system for degreasing instead from body oil, grease and sweat. See Kit-N5.dr - Nubuck Degreaser Kit http://www.leatherdoctor.com/kit-n5-...degreaser-kit/ Other Stains - See Nubuck Problem Solving Guide sequence of steps . . .
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2020
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    Thank you Roger I'm excited to start the project.

    What's the best procedure to apply the Hydrator and the Fatliquor - Is there a recommended technique or time between the two sprays or areas to avoid like scratches?

    One of the cushions is grayish and slightly dry because of the UV-fading - Do you think any dyes will be needed for the project? Or will the Fatliquor and Hydrator be enough to bring it back to it's former darker color?


    Thanks again,

    Philip

  4. #4
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    >>> What's the best procedure to apply the Hydrator and the Fatliquor

    Prior to Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 rejuvenating conditioning the thickness of the leathern structure, surface soiling has to be thoroughly removed otherwise contaminating soiling may interfere with the rejuvenating system. The soiling removal prior to pH balancing prepares the protein fibers to accept the ionic negative (-ve) charged of the fatliquor (fat and oil content) hydrogen bonding with the ionic positive (+ve) charged leather protein fiber with a low pH value cleaner and rinse. Note that the suffix numbers of the products represent the pH value of the products. Leather is an amphoteric material thus an acidic pH value of the products ionic charges the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve), is the reason why pH value is critical for effective leather constituents hydrogen bonding with the leather protein fiber. Otherwise the leather dry rots and denatures back to rawhides.


    >>> Is there a recommended technique or time between the two sprays

    First is to wet out the thickness of the leather with Hydrator-3.3 then follows with Fatliquor-5.0 and they can be combined to save time. When almost dry Hydrator-3.3 is to clean out any surface residue from the Fatliquor-5.0 turning any surface milky residue crystal clear.


    >>> or areas to avoid like scratches?


    No areas are to be avoided and the entire leather has to be wet out without any dry ends.


    >>> One of the cushions is grayish and slightly dry because of the UV-fading - Do you think any dyes will be needed for the project?


    Most likely, taking into consideration the age of 60 years. Any dyes or coloring can be decided after inspection.


    >>> Or will the Fatliquor and Hydrator be enough to bring it back to it's former darker color?

    It depends how much is left beneath the fading, otherwise, a longer dwell may further release and redistribute from the thickness to the surface. Compare the suede side to the surface may tell the degree of color saturation.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2020
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    thank you - i noticed a few dark spots on one of the cushions. is it mold?
    Do you think it can be brushed / erased out?

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  6. #6
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    >>> thank you - i noticed a few dark spots on one of the cushions. is it mold?

    Yes, possible, if it smells moldy.

    Mold is the colloquial term applied to a large diverse number of fungal species where their growth results in a moldy appearance on objects, including leather. A layer of fungal growth discolors such objects. Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multi-cellular filaments called hyphae. The hyphae are generally transparent, so the mycelium appears like very fine, fluffy white threads over the surface. The dusty texture of many molds is caused by profuse numbers of asexual spores formed by differentiation at the ends of hyphae. The mode of formation and shape of these spores are traditionally used to classify the mold fungi. Many of these spores are colored, making the fungus much more obvious to the human eye at this stage in its life cycle. Molds cause biodegradation of natural materials like leather. It can then be unwanted as mold-damaged property. Mold requires moisture for growth. Like all fungi, molds derive energy not through photosynthesis but from the organic matter on which they live. Typically, molds secrete enzymes that degrade complex substances into simpler substances, which can be absorbed by the hyphae. Molds reproduce through producing very large numbers of small spores. Mold spores may remain airborne indefinitely or cling to leather and fur. It can survive under extremes of temperature and pressure.

    >>> Do you think it can be brushed / erased out?

    Yes, brushed with NubuckBrush-2 and erased with LeatherEraser-4, but if dry rots already set it, it already significantly weakens, so be very gentle. Strength can only be increased to a degree with Fatliquor-5.0.

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    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/kit-n3-...or-killer-kit/

    Leather Doctor® Kit-N3.mk, nubuck leather mold odor killer kit is formulated for mold preventive and decontamination care during storage or after growth. Water damaged nubuck leathers and storing in a humid condition promotes mold growth. The presence of mold infestation is detected by its characteristic musty odor and moldy appearance. Mold is a living organism and damages are progressive that timely preventive anti-fungicidal control is preferred over corrective restoration. A progressive mold infestation will result in unsightly sinking pits that may require physical removal with refinishing. When nubuck leather is stored away, a KillMold-3.6 treatment preserves the leather for a potential period of 8 months. A periodic treatment will preserve the nubuck leather from mold infestation. KillMold-3.6 is a water based leather-safe non-phenol fungicide formulated to kill mold growth. An effective mold decontamination process would include a preparation cleaning with CleanPro-1.5 and Acidifier-2.0 as rinse prior to KillMold-3.6 treatment. CleanNubuck-3.8 with RinseNubuck-3.0 system compliments for lighter soiling. Mold growth draws its nutrients from the leather fat and oil and will need replenishing. Rejuvenating the leather includes hydrating to relax the stick together fibers and to eliminate surface tension with Hydrator-3.3. Fat and oil follows immediately with Fatliquor LS-5.5 to rejuvenate the leather with suppleness and diffusing a classic leather scent. The surface wear of the leather is greatly reduced with a rub-resistant Protector-B+ that also enhances a non-stick buttery-feel to shield against sticky soiling. Note that the mentioned products suffix numbers denotes its pH value in this holistic approach for mold odor preventive and corrective care.

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