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Thread: 20 year old Aniline Leather Sofa - Water stains / deep scratches

  1. #1
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    Default 20 year old Aniline Leather Sofa - Water stains / deep scratches

    Hi Im looking to restore and repair this Aniline leather sofa from early 2000. A few deep scratches - water stains on front of base - have not been conditioned in over 20 years.

    Any advice on products for this restoration project; highly appreciated.


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    Philip

  2. #2
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    >>> this Aniline leather sofa

    First, we need positive identification.
    Yes, it could be “Aniline” dyed leather.
    It could also be a “naked” vegetable-tanned leather.
    We need to take a closer inspection, show more pictures, turn one cushion and compare. Showing the back of the seat may give us some clues.

    We wait for more pictures . . .

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    Roger Koh
    Leather, Skin, Hair, Eye & Acne Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor / Coach
    web: www.leatherdoctor.com
    forum: www.leathercleaningrestorationforum.com
    email: [email protected]

  3. #3
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    Please find additional images here:

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  4. #4
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    Yes, this is Vegetable-Tanned leathers, similar to those making saddles.

    Please do water testing on the back cushion - just drip water and take a picture if it pools on the surface or darkens upon absorption (this test is to determine if the vegetable-tanned leather has a clear top coating)

    Please also do a water testing on the used seat cushion if it pools on the surface or darkens upon absorption (this test is to determine if the seat cushion top coating has worn off)
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 03-17-2020 at 11:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    >>> A few deep scratches

    These deep scratches are minimized with just using a matching topcoat like AnilineTop-76 in gloss or satin to match. Leave the scratches as natural as possible as long as it is smooth to the touch.
    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/aniline...vy-duty-gloss/

    >>> water stains on front of base -

    A water stain is correctable with a redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction with Vachetta-2.8


    >>> have not been conditioned in over 20 years.

    The leather needs to be replenished with the original fatliquor (fat and oil) which has diminished through evaporation over these 20 years with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system. Note: During the wet cleaning process that ends with Fatliquor-5.0 system the leather is NOT allowed to dry, otherwise the drying up with insufficient fatliquor will lead to cracks. Tannery standard for vegetable-tanned leather is 15% and this leather fat and oil moisture level is measurable with a leather moisture meter.


    >>> Any advice on products for this restoration project; highly appreciated.

    See this Kit-V4
    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/vachett...emover-kit-v4/
    Attachment 9789

    Product Description
    Vachetta Leather Grease Darkening Effect Remover - Kit-V4 by Leather Doctor. Vachetta leather darkening effect is the result of accumulating body oil, grease, and sweat from constant contact. Removal kit incorporates LeatherDegreaser-2.2 and LeatherEraser-4 essential for the removal of common body oil, grease and sweat problems especially to the handles that are degrading from browning to darkening and eventual cracking. The main culprit is the sweat that eventually cracks the leather sooner or later and routine care with rinsing using LeatherRinse-3.0 helps pH neutralize the sweat, LeatherSanitizer-3.9 has with a dual function for both pH neutralizing and sanitizing from off-gassing bacteria activities would be a better choice. Darkening appearance from body contact and browning from liquid stain are two main inevitable common problems associated with naked unfinished vachetta leathers. Leather being absorbent absorbs and accumulates body moisture from contact and when neglected resulted in a darkening appearance. Besides appearance the sweat with traces of urea may cause the protein fiber from shifting ionic negative (-ve) manifesting as tackiness and reverting to rawhide. LeatherDegreaser-2.2 solves the darkening effect by penetrating, lubricating and suspending the soiling particulates and simultaneously protonate the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve). The amphoteric protein fiber is further rinsed and ionic positive (+ve) charge with LeatherAcidifier-2.0 to strengthen the ionic attraction between its other non-amphoteric ionic negative (-ve) leather constituents like the tanning agent and the fatliquor. This dual duty removes the unwanted soiling particulates and pH balances the pH chemistry integrity of the leather at the same time. Vachetta Leather Browning, blotchiness or discoloration is associated with general accumulation of liquid soiling and will require VachettaProCleaner-1.2 > LeatherAcidifier-2.0 system to remove and also to pH balance alkaline over-exposure that causes the browning discoloration. Alkaline pH-sensitive Vachetta leathers when neglected often suffer unsightly browning stain marks from a variety of liquid sources. Even apparent clean rain or tap water often leaves a lightening spot with an outer ring. pH 7 alone of water will often cause a rippling effect on the tannin that destabilizes and causes it to move. The higher the pH value above water the darker the browning stain becomes. Browning correction is performed in two stages, a pre-cleaning, and a post-treatment. Pre-cleaning soiling removal in combination with pH balancing the leather structure improves the appearance and returns the pH chemistry integrity to its original pH neutral of between 3 and 5. When pre-cleaning becomes satisfactory it is essential that leather rejuvenating continue while the leather is about 25% combined moisture level or terry towel extract until the towel shows dry. The reason being that when leather is wet and dry without sufficient fatliquor it will shrink and in extreme cases cracks when dry with insufficient fatliquor. A 15% of fat and oil moisture read with a leather moisture meter or equivalent when perfectly dry without the water content is a healthy leather and would never crack. Leather rejuvenating with LeatherHydrator-3.3 > LeatherFatliquor-5.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 is a 1st-step hydrating the leather structure of stiffness and separates any stick together leather fibrils free or preconditioning it prior to the 2nd-step of fatliquor replenishing it. 5/6 of the fatliquor water contents will evaporate and only leaves 1/6 of the remaining fat and oil, the fat plumps the leather with fullness and the oil lubricates the fibrils like millions of interlocking hinges for sliding over one another for suppleness with softness and tensile-strength from breaking. A fully saturated fat and oil with breathing pores make the natural leather less absorbent to any liquid ingress. The 3rd-step is to remove any fatliquor fat and oil remnants that turns milky again from the leather surface with LeatherHydrator-3.3, and preferably to move it into the leather instead with the horsehair Brush-1. Slow drying will produce a softer leather and flexing or massaging it while almost dry also helps in extra desired suppleness. The leather is scrutinized once again when dry for discoloration or undesired sun-tanning or aging effect. It is then rejuvenated with a redox (reduction-oxidation) treatment using VachettaBrowningRemover-2.8. It is applied, brushed and towel extracted until the towel shows clean. The final treatment is to even out and leave to dry naturally for the product to take effect. Any powdery residue is wiped off with LeatherHydrator-3.3 and let slow dry again. LeatherProtector-D enhances a rub-resistant draggy-feel against friction rubs and is used routinely to conceal and fill scuff marks. Body contact areas should be cleaned routinely with LeatherCleaner-3.8 followed by LeatherRinse-3.0 or LeatherSanitizer-3.9, thereafter applied with non-stick protection and commence for another cycle of use. Darken and prolonged body grease and sweat contacts will require a degreasing process with LeatherDegreaser-2.2 > LeatherAcidifier-2.0 system in most cases. Preventive cleaning and protection to shield against sticky soiling, with the ability to heal and conceal lightening scuff and abrasion marks keeps the leather appearance level high at all times rather than relying on corrective or salvage cleaning where the cleaning appearance deteriorates and diminishes with each cycle. Note that the mentioned product suffix numbers denote its pH value in this holistic approach to removing vegetable, plant and water stains from vachetta, saddlery, and veg-tan leathers. All the 250ml spray bottles have to be mixed/cut and filled with distilled water prior to use.

    Tip 1 – Cracks Control: Aged, dried or signs of leather cracking should be first leather rejuvenated with LeatherHydrator-3.3 > LeatherFatliquor-5.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 system and let dry prior to VachettaBrowningRemover-2.8 treatment. This precaution is to prevent any further cracking accelerated to the leather. In other words, any leather dryness less then 7% of original fatliquor moisture content measured with a leather moisture meter or an equivalent wood moisture meter should first be rejuvenated to top up or replenish to its original fatliquor up to 15% prior to treatment with VachettaBrowningRemover-2.8. Due to the “Van der Waal or London Forces' ' phenomenon in the drying process, the empty or insufficient of fatliquor in the leather fiber structure is likely to result in stiff leather as the fibers become stuck together. Slower natural drying will reduce the stiffness ill effect from the lack of fatliquor

    Tip 2 – Appearance Control: Water stain spotting may be done with a cotton swab until it shows clean. It is recommended that the entire panel be treated equally to an even appearance to eliminate any rings when dry thereafter. A treated panel may take up a lightening effect as it also reduces the sun tanning effect if any and recommends that the entire article be treated accordingly. Always pre-clean with VachettaProCleaner-1.2 > LeatherAcidifier-2.0 prior to post-treatment with VachettaBrowningRemover-2.8 so as not to over-clean it too early.

    Tip 3 – Suppleness Control: Unlike other leather tanning types, vegetable-tanned leathers are more susceptible to cracks as it is characteristically more fatliquor thirsty. Dry leathers are handled with care for inspection and continue with rejuvenating it with LeatherHydrator-3.3 > LeatherFatliquor-5.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 system.

    Tip 4 – Sealing and Concealing Scuffing Control: The final of the holistic Vachetta care system ends with LeatherProtector-D or the leather scented version of LeatherScentedProtector-D+ to seal and conceal scuffing leaving the leather with its natural transpiration. For a lighter appearance "D" is recommended.

    General Instruction:

    A- Degreasing with LeatherDegreaser-2.2 > LeatherAcidifier-2.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 system: A1- Dry soil removal with Eraser-4. A2- Apply LeatherDegreaser-2.2 and agitate with horsehair Brush-1 or LeatherEraser-4 and towel extract until the towel shows clean. A3- Rinse off remaining residue with LeatherAcidifier-2.0 until the towel shows clean. A4- Penetrated soiling is removed with the help of LeatherHydrator-3.3 by saturating the leather structure and cling wrapping to control evaporation for up to 72hrs with replenishing the moisture high so that lodge soiling becomes loose. Plastic wrapping is replaced with Towel-5 wrapped taut and tight without airspace so that soiling will reverse-transfer to the towel during the drying process and peel off. However, if the leather has already shown evidence of cracking, then it is highly recommended that LeatherFatliquor-5.0 is replenished with a repeat almost drying cycle and only at the least replenishment Towel-5 is introduced for the reverse transfer. Note that when the leather becomes wet and dry again it will dry stiffer without any fat and oil and may accentuate the cracking effect. Also, note that to have a more supple leather it is recommended that they are gently flexed or massaged from almost dry to dry to produce a softer leather. However on a combination issue with browning discoloration issue on the same panel VachettaProCleaner-1.2 may be inserted into the combine ‘wet’ system as LeatherDegreaser-2.2 > VachettaProCleaner-1.2 > LeatherAcidifier-2.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 > LeatherFatliquor-5.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 system before it dries follows with the final ‘dry’ treatment of Vachetta-2.8 and ends with LeatherProtector-D in Kit-V4 holistic system.

    B- Browning Discoloration Removal with VachettaProCleaner-1.2 > LeatherAcidifier-2.0 system: B1- Dry soil removal with horsehair Brush-1: terry towel or optional LeatherEraser-4 depending on soiling severity prior to product application. B2- Pre-cleaning with VachettaProCleaner-1.2: spray and saturate evenly with simultaneous agitation from horsehair Brush-1 and/or optional LeatherEraser-4 for an even appearance and towel extract until it shows clean. Another option is to use a saturate cotton swab or a terry towel to do a test cleaning until it shows clean. Extend cleaning to the entire panel without leaving any dry area until the towel shows clean for an even appearance. B3- Rinsing with LeatherAcidifier-2.0: spray and agitate with horsehair Brush-1 and towel extract until it shows clean. Proceed with LeatherHydrator-3.3 while the leather is still damp.

    C- Hydrating with LeatherHydrator-3.3: LeatherHydrator-3.3 is evenly applied, agitated and spread with horsehair Brush-1 or FoamBrush-3” and towel extract for an even appearance prior to LeatherFatliquor-5.0. Proceed with LeatherFatliquor-5.0 while the leather is still damp.

    D- Fatliquor Replenishing with LeatherFatliquor-5.0: LeatherFatliquor-5.0 is a continuous process that proceeds immediately after satisfactory LeatherHydrator-3.3 appearance inspection. The process is repeated when the leather is almost dry until the leather is saturated before it is let to a slow natural drying process. It will take up a seasoning effect in relation to the amount of fatliquor intake. 15% of fat and oil moisture level without any water content is the optimum moisture level when the leather is completely dry. Fat and oil moisture content is measurable with a leather moisture meter or equivalent. Penetrated stains are further fully saturated with LeatherHydrator-3.3 allowing for structural water movement to float or wick any soiling particulates to the surface. The entire surface may be cling wrapped to control evaporation keeping at the highest level of moisture content for up to 72hrs. The cling wrapper may be removed and wicks up the soiling towel extracted until the towel shows clean. A fresh application is applied and the ‘reverse-transfer’ technique with Towel-5 replaces the cling wrapper. Air bubbles or spaces work out taut or stretch-tight with horsehair Brush-1 and let to dry. As the surface dries and the Towel-5 shrinks it will wick all water contents bringing soiling particulates through the Towel-5. It then peels off the surface trapping the soiling particulates.

    E- Redox (reduction-oxidation) treatment with LeatherVachetta-2.8: Product may be adjusted with distilled water to match the desired appearance. E1- This product is highly recommended to treat leather after dying from LeatherHydrator-3.3 > LeatherFatliquor-5.0 > LeatherHydrator-3.3 system. E2- Shake well, spray and saturate with horsehair Brush-1 or FoamBrush-3” for an even appearance and towel extract until it shows clean. E3- Extend cleaning to the entire panel when the towel shows clean for an even appearance working outline or rings to an even appearance without leaving any dry area. E4- Let natural drying and inspect the result. E5- Note: In most cases the treated panels will look lighter than other untreated panels, as the product not only corrects discoloration, it also reduces any aging or sun-tanning effect (the adjustment is made by an initial test and adjust product concentration accordingly with distilled water ratio 1: 1). The entire article is therefore recommended to be treated accordingly for an overall appearance.

    F- Sealing and Concealing Light Abrasion and Scuffing with LeatherProtector-D: LeatherProtector-D is applied for sealing and concealing light abrasion and scuffing, besides shielding the leather from the detrimental effect, soiling is become easier to remove during the routine care.

    Instruction by 8 Steps Process:

    Step-1 Cleaning Process:
    VachettaProCleaner-1.2 is applied to the entire surface and works with Eraser-4 and Brush-1 followed by Cotton Terry Towel extraction. It is repeated with intervals (allowing the penetrated soiling to come to the surface) and extracts until the towel shows clean again.

    Step-2 Degreasing Process:
    LeatherDegreaser-2.2 is applied to the greasy or darkens areas and works with LeatherEraser-4 and Brush-1 followed by Cotton Terry Towel extraction. It is repeated with intervals (allowing the penetrated soiling to come to the surface) and extracts until the towel shows clean again.

    Step-3 Rinsing Process:
    LeatherAcidifier-2.0 is applied to the entire surface and works with Eraser-4 and Brush-1 followed by Cotton Terry Towel extraction. It is repeated with intervals (allowing the penetrated soiling to come to the surface) and extracts until the towel shows clean again.

    Note:
    These above 3 steps are the relevant “wet cleaning process” that applies in this case; unless another known category of stain that requires removal by the “emulsification process” as well.

    Tip:
    Logically, cleaning and rinsing products have to reach below the stains deep into the leather structure to cause the movement of the soiling to move upwards for towel extraction, especially during the rinsing process.

    Observation:
    The leather should show an improvement in appearance, it depends on the thoroughness of the above 3 steps process. As any liquid might still bring up residual soiling to the surface. Working with the LeatherEraser-4 helps to erase soiling from the surface as well besides just towel extraction and brushing with Brush-1.

    Caution:
    Do not allow the leather to dry below 25% total moisture level (if you have a moisture meter) from magnifying the existing cracklings prior to LeatherFatliquor-5.0.

    Step-4 Hydrating Process:
    LeatherHydrator-3.3 is applied and brush-in with Brush-1 to saturate the leather structure to relax it. It is hydrated until a little moisture oozes out when pressed with fingers. The surface is brush, erase and cotton terry towel extract until the towel shows clean. As each flooding of the leather structure would bring up some soiling as well. When leather is towel extracted until about 25% total moisture level, the Fatliquoring process begins.

    Step-5 Fatliquoring Process:
    LeatherFatliquor-5.0 is applied with the help of foamBrush-3, either direct to the surface or into the foamBrush-3 prior to application to avoid over-spraying. LeatherFatliquor-5.0 is meant for the leather structure to supply it when dry. It replenished the loss of existing fatliquor to the original average percentage of 14% of ionic negative (-ve) charged fat and oil. 5/6 of the water content will evaporate, leaving only 1/6 part of fat and oil. This application is repeated a few times to surface saturation, absorption while the water contents evaporate naturally. When milky surface disappears, the surface may continue to be erased, brushed and towel extracted of further soiling residue brought up by the release water content, at drying intervals. Any sticky residue that remains on the surface is removed with LeatherHydrator-3.3 and tested for satisfaction. In cold weather, the fatliquor may be warm-up to room temperature prior to application. Allow slow drying for extra suppleness. The final inspection is after LeatherEraser-4.

    Step-6 Inspection:
    At this stage, all embedded soiling should be removed; otherwise the entire above 6 steps may be repeated. With satisfaction Darkening effect remains is most probably the migrating vegetable-tanning agent that is only rectifiable through a redox (reduction-oxidation) reaction with VechettaBrowningRemover-2.8 on a dry surface.

    Step-7 Redox (-reduction +oxidation) Reaction:
    VachettaBrowningRemover-2.8 is applied onto the dry surface and Brush-1 to saturate the depth of the surface generously and let it naturally dry for a redox reaction to take place. Residues are erased with LeatherEraser-4. LeatherHydrator-3.3 may be used to remove residue within crevices and creases with Brush-1 more efficiently as well. When dry the surface is again erased and brushed to satisfaction prior to LeatherProtector-D.

    Step-8 Non-stick, Rub-resistant Protection:
    LeatherProtector-D is applied brush-in and let dry, and the seat is ready for use.
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 03-17-2020 at 12:14 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thank you Roger - very excited to start the project.

    I'm new to vegetable-tanned leather - what would happen if it's treated with an Aniline products like conditioner and cleaner?

    Here is the drop of water on the back of the cushion:

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  7. #7
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    >>> I'm new to vegetable-tanned leather - what would happen if it's treated with an Aniline products like conditioner and cleaner?

    Important is compatibility with this vegetable-tanned topcoat finished leather. And vegetable-tanned leather is especially very vulnerable to pH value. Any alkalinity will denature the leather. Even water with a pH value of 7 that seeps through the top coatings through micro-cracks will leave a watermark. This vegetable-tanned leather also behaves just like our light skin and browns when exposed to sunlight. For cleaning the pH ranges from as low as 1.2 like Vachetta-1.2to do some reverse or pH balancing the leather structure. Redox (reduction-oxidation) with Vachetta-2.8 is typically used for correcting these browning or sun tanning issues. Note that the product suffix number represents the pH value of the product. Also, note that leather is an amphoteric material that is why pH value is emphasized. Alkaline products will break the hydrogen bond between the ionic negative (-ve) leather constituents like the tanning agents and the fatliquor with the ionic positive (+ve) leather protein leather. Thus the leather denatures to dry rotting, lose its tensile strength, browns, etc.


    >>> Here is the drop of water on the back of the cushion:


    This pooling effect shows this leather has a clear topcoat like AnilineTop-76 in gloss or satin luster to match.

  8. #8
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    taking in consideration that i'm having a sofa in a very similar condition as yours (and slightly different color) i'm wondering if you've tried the methods recommended by Roger. what was the outcome? can you post some *after photos* if possible please? which methods worked best? thanks

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