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Thread: Basic Leather Cleaning & Conditioning Instruction for Non-Technician

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Minnesota, USA

    Default Basic Leather Cleaning & Conditioning Instruction for Non-Technician

    Hello Roger,
    Thank you for the sample kit of Leather Doctor products. I have enjoyed experimenting with them on garments and am impressed with the results. I am wondering how to know how much of each product to use? Some leathers I have tried (thin cow and lamb) soak up the product so quickly that there is no dwell time or extraction - do I need to saturate the leather, or only dampen it?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.

    Default Basic Leather Cleaning & Conditioning Instruction for Non-Technician.

    Dear Paul and the Forum,

    Re: Basic Leather Cleaning & Conditioning Instruction for Non-Technician.

    When cleaning non-absorbent leathers, any liquid will stay on top and we are merely cleaning the skin of the leather.

    Non-absorbent leathers use the least amount of product, and also have the least chemistry related problem.

    Semi-absorbent leathers may give a patchy appearance when liquid cleaners are sprayed on the surface.

    Eventually it has to be evenly damped throughout at the rinse step before applying the fatliquoring.

    They use more liquid product and one has to be cautious about chemistry related problem.

    Absorbent leathers can range from 0.04mm to 2mm in thickness for garment.

    They soak up liquid cleaners like a sponge; the thicker the leather, the more absorbent.

    For an average napa leather of 1mm in thickness, it will absorb up to 2.3 times its own weight when squeeze damp.

    An extra small jacket weighs about 850 gm, therefore it may take up to 1900gm of liquid.

    Additional liquid has to be subsidized with distilled water in order to have some form of extraction by dry absorbent towel.

    Instruction to clean, rinse and fatliquor absorbent leathers:

    When fatliquoring is desired to be part of the total cleaning process, complete dampness throughout is the prerequisite before fatliquor application.

    Assuming we are working with 250ml size bottles of deGreaser4.1™, cleaner3.8™ and rinse3.0™, we will still need about at least one liter of distilled water to dampen the leather.

    Procedure as follows:

    Step 1. Apply choice deGreaser4.1™, ultraCleaner4.5™, superCleaner4.0™ or preCleaner3.7™ to match severity of soiling to localized areas.

    These degreaser and preconditioners are designed to allow sufficient dwell time to emulsify stubborn soil.

    Spray, brush with choice brushes, let dwell 5 to 15 minutes or longer before it dries, then extract with dry absorbent towel.

    Step 2. Spray cleaner3.8™ a panel at a time, brush and extract with dry absorbent towel.

    Continue cleaning the whole jacket even if the leather absorb more than we can extract.

    Step 3. Spray distilled water to dampen the leather sufficiently to allow for efficient extraction to satisfaction.

    Step 4. Spray rinse3.0 to lower the pH of distilled water (acidify) and continue extraction.

    We are preconditioning the leather fiber to enhance a cationic charge of the fiber to accept the anionic fatliquor5.0™.

    Step 5. Spray fatliquor5.0™ while the leather internal structure is fully re-hydrated (squeeze dry) throughout.

    The fatliquor5.0™ will be absorbed readily into the fiber structure and redistributed by the rinse3.0™ to have a hydrogen bonding with the cationic charged leather fibers.

    Step 6. Hang the jacket on sturdy broad hanger. Stretch seam to seam of creases or wrinkles. Let it natural slow dry away from direct sunlight.

    Step 7. When dry, stretching seam to seam again, flexing, kneading, massaging will make your leather as soft as you wish.

    Step 8. For thin leather of 0.04mm thickness, ironing over paper with wool to cotton settings will smoothen and glaze those delicate skins.

    Step 9. Apply leatherScent’B™ for napa and pigmented leathers, leatherScent’W™ for aniline leathers.

    Note: This procedure applies to nubuck and suede too.

    The only difference is the brush used (nubuckBrush2™ or suedeBrush3™).

    leatherScent’S™ is designed for nubuck for a silky feel, it can be used on suede too.

    leatherScent’W™ is used on suede to give a natural water repellency.

    leatherScent’D™ is designed for wax pull-up both on aniline and nubuck.

    Hope this answer your question.

    Let me know if further clarification is necessary.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Doctor® System
    [email protected].

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