What Is Rehydration?
Rehydration Of Leather: There is a lot of misguiding information on the market today, where a lot of people jump on the bandwagon thinking they know leather when they don’t. This causes huge confusion for the consumer and in turn a poorly looked after leather skin, resulting in damage, cracking, and dryness.
People say that modern leathers require no care as they are plastic coated and don’t need looking after. This is wrong. Modern leather has a 1% breathability factor, after all you polish and protect a brand new car why? It’s more durable than the coating on your leather seats!
How leather is made today is not what it used to be. Yes, the chemical process is far superior than 40 years ago and far safer chemicals used for the people in the tannery and the environment, but the leathers are not like they used to be.
Today leathers are much thinner and the coating on the surface is vastly different, in most cases all older leathers were veg tanned and then had a durable solvent based paint applied to the surface giving them a very hard wearing coating.
Today aniline leather is dyed through before going into categories of production, a pigmented leather as used in most cars and on furniture is then given a pigment coating on the surface. The pigment coating in most cases is a single layer of paint applied and then a final microscopic coating of fine lacquer sealer, the lacquer sealer is so fine that this can be broken down within months and depending how cared for weeks.
It’s imperative that modern leather is protected with a cream to ensure that lacquer coating is protected as long as possible to extend the life of the leather on your car seats or sofa at home.
Once the leather has dried out, rehydrating this can be in some cases, a long process depending how badly dried out this has become. Some leather will work quicker than others, this is the problem with not applying protection to leather, all the natural water content of the skin is allowed to dry out.
Leather that’s had the wrong coatings applied or a ceramic coating applied to them will cause leather to dry out over time, as the surface has been sealed and stopped them from breathing fully.
Aniline leather, being a natural leather, with only a dyed through process and no surface coating requires constant food applied. A protection cream is perfect for this process, apply a generous coating of protection to aniline leather allowing this to soak into the hide. Using a protection cream on aniline very regular will stop the skin from drying out and should not need rehydration as long you use a natural water-based protection cream.
Rehydration of leather has to be done correctly and with high quality products. You need a product that when applied won’t go sticky and affect the surface coating paint or lacquer. If lacquer is left on the surface, but in most cases after three years all lacquer has been removed from your leather.
You can massage the leather surface with a massaging roller, gently using this to go over the surface this will help soften the leather and make application of the softening crème work even faster. Once you have done this several times you can then start to apply softening crème or leather protection cream depending how dry the leather is. You can apply a product and use the massage roller to massage this into the leather. This method is only suitable for furniture and car seats. Delicate items like jackets and fashion items should be massaged in by hand.
Rehydration Of Leather Video
Getting leather soft and supple again can be a lengthy process to get the leather hide to absorb moisture correctly. There are many ways of doing this, one is to use a leather softening crème, massage this into the leather at regular intervals, in between each coating of softening crème apply a generous coating of protection cream, between these two products, this should soften the leather back up again.
Where the leather has gone extremely stiff you can apply the softening crème and wrap the item in clingfilm or if small like a jacket place in a plastic bag and allow the product to sweat into the leather. With car seats of furniture wrap them fully in clingfilm this allows the products to penetrate the skin and soak in, you can leave the clingfilm on the leather for a good few days and repeat this several times until you are happy with how soft the item has become. Once they are soft enough you can then start to condition them with a protection cream, applying this daily for the first couple of weeks to allow enough moisture to be retained within the leather.
Rehydration of leather can take a while as natural softness is a slow process.