Leather is a durable material made from tanned animal hides. The most common type comes from cattle hide, but it is also made from more exotic animals, such as snakes and even fish. Leather is a popular material for a range of products, including clothing, accessories, book covers, and upholstery. Although leather is extremely durable, over time, owners may notice scratches on the surface. Luckily, owners can treat and repair scratches on leather to restore its appearance. The process of repairing light scratches differs from the method to repair deep scratches, and the type of leather dictates the restoration process. Owners of leather goods can carry out restoration projects with supplies found on eBay.
There are several ways to classify leather, including the type of tanning process and the type of finish. However, when repairing scratches it is important that owners know if the leather is aniline, semi-aniline, or pigmented.
Type of Leather
Highest quality available
Most natural looking type
No colour added by surface coating
Colour is derived from the aniline dye process
May have a light transparent surface coating for protection
Less resistant to soiling
Aniline dyed and including some pigment from surface coatings
Natural grain is still visible
More durable than aniline
Also known as protected leather
Most durable type
Least natural in appearance
Opaque polymer coating
It is difficult to tell the types of leather apart without proper training. However, the look of the material provides a good idea. The creases of aniline leather are very distinct because the surface coating does not fill them. The creases of semi-aniline leather are less distinct because the surface coating fills them partially. The creases of pigmented leather are filled completely and the grain pattern is embossed on the finished product.
Before investing in supplies to restore leather, owners should try these simple methods to repair light scratches, first performing all the steps on an inconspicuous area. For aniline leather, use a hairdryer to warm the surface around the scratch and massage the leather gently. The warmth can blend the leather's existing colour into the area of the scratch, making it invisible to the eye. For other types of leather, rubolive oil,baby oil, or saddle oil onto the scratch and the surrounding area using a circular motion. Allow the leather to dry for an hour. Repeat, if necessary.
If the scratch is still visible, owners should buy a repair kit or contact a professional repair service. Several scratch repair kits are available to restore leather with light scratches. There are different kits for aniline and protected leathers.
Deep scratches, such as those caused when pets scratch one part of a sofa, can make leather rough and unsightly. It is possible to repair deep scratches on pigmented leather using these steps. Clean the scratched area thoroughly with a leather cleaner to remove dirt and grime. Trim any long, loose fibres carefully with sharp scissors. Apply leather binder with a sponge and rub it directly into the damaged area. Allow the binder to dry and repeat for 8 to 10 coats. Use fine sandpaper to create a smooth surface. Ensure the area is free from any residue and then apply a thin layer of heavy leather filler using a palette knife. Allow it to dry and then apply additional layers of filler, if necessary. All holes, gouges, and scratches should be filled and level with the leather surface.
Use fine sandpaper to create a smooth surface and then wipe the area with an alcohol-based cleaner. Apply leather colourant with a sponge. If the scratches are more visible after applying the colourant, apply more filler, sand the surface, and reapply the colourant. Spray on additional layers of colourant using an airbrush. When the damaged area has blended in with the rest of the leather item, apply leather sealant. Finally, apply a leather finish to the area.
Leather is a tough, durable material, but it still suffers scratches over time. Owners can repair minor scratches easily, but they should first know what type of leather needs restoration. Buyers looking for products to restore scratched leather can choose from a wide range of items on eBay. They can choose from individual products or complete kits. The search bar available on every page makes it easy to find products quickly. Buyers can enter a search phrase, such as " leather sealant" to view a list of all matching items. Buyers can also look for offers on the eBay Deals pages.