Leather is luxurious, and leather furniture can add character, and a touch of class to any home. The key is in choosing the right piece – and looking after it. Whether it’s a leather lounge, armchair, ottoman or even bedhead, leather can help create a distinctive look, set a mood and if properly cared for, last a lifetime. A pen or ink mark for instance, need not spell disaster, if you’ve given proper attention to your lounge from day one.
In choosing any piece of leather furniture, it’s essential to understand that, like all furniture, there are various levels of quality. A cheap price can be a tell tale sign of cheap manufacture, but then again, this is not always the case. Shopping around is always a good first step to get an idea of what you like, and to compare levels of quality. Make a point of asking questions (including warranty information) so that you know exactly what you are getting for the price.
Many people will have a set image of what a ‘classic’ leather lounge is, when in reality, leather lounges may come in all shapes, sizes and styles (take a look at a couple of non-traditional styles here that have now become classics in their own right). If you live in a contemporary apartment, you might opt for a sleek design and minimalist white. A classic Chesterfield looks wonderful surrounded by dark wood and warm tones. Or you might eschew tradition and think colour. How about a beautiful rich wine or deep olive? From classic to contemporary to shabby chic, there’s a leather lounge to suit the occasion.
Just as the frame of a lounge may come in various materials, including wood or metal, so too, leather comes in various types, and grades. The International Council of Tanners website has some information on leather grades. Types of leather often used in furniture manufacture include:
- Pure Aniline – High grade hide that is drum dyed, so no pigment is applied to surface. It will display natural marks and lines.
- Pull Up Aniline – Also drum dyed but with a topcoat of oil or wax applied resulting in a ‘distressed’ leather look.
- Pigmented Leather – Drum dyed leather with a thicker layer of both pigment and protective finish. This conceals natural markings and lines.
- Corrected Grain – Similar to pigmented leather but also embossed with a pattern or grain which fully conceals all natural markings.
- Nubuck – also called leather suede. This is a drum dyed aniline leather with a buffed surface.
It’s important to ask about the materials when shopping for a lounge or other leather furniture. Understanding what you are buying will help ensure you find the best fit for your home, and very importantly, ensure you know how to look after it.
Caring for your leather lounge
Once your leather lounge is in place and looking beautiful, you should remember that it needs looking after. In general, leather should be thoroughly cleaned every three to four months to maintain the life of the lounge. Do remember that quality leather will soften and natural marks may add character that develops with age.
The best products for cleaning leather are those designed specifically for that purpose. Your best choice is likely to be a professional leather care product that suits the type of leather you have. Nubuck for instance, is sensitive to water stains and may absorb spills and dirt more readily than other types of leather, so requires a specific cleaning product. Remember too, that non-chemical cleaners are a better option and will help to preserve the life of your furniture. At Devine LeatherCare, we have a range of non-chemical cleaners that will help keep your lounge looking great.
Once you have the correct product, apply it to a small test spot first to ensure you have the optimal cleaner. Use a dry (never wet) cloth. If cleaning Nubuck in particular, be careful to avoid saturating the area as this may result in marks. Do dry the lounge thoroughly with a cloth, before applying a leather conditioner.
Other things you can do to help preserve your leather lounge include keeping it away from heaters and direct sunlight, being careful not to leave wet garments or towels on it, and removing any spills immediately.
How to remove ink and pen marks from your leather furniture
As much as we may take care in looking after our leather lounges, accidents do happen. So what to do should your beautiful leather furniture be tarred with ink or pen marks? Your first option might be to apply your professional cleaning product as you normally do. If you are lucky and it is a very light mark, this may be enough to remove it quickly and easily. Fresh marks in general will be easier to remove than older ones, which is why it’s always a good idea to act quickly.
Should you find the mark persists, or if you have suede lounge, than you may need professional help.
The art of colour change
Should disaster strike and you have a dark stain that is going nowhere, if you’ve changed your tastes over the years, or if you’ve simply had a change of heart, it’s worth knowing there is an option. Rather than throwing away your precious lounge, why not think colour change.
At Devine LeatherCare, we are able to dye an entire lounge an entirely new colour. A dark ink mark on an old leather lounge might be just the catalyst for a brand new look that will revamp your lounge, and your home. Imagine your ‘80s apricot sofa in a dark wine red or chocolate for example!
So if you have pen and ink marks on your leather lounge, if you are looking for a colour change, or if you simply need advice on leather care, don’t be shy in coming forward. Professional advice is the best way to keep your lounge just the way you love it.