Your Leather Seats

Your Leather Seats

Hello friends, welcome back to this month’s newsletter. Ever thought about the leather in your car lately? What type are they, how are they made, how were they chosen etc. Well after many confusing articles, I dare say that I now know more than I ever did. So, I have taken some stuff that I think is relevant and here goes.;

Leather seats are a particular concern, as they look wonderful and classy when new and clean. Well, it can still look a good many years later only if it is cleaned and fed or nourished. There are a few types of leather that are used in the car industry. The very expensive cars are upholstered with the very best automotive leathers. Rolls Royce claims that for its Phantom model, 15 -18 hides of Bavarian bulls are used for a single car. The bulls are raised in the Bavarian region where it is too cold for mosquitos and other bloodsuckers to wreak havoc on the hides. The region is known for its good practices such as roam range that is free from barbed wire fences that can damage hides with scratches and cuts. Choosing bulls over cows also ensures that there are no stretch marks from pregnant cows that can hinder the finish. These are some of the ways Rolls Royce uses to make sure that their interior leather is softer to the touch than other automakers and to deliver luxury.

Corrected Grain Leather

It is the most common of leather finishes and is considered the lowest end of all finishes. It has been "corrected "artificially to enhance its colour, texture, and to cover up flaws such as barbed wire marks and also to create a durable, uniformed looking surface finished with a clear topcoat. Nappa is a-full grain leather that has been treated for durability but has not been embossed with a different grain. Bentley features nappa on the seats, cabin trim and instrument panels.

Semi-Aniline Leather:

Some high-end cars still use this. This is leather that has initially been dyed using aniline dyes but also has been coloured with opaque pigments to create uniformity in colour, but not been corrected for grain texture. It is finished with a clear protective resin coating that is very resistant to natural wear and tear.

Gets its name from aniline dyes used to soak leather hides that permeate the leather and give it colour. These high-end hides are used for the finest of leather products where natural weathering is desired. These leathers will absorb moisture, spills and of course are never be used for car seats.

Regardless of the type of leather that is used in your car, it is split. The top is called top-grain and the bottom is called "split". In the beginning, all leather starts as aniline. For cars, cattle hides made for upholstery are chromium salt tanned to preserve the hides, fat liquored to provide softness, strength and flexibility (fats and oils are added) and then dyed to give them colour. A layer of resin is sprayed as a topcoat for protection.

Weather it is top of the line like 'Nappa' or the cheaper ones it will get soiled and greasy which require cleaning and feeding so that stays soft and supple for many years to come. Leather also needs to be fed with oils infused during the manufacturing process that will be lost due to UV exposure and while cleaning. Leather should be cleaned regularly. If you have dark leather, we recommend it to be treated 2-3 times a year. Obviously, light coloured leather will require more cleaning but it all depends on how you treat it. It would help greatly, between treatments, to have it cleaned lightly with a damp towel. Dirt, oils, UV and sweat from our skin can cause the leather to wear off.

Leather requires replacement of its natural oils to prevent cracking and drying out. Conditioning helps to restore these natural oils and keeps the leather soft and supple. Zymol conditioners also help to enhance the natural smell of leather recommend to every treatment. We recommend to feed it 2-3 times a year for longevity.

For best cleaning and conditioning results do send your car to Carnauba Autospa. After thirteen years and thousands of soiled seats later, we pretty much know a thing or two about cleaning and feeding your leather.


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