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Armani Jacket with Sticker Damage

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Stickers and leather just don’t go together! The big problem comes when the sticker is removed and the top layer of the skin is removed along with it. If you end up with a sticker on your leather, don’t try to remove it. Send it to a Professional Leather Cleaner who can safely remove it without damaging the skins.

Risky Ornamentation

Risky ornamentation on garments can take the form of fragile buttons, laces, beads and stones, or unique clasps. According to the Federal Trade Commission, all ornamentation must be able to withstand the recommended cleaning process. However, that is not always the case. In the case of leather garments, the care label may simply state “Clean by a Professional Leather Cleaner”. Therefore, it is important that the company you entrust with your leather garments has the experience to recognize risky ornamentation so damage does not occur.

Some ornamentation such as buttons and some clasps can be removed prior to cleaning in order to avoid damage. In the case of beads, stones, and laces which cannot be removed, the garment may require a specialized cleaning process. When that is not an option, a Professional Leather Cleaner may contact the customer to advise of the risk and obtain a consent before cleaning.

Experience counts!

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Saffiano Leather

Saffiano leather was first introduced in the early 1900’s by Prada. Its defining characteristic is the cross-hatch design which is pressed into the surface and then treated with a wax finish. The wax finish protects the leather from moisture and creates a very durable product that can nicely withstand everyday use. Originally made from calf skin, you can now find the design used in all qualities of leather as well as vinyl.

When the finish wears or is marred by ink or if the lining is in need of cleaning, send it in for our Professional touch!

Saffiano 1

Vinyl By Any Other Name!

The quality appearance of vinyl used in apparel has reached new heights. Sometimes, it is only an expert that can tell the difference between leather and vinyl by sight or touch. However, care labels can level the playing field allowing consumers to understand what they are buying.

Care labels on vinyl apparel may refer to the fabric content as Polyvinylchloride (PVC), Polyurethane (PU), pleather, faux leather or imitation leather. The distinction between leather and vinyl may be more in durability and cost than in appearance. Vinyl may damage easier than leather, yet may also provide a lower cost fashion option. Some leather garments may also incorporate vinyl as trim, piping or in pockets making it doubly important to have it cleaned by a Professional Leather Cleaner.

Cleaning differences between leather and vinyl are important. We have seen many garments made from vinyl or with vinyl trim that call for “dry cleaning” on the care label. Please be aware that vinyl cannot be dry cleaned without cracking, melting or damaging! But vinyl can also be safely cleaned and even refinished like a leather garment by those who know how to do it.

Dye Transfer

While dye transfer can happen in cleaning items that combine light and dark colors, it can also happen while a garment is just hanging in your closet! Colors may bleed from one garment to another simply by touching each other especially if there is any moisture involved. Printing on a garment bag or plastic bag can also bleed onto garments.

In most cases, dye bleed can be corrected by a Professional Leather Cleaner who will seal the affected area and refinish the color. Vinyl items that are bonded with spandex, unfortunately, cannot be restored due to the stretch in the fabric. To prevent dye transfer, make sure you separate dark or colored leather garments from lighter garments and avoid using printed plastic bags next to light leather or vinyl garments. For more leather tips, see our post Caring for your Leather.

dye transfer vinyl 2

Dye bleed shirt before and after

 

Two Ways to Repair a Broken Zipper

Ever have a zipper that separates half way up? You may be thinking your jacket is unusable or that it needs a new zipper.

Two options are available for correcting a zipper that isn’t working properly. The quickest and least expensive way is to replace the pull. You may even be able to open up or tighten down the opening on the existing pull on your own. However, in order for a new pull to work, there cannot be any missing teeth on the zipper, the bottom stop must still be there and the zipper tape cannot be torn.

If a new pull cannot correct the problem, replacing the zipper will do the trick. You can even choose to replace an existing zipper with one that is heavy duty or two-way. You can determine the size of most zippers by looking at the number on the back of the pull. A number 5 is the most common size. A number 7 or 8 will be more heavy duty. A number 10 is the size you typically see in a motorcycle jacket. While we prefer to use metal zippers, vislon (plastic) zippers are also available in a variety of teeth and tape colors. Just let us know your preference! If no specific size is requested, the zipper will be replaced with the same size if available.


Zipper pull 2

Zipper separating 2

DIY Leather Cleaners

There are many products available to the consumer for do-it-yourself leather cleaning. Some are even endorsed or branded by certain manufacturers for their products. However, we recommend caution in using DIY products.

These new Frye boots were sprayed with a well-known consumer protectant product. The result was unsightly stains and drips from over-spraying. We were able to clean the boots, refinish them to their original beauty and water-repel to protect against future water, salt and stain damage.

 

These UGG boots were cleaned by the manufacturer’s branded product. As you can see, the results of cleaning were not positive. Extra care should always be taken particularly with bright colors which can easily discolor or become uneven. We re-cleaned these boots as well as restored the color.

Vegetable-dyed Leather

Some designer handbags are well-known for their distinctive colors and appearance. Some also use vegetable-dyed leather in their signature designs. Vegetable tanning is an age-old process which uses the tannins of organic materials such as tree bark or vegetable matter. There are typically no additional dyes or treatments used on the leather to color or protect it. In it’s most natural state, the natural beauty and characteristics of the leather remain visible. When new, it appears pristine and evenly colored. With use and exposure to oils and moisture, the patina begins to deepen and become more varied and mottled. A single drop of water can cause a permanent stain.

Cleaning options for items with vegetable-dyed leather are very limited as the leather is not stable in water. Exposure to moisture will cause the color to darken and become uneven. While items combined with vegetable-dyed leather can be cleaned, there may be a permanent change in the appearance of the leather.

Water Repel UGG Boots

We did a little test to see the actual difference it makes when using Ram Leather Care’s water repel service. We had two squares of shearling to represent the skins on typical UGG boots. We water repelled one piece (WR) and left the other untreated. We placed both squares skin side down in a bowl of water. The result? The treated square repelled the water while the untreated square became saturated. When both skins dried, the water repelled square was soft and unblemished. The skins on the untreated square had lost some of its softness and the texture of the skin was more prominent.

Shearling squares dry
Shearling Squares Dry


Shearling squares soaking
Squares Soaking


Shearling squares soaked
Shearling Squares Soaked

Applying water repel to clean boots will help protect against skin damage caused by water, salt and stains! We suggest this added service to protect your suede boots, jackets and coats.

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