Leather Care News

Home/Leather Care News/

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

[two_third]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.[/two_third]
[one_third_last]Zipper pull 2

Zipper separating 2

[/one_third_last]

But don’t you step on my blue suede shoes!

OK, so these shoes aren’t the blue suede shoes Elvis Presley sung about, but the point is the same! Your designer suede shoes can take a beating even with normal wear. Suede requires special cleaning techniques to avoid damaging the delicate nap and removing color. And if the color has faded, we can restore that too! So keep those great shoes in your collection by restoring the beauty and extending the life!

Green Shoes Before and After

Refinishing Coach Handbag

When you find that perfect purse that just fits your needs, it’s hard to let it go even if it is soiled, stained and faded like this one.

The first step is for our leather experts to properly and safely clean your designer handbag to remove ink, spills and stains on the leather, fabric and linings. The second step is restoring lost and faded color to restore the beauty and extend the life of your favorite handbag!

Experience counts!

Glue Bleed

What are all those dark stains along the seams and pockets of your beautiful shearling coat? Looking similar to grease stains, “glue bleed” is unfortunately a fairly common manufacturing defect affecting mainly sheepskin, but can also be found on pig suede and nubuck skins. Manufacturers will use a glue to hold seams together before stitching. Inferior glue can bleed through the skins over time and during the standard cleaning process. Glue bleed stains may be able to be lightened or masked after cleaning and refinishing.

Professional Leather Cleaners will be able to spot susceptible garments before cleaning and will take steps to minimize or avoid the problem. However, a customer risk may be requested before proceeding with cleaning.

Close-up of damage from glue bleed

 

Restoring Leather Furniture

Mom’s busy in the kitchen making dinner and the kids decided to hone their artistic talents with some pens on the sofa seats of this sectional. We were able to clean, seal and redye the affected areas making mom happy again and release the kids from “time out”!

All is not lost when spills, stains or ink damage your leather furniture. We recommend emailing us a picture of the furniture to info@ramleathercare.com.  Let the experts assess the situation and advise you of your options!

Sofa with Ink Before and Afer

Fall Cleaning of Feather Pillows

Now that the hazy, lazy, sweaty days of summer are at an end, it is the perfect time to clean those feather pillows! Our unique process sanitizes and deodorizes the feathers or down and blows them into a brand new ticking. The tumbling process can add the “fluff” back to your newer pillows, but as feathers age, they start to disintegrate. If your pillow needs some extra loft, just request that a bag or two of feathers or down be added to the pillow during the process. Watch our pillow cleaning process to learn more!

If you prefer to keep your existing ticking (particularly if the ticking is quilted, gusseted or designer), just let us know. We can also clean pillows in the traditional method.

 

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.