Leather

BUYING A LEATHER GARMENT

When buying a leather garment always inspect it very carefully as no two garments are exactly alike,select well matched skins and look for a good colour match between the garment panels. Relatively inexpensive garments may not clean satisfactorily and high quality clothes usually respond well to specialist cleaning methods.When buying what appears to be a sheepskin garment, check that the fleece lining is not a man made fabric which has been stuck to the leather. Beware of long, loose or shaggy nap on suede garments. This may be only on one panel. Suede with this fault often wears very badly. Imitation leathers and suedes are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the real thing, coatings can blister and peel off in drycleaning and the removal of plasticisers can result in the garment going stiff or even hard.

SPECIALITY LEATHERS

Leather can be embossed, distressed or intentionally wrinkled These processes are not always permanent and the intensity of designs may vary slightly from panel to panel. Distressed leathers may exhibit more variations in colour and texture due to the presence of scar tissue, belly wrinkles or just weak areas present on the original skins.

PROPER CARE BEGINS AT HOME

  • Wear a scarf to protect the collar area from perspiration and body oils.
  • If the garment gets wet, let it dry away from heat. When suede garments are dry, they can be brushed gently with a suede brush to restore the appearance of the nap.
  • Store leather garments in a cool, ventilated area. Do not store leather in a plastic bag.
  • If staining occurs, absorb as much of the stain as possible with white kitchen roll or tissue, and take the garment to a professional drycleaner as soon as possible. Do not try to remove stains yourself!

DRYCLEANING

  • Do not let a garment become heavily soiled before having it cleaned
  • Have matching pieces, e.g. a skirt and jacket, cleaned at the same time.
  • Be prepared for a variance in depth of colour after cleaning.
  • During tanning, leathers are impregnated with oils to keep them supple. Some of these oils are lost in cleaning, and although the leather cleaner will use special additives to replace the oils, there may be some change in the feel and handle of the garment.
  • During leather manufacture, imperfections in individual skins are often covered with masking materials which may be removed in cleaning.
  • Adhesives are frequently used to glue seams, hems and linings These are not always resistant to drycleaning fluids and partially dissolve, seeping through to the outer surface to leave dark shaded areas.

TYPES OF LEATHER

Pigskin……………………Characterised by numerous visible hair follicles.
Patent Leather ……….With the outer surface coated with a very shiny flexible film.
Suede Leather………..Where the wearing surface has been finishd to a fine velvet-like nap.
Grain Leather………….Where the skin of the animal forms the wearing surface.
Sheepskin……………….Made from leather which retains the natural fleece of the animal
Chamois Leather…….A soft form of leather made from split sheepskin.

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