Leather & Vinyl Colour Repairs
Leather and Vinyl lounges are just as likely to suffer from sun bleaching and colour fade as with any other furnishing fabric. But when we talk about leather discolouration, that can mean a range of issues affecting a range of different materials and colouration types.
Therefore, colour repairs are definitely not a task for the untrained DIY project. South QLD Restoration has a service to repair colour fade in leathers and vinyl which is only undertaken by a specifically trained technicians who have undergone and passed the required tests and exams as set down for Australian Standards. Leather is a complex multi-layered substance and not all materials called leather are made actually real leather as we know it. There are many different dying and pigmentation processes applied to different types of leather. For instance, some add a dye and then lock it in with a top-coat, some dyes simply soak into the leather and darken the tone whilst adding some protection while others completely cover the leather with a pigmented coat.
Full grain leather retains the interior structure of thick cow hide, it has pores, roots and a great many other natural features. Some leather sofas are made of reconstituted or bonded leather which is totally different to full grain and yet both are found in furniture and with many different types of colouration/finish. The leather colouring process can go very wrong for a great many reasons but in our experience there are some typical issues we come across frequently.
Common Causes of Leather & Vinyl Discolouration
- Heavy use and wear
- Sunlight bleaching pigments in leather (also found with vinyl furniture)
- Substances that bleach vinyl coating or denature the pigment
- Substances soaking into real leather (aniline) that bleach or alter the dye
- Something that removes the top-coat revealing a different colour underneath
- Things that stick to the surface of the material
- Organic materials that soak into the leather and leave a deep stain (dog slobber can permanently stain leather)
Sometimes with things stuck to leather or with organic stains it can be cleaned away to an acceptable standard but often the discolouration is still noticeable. However if your problem is any of the other issues in the list above, there’s virtually no way to undo the damage. If leather dye has been bleached, adding more dye is not going to do anything to improve things and it could make it worse. Moreover, if done DIY you could end up with dye leaking from the area. If vinyl has been discoloured, you can’t get the plastic to reabsorb the correct colour and you can’t add a top-coat of vinyl back quite the way it was before or as strong. Put your trust in us, we can achieve incredible results and often you cannot tell that the damage was ever there!
What Can Be Done to Restore Discoloured Leather & Vinyl Furniture?
Initially, it might sound to you that you have a big problem with colour on leather furniture and your furniture is done for. But don’t panic just yet. While all those difficulties described are real, there are solutions that can allow our technicians to work wonders in the right situations. Leather colour problems are typically solved not be reversing the damage but by masking them. The trade of concealing leather damage is in some ways an art form which can only be safely undertaken by an experienced person. South QLD Restoration have a wide range of materials and a great team of experienced applicators with the tools at their disposal who will use advanced flexible dyes/paints formulated specifically for leather and vinyl surface repair. Our colour matching process is carried out on-site adding the range of colour variants to the mix until we attain a corresponding match to your furniture. The methods we use for any given job are dictated by the material we are working with and the type of damage.
Are There Any Problematic Issues With Leather Colour Repair?
There are some limitations and difficulties to all leather colour repairs and some a lot more serious than others. Here are some examples;
- Where a significant part of the top-coat surface has been removed our repair may fill some of the gap and reset the surface level and we do a good job of matching the colour but the texture difference could remain slightly visible but only to those that look for it.
- Some leather types are too complex/difficult to properly recolour/repair. There are textures and colour types in leather that we cannot always reproduce well enough to completely conceal and sun bleached or hard wearing damage.
- Where the furniture is old with extensive colour damage and also has a range of other problems colour repairs are really only at their best on small affected areas that are not subjected to excessive punishment, so if you have an old sofa that has widespread colour issues with a few other problems it may be uneconomical to try to restore the whole sofa with colour repairs.
What Should You Do If Your Furniture Has A Colour Issue?
That is not an easy question to answer without seeing the furniture. What may seem like a serious problem to you may well be something we can fix easier than you think. Only an experienced professional can properly foresee what a repair would require for any given issue with leather or vinyl colour. Many people who contact us aren’t sure what to do or if they should do anything at all and need some advice. If you are based in our service region of Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Strathpine, Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Beenleigh, Jimboomba, Beaudesert, Gold Coast, Coolangatta plus all their surrounding suburbs, we invite you to contact us and/or send us some photos of the colour damage. We will then take a look and advise if we think we should visit and inspect the furniture to confirm either way firstly if can be fixed and secondly, if it is economical to do so. From there you can make a qualified judgement call.
Please be assured that South QLD Restoration will never suggest or agree to do work that we think won’t last or will not sufficiently remedy the issue. We have had to disappoint customers in the past with leather or vinyl colour issues that we believed could simply not be repaired to a standard we would be satisfied with. We can fix any piece of furniture but it doesn’t mean it is a good idea for our customer. Need more info? We welcome your call on 1300 762021