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Car Care & Detailing
Get detailing answers and tips here

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Old 03-13-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
TOGWT
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL / London, UK
Posts: 100
My Ride: Jaguar XKE
Everything you’ll ever want to know about automotive leather upholstery –

– but were too afraid to ask



Automobile manufacturers have blurred the distinguishing lines on what exactly leather is. Premium leather is the top split of the hide. There are many so-called ‘leathers’ that are actually the bottom split (the fibrous part of the hide) which are covered with a vinyl or urethane coating. Diagnosis is the key, not guess work. Before deciding on what products to use, you need to ascertain the grade of leather and the type of leather finish applied

I’ve been involved in both detailing and the renovation of leather since 1958 an also worked for the Connelly Leather Company (1960-1963 summer jobs while at college) at their leather tanning works. Over the five decades I've been involved with detailing, the OEM and production methods that are used have changed; we need to adapt our product usage and application methodologies to change with them.

Correct information regarding the care of leather is scarce, often contradictory, misleading, or simply wrong. Misinformation can lead to inadvertent damage to your vehicles leather upholstery; my goal is to present clear, concise, accurate information.

There is a great deal of conflicting information on leather care being put out by leather experts themselves who recommend the same products and techniques be used regardless of the grade or the finish applied or use baffling pseudo scientific techno speak as another marketing ploy.

Furniture, Motorcycle, Equestrian Automobile leather, all of which has different type of leather finishes and requires different care You do need to understand some of the basic chemistry behind the tanning and be able to differentiate between the various finishes applied to automotive leather in able to understand how to renovate, clean or care for them, one size fits all is a vendor myth

All of which makes it difficult to find a definitive, unbiased answer. Using the correct product is important in order to protect your car’s interior.


[Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance] - George Bernard Shaw

Automobile model ranges use different materials for their vehicles interiors; leather upholstery like Aniline Immersion Dyed, Aniline Micro Pigmented, (Urethane) Finished, Artificial leather such as MB-Tex and unfinished materials like Synthetics and Alcantara, and sometimes combinations of products (Alcantara seat inserts on leather seating) as well as various grades of leather hide, full-grain, top-grain and split –grain (which is protected with urethane) all of which require different products and applications methods

Once you’ve correctly identified the leather and / or the applied finish applicable to your vehicle's upholstery, it’s easier to select suitable products / methods (one size fits all is just a vendor's marketing myth) First you need to identify the material and finishes used; different types of leather require specific cleaning and care and therefore require a slightly different process.

Check your 'leather type' before attempting to clean or apply any products to its surface.

TOGWT® Autopia Detailing Wiki – “Leather Upholstery Type Surface Identification” - http://www.autopia.org/forum/autopia...fication.html#


TOGWT® Autopia Detailing Wiki – “Leather Articles Hyperlinks” http://www.autopia.org/forum/autopia...yperlinks.html

If you have any questions about automotive leather, its care or renovation techniques, please let me know or feel free to send me an email
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