Damage to leather can, and does occur. Despite your best efforts, accidents happen, wear and tear, frisky pets as well as the occasional careless “favorite” In-Law. But, all is not lost! It is possible to restore damaged leather back to it’s original state and make the repair permanent and virtually invisible!. In order to do this, the proper materials and techniques are necessary, and, the process is much simpler than you may think. Liken it to patching a hole in your drywall at home. By using the proper filling materials and techniques, you can make these repairs yourself!
“Auto Repair”!™ has developed State-of-the-Art products that will enable you to make any type of repair to any type of leather! Our Leather Repair Kits will provide you with everything that you will need. Our repair compounds are formulated from water based resins and polymers and air dry to permanently bond leather back together, fill holes where leather may be missing while remaining just as soft and flexible as the original leather. No other Repair product on the market has been formulated using this same technology. The idea behind these products is to provide a finished repair that looks, feels and lasts as though the leather had never been damaged in the first place!
No heat Used in the Process
Why do we not use heat? To put it simply, heat is bad news for leather! Leather is just a piece of meat. When you place a steak on the grill, what happens? The heat tenderizes the meat making it possible to chew. Leather reacts to heat in exactly the same manner. The heat required to cure the “heat cure” compounds, actually “cooks” the leather, tenderizing the fibers of the leather. This will cause a breakdown of these fibers that will eventually break apart, causing the damaged area to deteriorate and split apart. In reality, a small repair can be expanded into a very large area of damage. A “heat cure” process is required when making repairs to Vinyl. The products on the market today which require heat to cure the repair compound are simply old fashioned, Vinyl Repair products that have been marketed as a Leather Repair product. “Auto Repair” also offers Vinyl Repair Kits for this purpose.
What about Solvent based products?
Strong solvent based chemicals should also be avoided when working with leather. The oils that keep leather soft and flexible, are delicate and will be easily destroyed by using strong, solvent based chemicals. This will cause the leather to become stiff and brittle. Eventually, the finish and surface areas of the leather will begin to crack, very slightly at first, but will enlarge and may even develop into large splits. Many readily available products are formulated from solvent based materials. Traditionally, Solvent based products were extensively used until the perfection of water based materials came onto the scene. Many of these old “traditions” are used in the industry today simply because of the prevalent attitude that it is easier to use what is familiar rather that learning a new technique or process. “Auto Repair”!™ is not stuck on tradition, but rather has innovated changes within the industry that are more effective and simpler to complete.
Finish and Surface Damage
In many instances, there may be no actual damage to the leather except minor surface or finish damage. This type of damage requires that a new finish be placed onto the surface of the leather. “Auto Repair!™ offers ReColoring Kits that will provide you with the proper materials to accomplish this. The process is extremely easy to do and will provide a permanent, natural finish that replicates the original finish of the leather. The water based formulation of our Color Coats makes these materials highly compatible with leather so as to promote durability and longevity of the new finish. This process is similar to painting a wall in your home and requires no special talents or skills! The Color Coats will work on Vinyl and Plastic as well. These products are water based and completely safe to use, and, are environmentally friendly
What are the differences between all of the Leather Repair Kits I see on the internet?
The repair of leather has always been a highly controversial subject. The main reason for this is due to the lack of advancements in the chemistry of leather repair products. The vast majority of the “do-it-yourself” kits that you find, consist of old fashioned products and techniques used 25 years ago. These products were the only chemicals and methods available during that time period and were derived from products used in other industries and applications. Very little concern was placed on the repair of leather goods because leather was not as commonly used and the market was much smaller. It has only been within the last 10 years that companies such as “Auto Repair Dubai!™ and others have begun to concentrate on the development of these products.
This creates a great deal of confusion for the consumer. Many of the products sold are produced solely from the standpoint of “making a sale”. Little concern, if any, is placed upon the actual results that a consumer can get. This has established a poor reputation for the industry, and causes many people to conclude that the repair process is a waste of time and money since these kits do not work as expected. That is why it is imperative, that if you are concerned about the results you wish to achieve, you must perform a bit of research into finding the products suitable for your requirements.
Even today, many of the more “reputable” products, remain based upon the old fashioned ways of thinking but with enough implementation of modern technology to avoid falling into the same category as the “old time” products. The results are, admittedly, better, but still lack the thorough design and formulations that can provide you with exactly what can be accomplished.
So, how do you find out which products are best? You have to compare, and as the saying goes: “Apples to Apples”. First, heat applications are dreadfully damaging to leather. This process was one of the first processes used in leather repair. However, long term and irreparable damage is done to the outlying areas of the repaired area, making the leather weak and causing premature deterioration within a matter of months. Water based, air dry systems are the best. However, there is a vast difference between repair products, and unless you are familiar with chemistry, and most people aren’t, you cannot know the differences.
Before you purchase a product, check out the testimonials from users of the product. A reputable company will have many. Read reviews (when available) from consumer based web sites. Before and after photos are nice, but beware, anyone can make a repair look great, but it is impossible to demonstrate how strong and durable the finished product is with just a photo.
Ask questions. Have the products been tested by independent laboratories to determine the physical properties of the product? Are there any recognizable large companies or corporations actually using or backing the product? Are MSDS and Data Sheets available for the product?Are the products used by professional service providers, and if so, do they guarantee their work? Does anyone within the organization have substantial experience using the product?
These are questions that can be easily asked and answered in one simple phone call or email.
How do I calculate how much material I will need?
Our Deluxe kits and Recoloring Kits provide you with sufficient material to complete the seating area of a normal sized three seat sofa; in other words the seat cushion tops and the back rest cushions, or, the seating surface areas of two bucket seats in automotive applications. Half length Leather Jackets will actually require less material than is included with these kits. Additional material will be required when working the entire surface area of a full sofa: ie: additional areas such as the armrests, backs, sides, and front. Full; automotive interiors will require additional materials, especially if doing door and trim panels as well. Additional furniture pieces will also require additional materials based upon the size and number of pieces. As a general rule, you can calculate in this manner: 1 ounce will cover approximately 4 sq. ft. Calculate the entire square footage of the surface area that you wish to cover and divide by 4. You will then have the approximate amount of ounces of color coat that you will need. A standard 200cc bottle (which is supplied in our kits) is 6.75 ounces. This amount will cover approximately 27 sq ft of surface area. Our Color Coats require very little material to perform properly. Heavy application will cause you to use too much material and can cause the finished results to take on a “painted” look. Also keep in mind that additional prep material will be required when working larger areas. You cannot use too much prep agent, so it is advisable to obtain plenty of product for this purpose.
Can “Super Glue” be used to make repairs to Leather?
Absolutely not! “Super Glue”, although it can hold well, is not flexible at all, regardless of how thin it may be applied or even if the product is formulated to be “flexible”. It will crack shortly after it has been applied and will not make a permanent repair. Beyond that, leather will quickly absorb much more material than you may intend to apply. This will cause the entire area to become very hard and ultimately, a very small area of damage has become very large.