Color Fading of Leather
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Sometimes objectionable color loss or faded leather occurs not only on leather, but also on suede garments. Especially after acceptable professional leather cleaning.
WHAT DOES FADED LEATHER IT LOOK LIKE?
Generally, the skins are lighter in color overall. This dye fading can cause an uneven shade or splotchy appearance to all or just some of the panels. Thus, some panels can show greater loss of color than others.
WHAT CAUSES FADED LEATHER?
Leathers may have non-durable dyes, oils, designs, or other finishes used in manufacturing. They become disturbed during cleaning. During the faded leather cleaning process a component of the color and/or finish can become removed, causing dye bleeding, dye fading, or color change. Many times there will be an uneven appearance overall. As well as, a texture change. In other cases, only certain panels in a garment or individual pieces of a matching outfit are adversely affected. This is due to the fact that skins used to construct a garment or outfit come from different sections of different animals. And, oftentimes dyed under much different conditions.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
Only the manufacturer can control the coloring procedures used on suedes and faded leather. Therefore, extreme color loss or faded leather is beyond the control of the cleaner. Some slight change of original appearance and texture can be expected from any cleaning process on leather garments. But, severe loss of color is due to poor selection of dyes, skin panels, and/or defective methods of applying the color and finish.
CAN FADED LEATHER BE PREVENTED?
Selecting closer matching skin panels used in garment construction, better selection of dyes, oils, and finishes. And, more durable methods of application on the leather are all factors that will lead to more durable fashions. When properly made, leather garments will withstand professional cleaning without an objectionable change of appearance.
IS THERE A REMEDY?
Some leathers and suedes can undergo being “refinished” to restore the garment to use, although it may not be exactly the same as before cleaning. Other garments have such a severe adverse reaction to cleaning that they just cannot be satisfactorily improved.
Learn more about leather by taking a look at our published blog post “How To Properly Care For Your Leather Jackets.“
A close–up of this suede jacket after cleaning reveals a drastic variance of shades from panel to panel due to quality control deficiencies in manufacture.