How do I care for my leather sofa?

Leather is a natural product. It breathers, is warm and has individual characteristics. This makes each hide unique. Leather will always display traces of its origin such as brands, scars, creases and growth. These hallmarks add character to the furniture and do not affect the wearing qualities of the product. Leather is highly resilient, durable over time and develops a patina that enhances its appeal.

How should I care for my leather sofa?

Always protect your furniture from direct sunlight, as this will otherwise accelerate the natural, ongoing discolouration process.

Try to keep pets off the upholstery and be careful of sharp objects such as belt buckles, toys and watch straps, which may scratch the surface.

On pigmented or protected, semi-aniline leather, dust should be removed by vacuuming and followed by wiping with a slightly damp cloth, using a mild soap if there is any indication of grease, followed by buffing with a soft, dry cloth. Excessive wetting or rubbing are to be avoided.

Perspiration and natural oils from the skin and hair can have a damaging effect on the finish of leather. The degree of this effect varies from person to person and can change as a result of a change of diet or medication. Cleaning is particularly recommended where hands, bare arms or heads rest on the hide and is likely to be needed a couple of times a week.

Leather Protection Cream should be applied when new and then two to four times a year.

Soft Leather Cleaner should be used prior to the protection cream and more frequently when needed. With any cleaning process, wipe the leather and do not use a rubbing action. These two products are sold together as a kit at Julian Foye.

Ink remover, on sale at Julian Foye showrooms, can be used to deal with ink marks and is generally successful if action is taken quickly. The ink penetrates more deeply over time and professional assistance is then required.

Always protect your furniture from direct sunlight, as this will otherwise accelerate the natural, ongoing discolouration process.

Try to keep pets off the upholstery and be careful of sharp objects such as belt buckles, toys and watch straps, which may scratch the surface.

On pigmented or protected, semi-aniline leather, dust should be removed by vacuuming and followed by wiping with a slightly damp cloth, using a mild soap if there is any indication of grease, followed by buffing with a soft, dry cloth. Excessive wetting or rubbing are to be avoided.

Perspiration and natural oils from the skin and hair can have a damaging effect on the finish of leather. The degree of this effect varies from person to person and can change as a result of a change of diet or medication. Cleaning is particularly recommended where hands, bare arms or heads rest on the hide and is likely to be needed a couple of times a week.

Leather Protection Cream should be applied when new and then two to four times a year.

Soft Leather Cleaner should be used prior to the protection cream and more frequently when needed. With any cleaning process, wipe the leather and do not use a rubbing action. These two products are sold together as a kit at Julian Foye.

Ink remover, on sale at Julian Foye showrooms, can be used to deal with ink marks and is generally successful if action is taken quickly. The ink penetrates more deeply over time and professional assistance is then required.

How do I care for my leather sofa?

  • Do not use “Hide Food” or furniture polish on upholstery leather.
  • Suede, nubuck and aniline leathers require particular care, as they lack a protective coating. Use products specifically designed for these types of finish and follow instructions carefully. Always test any cleaning process on an unseen area.
  • Never place leather furniture against any heat source such as a radiator. Keep it at least 30 cm away.
  • To remove spillages, do not rub into the leather as this will cause staining.
  • Liquids should be quickly raised from the leather by using the edge of absorbent paper towels and then dabbing the area lightly with clean towels.
  • Seat, arm and back cushions, including fixed pads, should be regularly plumped up to maintain the shape of your chair or sofa.
  • If you notice creases developing (e.g. in the seat area) take care to smooth them out so they do not become permanent.
  • Try to avoid sitting on the edges of cushions or arms, as this may cause uneven wear and distortion of the padding and leather.
  • Where zips are used, these should not normally be unfastened, as they are there for ease of manufacture.
  • Certain non-colourfast clothing such as denim can stain light coloured leather where it comes into contact.
  • Always follow your manufacturer’s cleaning and care label instructions.

Occasional professional cleaning is recommended. We recommend Safeclean: www.safeclean-duchy.co.uk (You will be given the option to select another part of the country if you do not live in Cornwall.)

Falmouth/Helston: 01326 319704. Penzance: 01736 368003. St Austell: 01726 64560. Email: info@safeclean-duchy.co.uk

What are leather variations and markings?

Every hide is different and because the dyes and finishes penetrate to varying degrees in different parts of the hide, an attractive variable finish is achieved with a level of uniformity as consistent as these processes allow. When you consider that it can take as many as eight hides to produce a suite of furniture, you can appreciate the skill involved, and understand that a certain amount of tolerance is always involved.

The natural marks, grain variations and wrinkles which appear on each hide, feature in certain areas of the furniture depending on the degree of marking. Heavier marking will appear on the outside backs and sides, or on areas not usually on view. The more subtle markings will feature on more prominent parts.

Irregularities in the grain, small scars and insect bites and other natural skin marks should not be considered as defects. Only real leather has these characteristics and they exist as your proof of authenticity.

It is perfectly normal for certain areas of leather to show signs of creasing and stretching. This is not detrimental to the wearing of the leather. Today, due to modern tanning processes and customer demand, leather has a much softer feel and will maintain its suppleness throughout its lifetime.

A combination of these factors means that in the first few weeks of use, creases and wrinkles will develop naturally to create a softer, more inviting look – an inherent quality of fine leather upholstery.

 

What are the different types of leather?

Upholstery leather is normally obtained from the strong, close-textured outer surface of a cow hide, from which the inferior quality “lower split” has been removed, to leave leather of suitable thickness for upholstery.

ANILINE AND SAUVAGE LEATHER This leather is made from the most carefully selected hides and is therefore expensive. Dyes are impregnated into the skin and the surface remains natural, with little or no protection. Minor imperfections and variations in shade can be clearly seen. Aniline leather will inevitably become soiled in use.

SEMI ANILINE This process is designed to combine the natural feel and appearance of Aniline with a good level of protection. Skins are selected with only slight markings and the dye is impregnated. A light protective coating is then applied to give some degree of resistance to staining. This coating might be expected to make the leather a little stiffer to the touch than Aniline but some Semi-Aniline leathers offer a remarkably soft feel.

PIGMENTED LEATHER (sometimes referred to as “corrected grain” or “grain embossed” leather). A layer of pigment is applied to cover most of the natural imperfections which exist in every skin. The chosen style of grain is then embossed onto the skin and a protective coating is applied, which gives good wear characteristics, high light resistance and consistent colour. It is less soft to the touch than Aniline, but is particularly easy to care for. Antique effect leather has a two part surface pigment process: after the furniture has been made up, part of the top coat is rubbed off by hand to expose the contrast colour underneath, creating the effect of ageing. The top colour continues to wear away in use, enhancing the Antique appearance.

PULL-UP LEATHER (also known as waxy or oily leather) has a “worn” look and will lighten in colour when stretched or scuffed. Natural marks and shade variation can be seen. The “lived-in” look increases with use.

NUBUCK LEATHER This type of leather is dyed and its surface is buffed with abrasive to give a soft velvety feel: smoother than suede and very luxurious – but not very practical. Nubuck is not recommended for family use, as its soft, absorbent surface makes it particularly prone to staining and soiling.

BYCAST “LEATHER” This is made from the lower split, or suede, which is built up with a deep, artificial surface coating. The shiny surface can be damaged by stretching and also scratches quite noticeably. On a piece of furniture which will not involve the leather becoming stretched over soft cushioning, for example a dining chair or occasional tub chair, it will give good service. Leather protection cream should not be used on this man-made surface. (The UK definition of Leather requires that the mean thickness of the surface treatment should be less than 0.15 mm. Under this definition, Bycast should not be described as leather in the UK.)

“THROUGH-DYED” indicates that dye has penetrated the full thickness of the hide, which is less likely to show wear and gives a good basis for repairing a cut or scuff mark, should that ever be necessary.  You should not expect the front and back of the leather to be exactly the same colour. The surface treatment may result in a noticeable difference in colour. Any of the above leather types may be through-dyed.

HOW DO I OPERATE MY MANUAL RECLINER?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either a printed advice sheet or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

The mechanism of a manual recliner relies on the balance of your body weight to allow it to operate smoothly. There are normally only three possible positions: (1) sitting upright; (2) footrest open – with most models, the back is slightly inclined in this position; (3) fully reclined.

Sit well back in the seat to ensure your body weight is in the correct position to operate the manual mechanism. To open the footrest, pull the release catch on the outside arm of the sofa or chair. Ensure the catch returns to its rest position to allow the recliner to return to the closed position.

To recline the back, remain sitting well back in the seat, place your hands on top of the arms and push back against the backrest.

To return the seat to an upright position, lean forward so that all your weight is on the seat cushion. Then ensure the release catch is in the closed position and pull back on the footrest with your heels until it locks in place.

HOW DO I OPERATE MY POWER RECLINER?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either printed advice or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

A power recliner uses an electric motor to make the parts move. This makes it very easy to use, even for anyone who has found it inconvenient to use a manual recliner. There are two buttons: one opens the footrest and reclines the back; the other brings the chair back to an upright position. You can release the button at any stage of opening or closing, to find the most comfortable position.

The motor is operated at a very safe, low voltage. The current most often comes from a transformer. You need to plug this into the mains, making sure that the cables are safely located, so that they do not become trapped in the mechanism and do not pose a tripping hazard.

Alternatively, there may be a rechargeable battery pack, located either in or outside the chair. This needs to be charged before the first use and recharged when the power starts to run out. You have the advantage that the chair can be positioned anywhere in the room, without a permanent mains connection.

The operation is straightforward. To open the footrest, press and hold the open button. Continue to press the open button to move to the reclined position. To return to the upright position and close the footrest, press and hold the close button.

You will find more information on rechargeable power packs at https://www.gplan.co.uk/owners/operating/powerPacks

HOW DO I OPERATE MY POWER RISER RECLINER?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either printed advice or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

A power riser recliner (also called a “Lift and Rise” chair) can help you maintain your independence by making it much easier to sit down and rise from your chair, it also gives you a choice of sitting positions at the touch of a button. With a “single motor” model, the movement of the footrest is linked to the movement of the backrest. A “dual motor” model gives you much more freedom to choose the position which you find comfortable. You can, for example, have the footrest fully raised whilst the back of the chair is in an upright position. Riser recliners sold by Julian Foye are generally of the “dual motor” type.

The motor is operated at a very safe, low voltage. The current comes from a transformer. You need to plug this into the mains, making sure that the cables are safely located, so that they do not become trapped in the mechanism and do not pose a tripping hazard. There is sometimes a “back up” battery pack; this is normally only designed for one-time use, to allow you to return the chair to a convenient position if there is a power failure. The batteries need to be changed annually to ensure that they are always ready to deal with an emergency – but the old ones could still be put to use, for example, in a portable radio.

A “dual motor” riser recliner has two principal controls, each with a pair of “up – down” buttons. One pair of buttons controls the angle of the backrest. The other pair of buttons controls the lifting of the chair and the opening of the footrest. By continuing to press the “down” button, when the chair is at floor level, the footrest is opened. To close the footrest, press the “up” button and take your finger off the button once the footrest is closed; continuing to press this button will elevate the chair.

There may be an additional “reset” button, which returns you to the armchair position, with the footrest closed and the back upright.

HOW DO I OPERATE MY POWER RISER RECLINER?

Not all models are exactly the same. It is important that the manufacturer’s operating and care instructions are correctly followed. The delivery staff should provide you with either printed advice or a practical demonstration. Please contact the shop if you are in doubt. Please read the safety tips for recliners below.

A power riser recliner (also called a “Lift and Rise” chair) can help you maintain your independence by making it much easier to sit down and rise from your chair, it also gives you a choice of sitting positions at the touch of a button. With a “single motor” model, the movement of the footrest is linked to the movement of the backrest. A “dual motor” model gives you much more freedom to choose the position which you find comfortable. You can, for example, have the footrest fully raised whilst the back of the chair is in an upright position. Riser recliners sold by Julian Foye are generally of the “dual motor” type.

The motor is operated at a very safe, low voltage. The current comes from a transformer. You need to plug this into the mains, making sure that the cables are safely located, so that they do not become trapped in the mechanism and do not pose a tripping hazard. There is sometimes a “back up” battery pack; this is normally only designed for one-time use, to allow you to return the chair to a convenient position if there is a power failure. The batteries need to be changed annually to ensure that they are always ready to deal with an emergency – but the old ones could still be put to use, for example, in a portable radio.

A “dual motor” riser recliner has two principal controls, each with a pair of “up – down” buttons. One pair of buttons controls the angle of the backrest. The other pair of buttons controls the lifting of the chair and the opening of the footrest. By continuing to press the “down” button, when the chair is at floor level, the footrest is opened. To close the footrest, press the “up” button and take your finger off the button once the footrest is closed; continuing to press this button will elevate the chair.

There may be an additional “reset” button, which returns you to the armchair position, with the footrest closed and the back upright.

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