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Leather is like wood. It can be stained (dyed) or painted (pigmented finish or coating). Leather dyes penetrate and accentuate the natural variations in the fiber. Dyes are in the leather (a chemical bond).
Leather paints and pigmented finishes coat the fiber; they are on the leather (a physical bond). They can be one solid color (monochromatic) or multiple colors and tones (mottled or base-and-print).
Dyes are prone to fading and transference (just as blue jeans can stain furniture). Most leathers are dyed. The variable is their finish. Some have no finish (aniline) or a light clear finish (semi-aniline). Their absorbency makes them prone to body oil and other stains. Some leathers (like those in auto interiors) have a pigmented urethane or acrylic finish that better retains color and resists stains. However, even pigmented finishes can be worn and discolored with use.
One cannot dye leather a lighter color. Only a pigmented finish (paint/coating) can achieve this.
Rub 'n Restore® products are water-based acrylic pigments that are suitable for all leathers except suede and nubuck (though we've had customers do it). Use of our products on aniline will slightly cool the feel of the leather by adding a water-resistant finish. The leather will continue to breathe. While it may still exhibit absorbent qualities, it will be more stain and fade-resistant than traditional leather dyes.
CC, the original Vinyl Lady (and mom), got her start in 1987 repairing leather in auto interiors for dealerships in Southern California. Her skill and attention to detail set her apart from her competitors, and she was sought by upholstery and fabrication shops that specialized in collectible cars and hot rods.Early on she developed the Sandpaper-Super-Glue [...]
In late 2017 we implemented new labels for our vinyl and leather restoration products. These labels include the Global Harmonized System (GHS) of hazard information required by law. Suddenly we're getting many concerned inquiries, “Does Rub 'n Restore® cause cancer?”While our products do contain chemicals “suspected of causing cancer,” you're not going to develop cancer from using Rub 'n Restore® products [...]
What’s the best hot tub cover protector? Rub 'n Restore® takes the prize! This picture from 2004 shows this anti-UV conditioning stain applied to a friend’s spa cover. Twelve years later the cover had long been water-logged. Our friend, Rebecca, found a used cover and swapped out the foam inserts. The vinyl on the used cover [...]
Luke, friend and Renaissance man, recently traded Solar Energy International (SEI) his labor and skill for a Miles all-electric vehicle. Miles is akin to a little European van, though she is actually Chinese (and yes, she is an androgynous electric car). Miles has a governor that keeps her from accelerating past 35 mph. Miles is not street [...]
Rub 'n Restore, Inc.'s new hometown of Paonia, Colorado boasts quite the art scene. The hottest New Year's Eve party in town was a steampunk-themed masquerade hosted by Elsewhere Studios. What is steampunk? Think Victorian fashion fused with industrial punk or goth with a little futuristic whimsy. The color palette errs monochromatic. Leather, lace, and metal are essential [...]
Bonded leather (also known as faux leather, polyurethane or PU leather, bicast leather, blended leather, composite leather, recycled leather, reconstituted leather, or ultraleather) is a dirty word in our business. Every day we receive multiple emails and phone calls asking the same question:Can I repair my flaking, peeling bonded leather?The short answer is no. We even [...]
A customer recently asked us, "Is this some alien technology that you got from a crashed UFO in area 51? ‘Cause no one believes me when I tell them how easy it is and how quick [my leather sofa] went from brown to red.... Thanks, you guys got something special here.” About the time we were [...]
Over 40% of Americans make New Year's resolutions, but statistics show only 8% achieve them. I am among the 40% this year with an ambitious goal, one of mastering my mind and emotions. It will be a daily exercise regimen whereby I hope to slim down my ego. My mind, I have secretly observed, is the common [...]
My earliest memory of the holidays involves a sewing project on Christmas Eve. My Grandma Topsy had recently moved across the street. My mother (also best friend and business partner) left me on the sofa watching The Flintstones at age four and wandered across the street. She returned with wine-colored velvet stockings adorned with early twentieth century costume [...]