Leather furniture care
Leather is one of the most luxurious elements in furniture design; it is sumptuous, durable and very attractive.
Full-grain and top-grain leathers are particularly sought after: the unique markings and high grade finish can create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Nevertheless, leather furniture does require regular care to preserve its softness, good looks and flexibility.
If you follow the steps below on a regular basis, your leather will last for years.
- Maintenance is key. At least twice a year (and ideally once every couple of months), clean your furniture with a quality leather cleaner and conditioner, to keep the leather soft and remove any accumulated dirt and oil from the grain.
- Plan ahead. You will probably run into an unfortunate situation or two in your time as a leather furniture owner, so ensure you have the products on hand in advance to clean up the inevitable problems. These include a specialized leather spot cleaner for accidental marks, plus application tools like sponges and a chamois or two.
- If food or drink is spilled onto the leather, clean up the excess, before tackling any remaining mess with a leather cleaner. It is always best to purchase a dedicated leather cleaner or conditioner rather than try to substitute with a potentially damaging substance.
- Do not be tempted to use nail polish remover, hair spray, window cleaner, shoe polish rubbing alcohol or dish soap on your leather. The surface of your leather most likely has a glossy finish on it, which can be permanently damaged by any of these products.
If you don’t have a leather cleaner, you can also consider using a PH neutral soap and warm water. Dip a clean, lint free white cloth into the soapy water and gently wipe the leather. Make sure you dry the leather thoroughly. Then always apply a leather protector spray or cream to the leather after cleaning.
Wood and veneer furniture care
Wood and veneer furniture pieces may look and feel slightly different from one another, but their care instructions are similar.
To keep your wood and veneer furniture looking like new, simply follow the steps below.
- Dust your furniture on a regular basis to prevent a buildup of debris, which can become stuck on the surface of the wood or veneer and become difficult to clean off. Removing firmly adhered dirt from a surface has the potential to damage the finish, a situation best avoided.
- To protect the surface finish, avoid placing hot items directly on the furniture or leaving spilled liquid on the piece for an extended period of time. Scorch marks and water marks are among the most difficult stains to deal with and often require the assistance of a professional.
- If your piece is particularly valuable, it is prudent to place it in an area away from direct sunlight, which can bleach the item. Wood in an exposed place can also suffer from the effects of a wide range of temperatures, which can dry the item and cause the finish to crack and peel.
- Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners on your wood or veneer furniture. Instead, choose a soft cloth impregnated with linseed oil, specialist wood cleaner, furniture polish or water to remove stains and brighten the appearance of the piece.
With the right care, your wood and veneer furniture will look beautiful for many years.
Fabric furniture care and maintenance
Wool and cashmere are two of the most highly sought after and comfortable upholstery fabrics used in the furniture manufacturing business. Known for their luxurious, hard wearing and waterproof qualities as well as their visual appeal, these fabrics are regularly featured on high quality pieces and come in an enormous array of colors.
There are specific rules to follow when cleaning your wool or cashmere furniture, however. While loose dirt is easily vacuumed out of the upholstery, ground in or wet stains need special attention.
- For large spills, big, unsightly stains and general overall cleaning, it is best to take your furniture items to a specialist, who will be able to dry clean them without risking damage.
- To ensure that the colors on your pieces do not fade, keep them out of bright sunlight wherever possible. Because wool is a natural substance, it is more likely than a synthetic to lose vibrancy over time.
- Keep a suitable spot cleaner on hand so that you can tackle minor stains before they have had time to set. If there is no spot cleaner available, substitute with a damp white cloth or a small amount of very mild dish detergent solution, which will cut through greasy foods and makeup. Always blot the fabric dry promptly after spot cleaning.
To keep your wool and cashmere furniture in top condition, always avoid:
- The use of colored cloths to spot clean, which can transfer dye to the natural material.
- The use of bleach, ammonia or any other harsh cleaners, which will permanently damage the wool or cashmere.
- Placing the wool or cashmere anywhere near a rust-prone surface. Because wool is porous, it will absorb the rust stain, which is then not usually removable.
Wool and cashmere are beautiful, environmentally friendly and durable materials which can be woven into enduring, timeless upholstery fabrics. Special care will ensure your furniture pieces remain stunning for decades.