Caring for your leather sofa

Leather behaves differently from fabric, therefore it’s got different care properties. 

To ensure your leather sofa stays looking good for longer, follow our care guide for any help and advice you need in one handy place.

Everyday advice for caring for your leather sofa

These everyday hints and tips will help keep your leather sofa in good condition for longer:

  • When carrying out general cleaning once a week use a damp cloth and avoid using detergent, paying special attention to arms and seat backs.
  • Always clean up any spills with a clean, damp cloth as soon as possible.
  • Gently vacuum your sofa once a week with a soft brush attachment to remove any dirt or dust, paying particular attention to the front of the arms, as over time this can lead to dulling and abrasion.
  • It’s important to minimise the amount of direct sunlight your leather sofa comes into contact with as this can also dull the colour. Keeping your curtains drawn or using a throw to cover any exposed fabric is a good way to minimise this.
  • If cushions are detachable, plump them up every week or so to keep the fillings in their fullest shape by putting air back inside. Similarly, as the arms and backs are fibre-filled, they require the same amount of plumping. 
  • As leather is a natural product, it will start to stretch over time. To keep it looking taut, smooth it out regularly as this will put air back into the cushions. 
  • Denim or other non-colourfast fabrics may transfer dye onto your furniture, particularly on light leather colours.
  • If the seats are removable swap them from side to side, to create an even wear and prevent any dipping.
  • We wouldn’t recommend sitting on the arms or the front edge of your sofa, as this can speed up the wear process. Also, avoid putting any pressure on the side panels of a sofa, including the outside arms and back panels.
  • When moving your sofa always use two people unless it’s on glides or castors. 
How to plump loose and fixed cushions

With loose and fixed cushions the following plumping and dressing is recommended: 

  • Daily plumping to bring air back into them – provides a fuller look for the foam cushions and prevents the fibres matting in the fibre cushions
  • Daily smoothing to prevent creasing, folds and shading
  • Daily aligning of the seams of the cushions helps to maintain shape and great looks 
  • Alternate seating weekly to ensure even use and wear
Why does leather stretch?

In the first few weeks of use, all leather stretches, creases and wrinkles. This is a characteristic of real leather which enhances its look and authenticity. Like all leather products, you’ll break your new sofa in and get to enjoy the utmost comfort over time.

Natural marks and blemishes

Shade, grain variation, wrinkles and natural markings are part of the natural look and characteristics of real leather. All of which add to the charm and character of your leather sofa so this is nothing to worry about.

Types of leather & how to correctly care for them

It's important to know what fabric your sofa is made of so you can care for it appropriately and clean it, should a spillage occur.

Semi-aniline leather

Semi-aniline leather will carry several natural markings due to the way it has been tanned and dyed. It receives very little coating or surface finish to maintain its natural look and feel. This type of leather will adopt a ‘lived in’ look over time and as a result, your sofa will become more comfortable as you wear it in.

This is normal and part of its appeal. As this is a very natural, untreated leather, you will find shading variations between panels and the original colour swatch from which you made your purchase.

To take care of this type of leather we would only recommend using the products included in our specially designed leather care kit

To clean up spills on semi-aniline leather, we recommended they’re immediately blotted up with a clean, dry cloth with minimal rubbing.

To minimise water marks once you’ve finished treating the area, we recommend you dampen a cloth with boiling water and gently wipe the entire section from seam to seam. Doing so will help prevent any water marks once the leather dries.

Corrected & pigmented leather

The surface of corrected-grain leather has been treated with a pigment to make the appearance more uniform whilst offering protection. Typically used on the high-wear areas of the sofa, such as the seats, back cushions and the arms.

A hide has a grain pattern embossed then sealed, which generally makes the natural characteristics of leather less visible making it easier to care for.

No matter how careful you are, spills and stains on your leather sofa are inevitable. To easily care for corrected and pigmented leather it’s best to treat the area as quickly as possible with a cloth or microfibre to blot and soak up the excess liquid.

Blotting is recommended over rubbing as this can push the stain in further. Then dampen a cloth and using gentle circular motions wipe the area clean.

Faux leather care

Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather is a man-made product designed to mimic real leather in its look and feel.

This durable product even wrinkles like genuine leather when it is tufted, stitched or gathered so it offers an extremely authentic finish.

Like all real leather sofas, regular maintenance of your faux leather sofa requires a weekly vacuum to prevent dust and debris from building up. 

To care for any stains or spills on faux leather, you’ll need to first blot the area with a cloth to soak up any excess liquid. Then using a warm, damp cloth use circular motions to wipe away any of the remaining spillages.

Once the area has been completely treated, we recommend taking a dry microfibre to gently buff the area and revive the original softness of the upholstery.

Whilst water won’t damage the surface of faux leather, you should still use a fresh cloth to dry it and avoid water spots.

Nubuck and suede leather

Nubuck and suede leathers are buffed on the outside to show a velvet-like nap. As they have no surface coating, extra care is needed to keep them looking their best.

Similar to velvet, Nubuck and suede upholstery need to be brushed regularly to keep their well-loved look. 

You should start protecting your Nubuck and suede furniture as soon as you get it with a specialised stain-resistant spray.

As these two leather types are extra sensitive to moisture, it’s important to tend to spills and stains quickly to minimise the issue. Begin by gently blotting the spot to draw out as much of the stain and moisture as possible.

Next, apply a specially formulated spot treatment, allow it to sink in and then using a damp cloth gently wipe this away.  

Once you’ve finished cleaning, allow the area to fully dry, and then you can brush the suede or Nubuck leather sofa with a soft brush. 

If you have pets, you must brush your sofa on a regular basis to collect the pet hair and prevent it from building up. 

Antiqued leather care

Antiqued leather has a two-tone effect, with the top colour being darker than the base colour. As the top colour wears off, more of the lighter colour will start to show through. This will occur more frequently on the areas that get more use (e.g. seat cushions and armrests). 

To care for antiqued leather be gentle to not rub in any stains or spills into the upholstery whilst treating the affected area as this can then become harder to remove. Begin by blotting any stains with a paper towel or cloth to extract excess moisture – this helps remove a portion of the stain before it has time to sink in any further. Then using a damp, soapy cloth use gentle circular motions to wipe the area clean. Lastly, wipe this away with a dry cloth ensuring all the moisture has been soaked up. 

We also recommend rubbing a leather conditioner in at least once a year, as this helps keep the leather soft and supple. 

Specialist leather care kits

Our leather care kits contain everything you need to keep your leather sofa looking and feeling its best over time.

Including a leather moisturiser, protection cream, ink away spray, stubborn stain solution and purpose-designed sponges and cloths.

Also inside are step-by-step instructions on how to use each product so it’s easy to follow. Please refer to these for the best results.

These are the only products we recommend for use on our leathers as they have been specially tested. It’s important to note that using alternative products may affect your guarantee. 

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful and you now feel confident in looking after your beautiful leather sofa. If in doubt please refer to the manufacturer’s guide supplied with your sofa. 

Published: 23rd May 2022