View Full Version : What is the surface of modern leathers?

Jul 7th, 2005, 04:04 PM
I have heard that modern automotive leathers have an enamel paint on the surface, or some kind of surface, that does not allow any kind of chemical, such as a leather treatment product, to penetrate the surface. If this is the case, we're all wasting our money on any of the many leather treatment products.

I can imagine the surface of a given automotive leather will depend on the manufacturer. I would guess it is more expensive to dye leather all the way through than to paint the surface. If it is dyed all the way through, it may allow leather treatment products to penetrate. But if painted, it may not allow them "entrance".

Does anyone know?

1999 Jaguar XJ8

Jul 7th, 2005, 05:46 PM
To my knowledge there is a clear coating ( Not sure what the coating is exactly but I can probably find out) on most auto leathers to help protect them but it wears away with getting in & out of the vehicle. Blue Jeans especially are almost like sandpaper. I have a Land Rover which I have to reapply the finish to every so often. It does allow conditioners to do there job though & keep the leather soft & moist. One of the reasons leather cracks in cars is it dries out from the extreme heat & extreme cold inside vehicles.

As for the dye. We use pigment dyes (Which are mainly on top of the leather) for Protected leather which is what is most common in vehicles. It isn't really paint but is similar. Also pigments dyes still accept conditioners.

This all could be changing in next few years because they are now taking Split Grain Leathers & heavily processing them with products almost like plastic which will be a nightmare to clean.

Jul 8th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Since late ‘80s early ‘90s 85% of vehicle manufacturers have used covered leather for their interior upholstery. It’s made from natural hides, but uniquely treated with a light pigmented urethane resin coating or a vinyl covering to make it more viable for automotive seating. It retains the softness of natural top-grain leather but resists fading in direct sunlight, leathers worst enemy

Jul 8th, 2005, 05:16 PM
Connolly is supposed to be the best automotive leather one can get. Rolls-Royce also used it. I wonder if Connolly leather does not have this coating on the surface.

Jul 8th, 2005, 06:08 PM
European Connolly Leathers:
Connolly leathers, this English tannery has been producing leather hides since 1878 to automobile manufactures like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Jaguar etc. Only the highest quality hides are selected for their use, using only the ‘top grain’ (the top 1.25mm of the hide) the hide is oiled, vat-dyed with a water-soluble dye and a water-soluble pigmented resin is added to enhance the colour.

Properly maintaining the leather with suitable oils will ensure a silky-soft feel to the leather and ensure a long useful life, it also develops a patina (a lustre or shine) with time and extended use.
How your leather feels tells you more about its condition than anything. It should feel like something between velvet and satin, supple, inviting and luxurious. Leather care starts with maintaining factory fresh feeling leather from the beginning.

Keeping it clean is important, but conditioning is the key to preserving the life, flexibility, appearance and longevity of your leather upholstery

Application: Warm the leather (sun’s heat or a hairdryer) this product can be applied using a damp (DFTowel ) 100% cotton micro fibre cloth. or your hands (the heat from your hands will also help to keep the product soft) Allow the product to penetrate the hide an do not use the surfaces for a couple of hours (preferably overnight) lightly buff hide surfaces with a clean dry (DFTowel ) 100% cotton micro fibre cloth.

Note: This product may not be compatible with covered leather and could damage the urethane. Connolly Leather ended production of hides in June 2002

Recommended products clean with a 6:1 solution of Woolite® / water and condition by applying Connolly Leather Hide Care or Leatherique Pristine Clean

Identifying characteristics- Connolly Tanners affixes a small distinguishing label on the back of their imported hides and very few US dealers are able to carry these hides.