A Glossary of Leather Terms & Skin Finishes
You have a
Problem - We may have the Solution
& Suede Garments | Fur Garments | Leather Furniture
Using home products
Q. We receive
many, many leather care questions every year...but not often
from Europe. We guess that our reputation for the most professional
care of special leather and suede garments has spread far and
Hello. I bought a Schott cafe racer jacket in steerhide (the
641), and I want to know what product I can use to take care,
clean and preserve it in time. I wear it on motorcycle and in
the street. I live in France and the cost to send it to U.S.
will be expensive. We can have Lexol products, Vanson leather
balm and the other in the list of web direction I put after.
At Schott GAIL talk about mink oil but we can find it only in
the shoes greases like Kiwi, Famaco for boots and outdor shoes,
or in the products for hrse s leather saddles. May be it's good
for motorcycle jackets? Thank you for the answer and sorry for
A. You have purchased a finished
horsehide jacket, finished means it has a finish on the leather
that is basically a pliable paint especially formulated for that
type of leather and for a specific use. My honest opinion is
that you really need to do nothing, but wear it and enjoy it.
For a period of time, you can wipe it off with a soft damp cloth,
after it starts to get broken in, you may want to get a leather
lotion similar to our Fine Leather Lotion, that has a very light
wax in it that will provide a protective coating. I would stay
away from silicone, or oily substances, that may serve to break
down the leather finish.
Enjoy your new jacket!
Odor in Fur
Q. I was
recently given a mink coat that has a strong smoke odor on the
bottom and on the sleeve. The coat has a very high value and
I would appreciate your opinion on whether the odor can be removed.
A. We specialize in smoke odor
removal. Your coat also will be cleaned using our furrier method
which both cleans and glazes the fur. Also, we offer fur appraisals
if you would like to know the value, condition, age and type
of mink. You can order a free inbound mailing label from our
website. Please print, complete and include the "Mail Order
Form" available on our home page. If you would like us to
give you an estimate before beginning the work, please use the
"estimate" box on the mail order form.
Leather Furniture Problems
Q. I have
no idea whom to ask this, so I was hoping you could help me.
I have a leather sectional. Recently, the leather seat and cushions
began showing images - numbers or letters - coming through to
the top side of the leather. I don't know if this is caused by
something below the leather finish or if it is on the reverse
side of the skin. What can you tell me about this?
A. The tanner places a 'size'
stamp, indicating the square footage, on each skin. Typically,
this stamp is placed near the edge where it is easy for the manufacturer
to cut around. What you're seeing is bleed-through because the
skin was not marked correctly. Usually, the tanner's mark is
affixed with a paint/foil type stamp that remains on the leather
surface without soaking in. The furniture manufacturer should
not have used this skin. And the tanner should have used a type
of marking that would not soak into the leather. These are quality
control problems. You need to go back to where the furniture
Q. How can
I remove wrinkles from my leather jacket?
A. Unless the wrinkles are
a design feature, you can use a low-temperature dry hand iron.
Never use steam. Place brown paper between the iron and garment
and constantly move the iron to avoid the overheating the leather.
Too much heat will cause discoloration and damage to suedes and
Leather Dry Cleaning?
Q. Can I
have my suede jacket drycleaned?
A. No. Suedes and leathers
require special expertise for proper care. The best way to keep
your suede jacket looking like velvet is to brush it lightly
- and regularly. Suedes and leathers need to be reconditioned
periodically to ensure that suedes don't fade, and that surface
cracks don't develop on finished leathers due to dryness. Smooth
leathers in good condition can be re-conditioned at home with
Fine Leather Lotion manufactured for Arrow. You can find it at
www.ArrowLeathercare.com when you click on 'product'.
Q. How can
I protect or /store my leather jacket during the off-season?
A Leathers and suedes are subject
to mildew so be certain the leather is completely dry before
putting it away for the hot season. The best storage is in a
breathable garment bag. This will protect your garmentagainst
dust and the leather will be able to breathe. Arrow sells a reasonably
priced garment bag in two lengths. Check the product category
Q. My nubuck
jacket has developed a shiny surface around the wrists and on
the elbows. Is there anything I can do at home to take the shine
A Nubuck has a nap and it
would seem that your jacket needs to have the nap raised. Without
having seen the jacket, it's difficult to know if home care is
the correct recommendation. Your jacket may need a good professional
cleaning. However, Arrow has an inexpensive kit available that
you can use to raise the nap on nubuck jackets - and shoes. Also,
the kit allows you to gently clean lightly soiled nubuck. You'll
find it at www.ArrowLeathercare.com/products - and the good news
is that you can use it for raising the nap on suede jackets,
Stains in Leather
Q. My leather
jacket is stained by (salad dressing, yellow mustard, blood,
urine, ink, wine, wine sauce, grease, perspiration). Can it be
A. Yes. In many cases, even
a badly stained leather or suede garment can be saved, but each
one can be different. There are many variables when you factor
in the cause of the stain with the different types of leather.
Most manufacturers recommend that leather garments be cleaned
by professional leather cleaning methods. This ensures that the
stain will be treated properly, and that the suppleness, color
and finish of the garment are maintained or restored. Arrow Leathercare
is an industry leader and trusted resource for the restoration
and care of leather wearables.
Q. I have
a new and expensive leather jacket and the manufacturer recommends
Arrow for cleaning it. I'm not ready to have it cleaned but I
would like to know what happens if I get caught in rain or snow
while wearing it.
A. Because you're reading
this while online, please go to the "Products" page for Arrow
Leathercare. We sell
a wonderful product for leather jackets to repel water stains.
It's called Staingard WaterRepel and a 5.5 oz. can probably
will be sufficient for two applications. We recommend that you
re-apply the product every couple of months.
Adhesive Badge Residue
Q. I recently
went to a party wearing my Ralph Lauren leather coat, and before
I knew it, I was wearing an adhesive-backed name badge. When
I tried to remove it, that area of my coat lost its finish and
I'm really upset. Can you help?
A. This is a problem that
we see frequently. We can help you! Send the garment to us and
we will remove the adhesive and lightly refinish the blemished
area. Worst case, if the leather was severely damaged when the
label was peeled off, we could replace the entire damaged panel.
can request shipping materials be sent to you or you can
download a pre-paid shipping label by following the instructions.
or fill out the form and "submit to Arrow". Be sure
to pack a separate note inside your garment with your name, address
and telephone number. Tell us if you want an estimate and we
will (a) mail it or (b) call you. We won't do anything until
you have authorized the work. The usual turnaround time, including
shipping, is 2 to 3 weeks
Paint on Leather
Q. Can you
remove paint spilled on my leather jacket?
A. There are many variables
in removing paint from a leather garment; for example, is it
grain leather, nubuck or suede? Is the paint oil based, or water
based? We have had quite a bit of experience with paint on leather
and we have developed many different methods for paint removal.
But our success on your particular garment will depend on what
type and how much or how heavy the paint is and on what type
of skin. When you send in your garment, please enclose a note
telling us what type of paint, if you know, and ask that we call
you with an estimate of cost, and our opinion as to how successful
we feel we will be with your garment before we do the work.
Mixed Leather and Fur/Mixed Textile and Fur
Q: I have
a white rabbit and acrylic knit sweater jacket that I would like
to send for cleaning, the care instructions say, "Do not
wash. Do not dry-clean. Clean by specialist method only."
Do you foresee any problems with cleaning it?
A. Your garment is a specialty
item and we can clean it except, we could run into some
limitations. The white rabbit and the white knit, cleaned together,
means that one of the components (probably the white knit) will
not be cleaned by the method that will offer the best possible
results. The manufacturers cleaning instructions mean that the
only safe method of cleaning this jacket would be the furrier
cleaning method. That means the fur part of your jacket will
be cleaned beautifully. The white acrylic knit portion, which
would be best cleaned by washing, will not be cleaned very well
because the furrier process does not provide for it. Dry-cleaning
might be an option, but it is possible that either the rabbit
or the knit would be ruined or changed to some degree because
they really need different cleaning methods. Your jacket could
be taken apart entirely and then reassembled, but in our opinion,
the cost to you to do this, versus the cost of the jacket, could
not be justified.
"Crocking" (Dye Problems)
Q. I own
a local leather shop, and a few of my new jackets have a "crocking
problem" that I believe was caused in the manufacturing
process. What can I use to stop this?
A. There is no satisfactory
product available in the consumer marketplace to stop crocking.
"Crocking" can be caused by one of two different processes.
One is a shedding or linting that results after the leather is
sueded. The other results from excess dyestuffs that can become
a problem with either suede or grain leather. Each of these problems
requires a different solution and process, and Arrow's technical
staff must evaluate the garment to determine how to stop the
crocking without altering the look or feel of the garments. Recently,
when a large New York retailer refused a shipment from a major
manufacturer because some of the garments were exhibiting a crocking
problem, the manufacturer had them shipped to us at Arrow Leathercare.
We corrected the crocking, reshipped the garments and the retailer
accepted the shipment for the Thanksgiving retail rush.
A: Shearling outerwear is made
from tanned, sueded sheep or lamb skin with the fur (wool) worn
on the inside and the suede on the outside. The warmth of a shearling
garment is determined by the wool underfur, even if the longer
outer hairs (also known as guard hairs) are shorn (cut off).
Q: Are shearling
garments made by machine or by hand?
A: Shearling construction involves:
hand selecting pelts, matching pelts for weight, color and suppleness,
hand cutting, assembling the pieces and guiding the sewing machines
by hand when seaming.
Q: How should
I care for my shearling?
A: Have it cleaned, conditioned
and glazed at least once a year, regardless of usage, just as
you would a fine fur coat. The process restores natural oils
and prevents drying and cracking. We recommend vault storage
to prevent humidity damage during hot summer months.
rain, sleet or snow damage a shearling coat or jacket?
A: Accumulated moisture or
light wetness should be shaken from the garment surface. Then
hang the garment to dry away from direct heat but in a
well-ventilated area. Ifyou're caught in a torrential downpour
or heavy snowfall, consider having the garment reconditioned
by a professional leather cleaner such as Arrow Leathercare.
Q. How much
do you charge to clean a jacket?
A. The minimum amount for
a plain leather jacket is $66.45 including return shipping to
you and $500.00 of insurance coverage.
Q. Do you
give estimates for cleaning and repairs?
A. Yes but, first,
we must see the garment. Once we have estimated what needs to
be done, we will call you or send a postcard. We will not do
anything with your garment until you authorize the work.
Simplified Leather Care Pricing Guide (pdf format)
is considered a "designer" garment?
A. These are expensive garments
valued at retail from $500 and up. They require special handling
because of their decorations, coloration or because of the type
of leather. If you have questions about your garment, we suggest
you call or write to us.
Q. Do I
have to ship my garment all the way to Kansas City?
A. Yes. If you decline to
have work done after you receive our estimate, you are responsible
for only the return shipping charges.
Q. How can
I get the garment to you?
A. Go to the Arrow shipping options page. You will see
several different options for shipping.
is the usual turnaround time?
A. Generally, you can plan
for 2-3 weeks, not including the shipping time. If you request
an estimate, it will include the approximate turnaround time
and the cost.
Q. Why does
the process take so long?
A. It depends on the condition
of your garment and what you authorize us to do. To return your
garment to peak condition may require many different processes.
For example, heavy soil or staining, worn finish (elbow, wrist,
collar), peeling finish or repairs (such as replacing a leather
panel), are time consuming. If we do color restoration, the garment
requires additional drying and finishing time. If we must repair
or remove and replace the garment's lining, we require additional
time. The application of WaterRepel is another step that requires
additional drying time before pressing.
Q. Do you
A. Yes. Once we understand
what needs to be done, we will provide an estimate by telephone
or by mail.
types of repairs will you do?
A. With your repair authorization,
we will replace and color match leather panels, garment linings
and closures such as buttons, hooks, snaps, zippers and Velcro®.
We will repair or replace torn pockets and worn collars and cuffs,
replace knit trim, shorten sleeves and hems.
Q. My nubuck
jacket looks pretty crummy. Is there anything I can do at home
to improve its looks?
A. If you'll go to our Arrow
Leathercare Products page, you'll find Arrow's Suede and
Nubuck Cleaner kit and directions on how to order and use it.
We think you'll be pleased with the improvement until you can
send us the jacket for cleaning. The kit also works for suede
and nubuck shoes. Another awesome product is our shoe and boot
cream. You may want to order both products.
Q. Do you
sell anything to condition the finish of leather furniture?
A. At our online Products page, you'll find our Soft Touch cleaner
and conditioner for leather furniture. It will restore softness
and luster to undamaged leather furniture. It does not restore
color or improve excessive wear because this requires professional
When the Web
Page Info isn't Sufficient
Q. I have
a question for which I don't see an answer here. Is there a telephone
number where I could speak with a 'live person'? Or, where can
I send an email?
A. We are happy to oblige.
Our toll-free telephone number is 1-800-542-7769 and our
office hours are 7AM to 5PM Central Time Zone - Monday through
Friday. Or you may send an email to: Customer
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