Have you noticed that your leather has turned black or very dark and you cannot figure out why or how it happened? This post will provide information and insights about the reasons behind this and the ways to prevent your leather jacket from turning dark.
Several reasons can lead to leather becoming black or dark when it wasn't intended:
- Water with hard minerals can react with leather tannins and turn them black.
- Leather can become black due to dirt and mold growth.
- It is possible for metal (zippers, studs, buttons) to react with leather and turn it black.
- The transference of colors or dyes.
- Leather can become black if it is treated with body oils.
How do you keep leather from darkening?
As mentioned above, hard water can cause a serious wreck when it comes to a leather jacket. In addition to hard water minerals, leather cleaners can also build up soap residue when used on leather. With time, it begins to clog the pores of the leather causing a reaction that can often lead to the leather turning black. So in order to avoid this situation, avoid using hard water while cleaning your leather jacket.
Moreover, mold is a common element that affects natural leather. Storing leather in a damp place can promote mold growth. If you encounter such circumstances, using aerosol sprays will help protect your leather items from moisture. Also, putting a layer of wax over the surface of your leather can help keep mold away.
Leather goods that come with metal hardware such as zippers, rivets, eyelets, press studs, etc. are more vulnerable when it comes to darkening. Using plastic hardware for leather goods is a smart way to avoid this. Also, wood makes a great alternative to metal, so the leather does not come into contact with metal.
How can I soften leather without darkening it?
Leather that has been collecting dust and grime for quite a while can be transformed in several ways. Although it may take a few days for the full effect to appear, you will most certainly be able to restore smoothness and flexibility to that item.
It is best to use natural oils to soften leather if you are new to this and don't know much about leather or the best leather products. For softening leather items, use avocado, jojoba, or coconut oils. More importantly, you shouldn't wait for your jacket to turn black. Natural oils should be applied to leather each time after it has been exposed to the sun. This is particularly important in the summer. Allow the materials to breathe for 10 minutes to allow the pores to open.
- The above natural oils can be prepared in any way you like. But remember that you should use a non-chemically hydrogenated vegetable or corn oil to restore the natural moisture of leather.
- Your leather item can be treated with oil using a finger or a brush. Apply multiple layers of oil to get the best outcome. Allow the leather to dry after applying the oil before you can wear it again.
- You can repeat the process as many times as you need depending on our leather condition. Check to see if the oil has been applied evenly to avoid uneven hues.
You should test the oil on an inconspicuous area first if you are unsure of its effects on leather. It is recommended to massage in small amounts at first. If it discolors the leather, then don't use it anymore.
How do you treat leather discoloration?
Darkened leather can be hard to treat, especially when you are not a pro. In order to be able to fix it, you must figure out the cause behind it. The darkening can occur whenever oils or leather cleaner/conditioner begin to clog the pores of the leather. Another reason could be too much moisture.
As far as the cure is concerned, you can accomplish this by preserving it with a leather conditioner and doing frequent spot cleanings before it has a chance to darken. If not applied properly, the conditioner may discolor leather due to its oily nature. As a result, it is always critical to test leather cleaners in an inconspicuous location before applying them.
The situation is much worse when you are dealing with lighter-colored leather. So you must be more careful or simply reach out to a professional. If you're eager, some sunlight could do the trick. Hang your leather in the sun for a short period of time. Some of the leather conditioners contain UV repelling properties useful for any leather intended to face significant time under the sun.
On a concluding note, eventually, you would have to embrace the fact that your leather will darken over time even if you stick to the best practices of leather care so never compromise on the quality of leather. Natural, high-quality leather will look as good as new for a long time.