Why Does Leather Peel? (All Answers Revealed)

Leather in general needs care and love. This is usually in the form of maintenance being cleaning and conditioning straight away.

Here Is The Reason Why Leather Peels:

Leather will peel if not maintained at the start or over time. Leather cracks and peels when it is very dry or in contact with the sun. This can also be chemicals in some leather treatments too.

In this article we are going to discuss:

Everything you need to know about why leather peels, and how to fix it up.

All answers revealed for you below

Why Does Leather Peel?

Leather will peel if you have not adequately cared for it, causing it to dry out.

You need to moisturize leather on a regular basis, such as with a leather conditioner, to keep it soft and prevent cracking.

If leather starts to crack, bits will begin to peel off and completely ruin the look of the couch, or other leather item.

Peeling can also occur if you use the wrong cleaning products on leather.

Using products with harsh ingredients, such as chemicals or solvents, is bad for leather because the material is so delicate and easy to damage.

Harsh products can cause leather to fade, dry out, crack, and peel.

If you notice your leather becoming damaged and starting to peel very easily, it likely has to do with the quality of the product.

Fake leathers are more likely to crack and peel because they are made of plastic, but some real leathers are less resistant than others. If you buy a leather product for a super low price then that says something about the quality of it.

You may also cause leather to peel by yourself if you don’t treat it as carefully as you should.

For example, sitting on a leather couch with your shoes still on will make the fabric dirty and cause the soles to dig in and crack the leather, just like how throwing a leather bag into the back of a closet will prevent it from getting the ventilation that it needs and damage it.

You need to treat leather with delicacy because even though the material is durable and high-quality, it can still be damaged if mishandled.

Is It Normal For Leather To Peel?

If it is properly cared for, leather shouldn’t peel. It isn’t normal for leather to just begin peeling unless you haven’t been looking after the item properly, or if some other damage has happened to it.

Real leather is animal skin, so it is thick and resistant, but if even the smallest amount of peeling occurs, that can quickly widen until a large part of the leather is gone.

It is more typical for leather to peel if it is designed to be softer and more delicate, like a couch, for example.

When compared with a sturdy, hard leather product, such as a pair of shoes, a leather couch is much easier to cause accidental damage to, especially since it is constantly exposed to contact and sunlight coming in through windows.

That is why you need to perform regular maintenance on leather products in your home to keep them looking and feeling as good as possible, which is the easiest way to prevent peeling.

How Do You Fix Peeling Leather?

If the leather has only just started to peel, you should be able to save it.

Start by gently softening the loose bits that are peeling with a brush or cloth soaked in soap and warm water because those can’t be repaired, then dry off the leather completely.

Scrape off those loose edges with a bit of sandpaper, taking care not to scratch any of the intact leather on the rest of the product.

You can buy leather fillers that fill in depressions in the material if peeling has caused a dip to form.

This will make the peeling section of the leather the same height as the rest of it and should be properly smoothed down so that it is even.

If a second coat is needed then proceed, before leaving the filler to dry. Leather fillers can often be found in leather repair kits, which contain everything you need to restore a damaged item.

Then, use a leather dye that exactly matches the color of the leather you are restoring and spray a few coats over the damaged area.

Take a break between each coat because it needs to dry before you can add more dye.

Any remaining roughness that you didn’t catch from removing the peeling edges the first time can be scratched off between each coat of dye to keep the surface of the leather smooth.

Finally, apply a leather conditioner to the area once it has completely dried. It is a good idea to take the opportunity to condition all of the leather item because caring for your leather is the best way to prevent any future peeling.

You should be able to use this process of softening, scraping, filling, dyeing, and conditioning for any leather product, but it is always best to read the manufacturer’s instructions for the item depending on what it is that you are trying to repair.

A trick for tiny amounts of peeling leather is to remove the loose bits of material and then go over the area with a clear nail polish to harden the leather back up and stop the edges peeling any further.

Then, you can rub a small amount of leather recoloring balm to the area, or use a leather spray dye.

Though, this method is better for fake leathers than real leathers because a real leather should be treated a lot more carefully, even if the peeling is very minor, to prevent the harsh ingredients of the nail polish causing other damage.

Does Real Leather Peel or Flake?

It is a lot more likely for fake leather to peel and flake because the quality is a lot lower than that of real leather, but real leather can end up peeling or flaking if it is not properly cared for.

Putting real leather through too much trauma will cause bits to become flaky, which can lead to whole strips of material peeling away, so you want to protect real leather items as much as you can from water damage, excessive sunlight, harsh physical contact, and mistreatment during cleaning.

You are also more likely to notice a leather product peeling or flaking if it is made of bonded leather. This is a mix of real leather and fake leather, put together from the scraps left over during production.

Because it is meshed together, bonded leather is not as durable as a 100% genuine leather, and the lack of solidity in the surface of the material can weaken it and cause it to peel much more easily.

How Do You Stop Fake Leather From Peeling?

Peeling is more common with fake leather than real leather because fake leather is made out of a plastic that has been treated with wax and dye.

However, as it is not a genuine animal skin, fake leather can actually be easier when you’re looking for ways to prevent peeling because products with chemicals won’t damage it.

To prevent fake leather from peeling, you can regularly use an oil to keep the fabric moisturized and breathable.

This is cheaper than buying a leather conditioner because you can use everyday household oils like olive oil or baby oil, though a leather conditioner will also work on a fake leather product.

If you have something like a fake leather jacket or fake leather shoes, ensure that they are kept in a well-ventilated space and always aired out if they get wet.

Here is a good article on Faux Leather and Peeling.

How Do You Restore A Leather Couch That Is Peeling?

When it comes to leather products peeling, couches are some of the most common victims.

This is because the material is softer, used pretty much every day, and larger, which makes the damage more visible.

If your leather couch is suffering from minor peeling, applying a leather recoloring balm as a quick way to disguise the issue.

But when there is no way to disguise a level of peeling, you need to set about restoring all the damage to your leather couch.

You’ll need to scrub off the loose edges that can’t be saved, fill in any depressions in the surface with a leather filler, recolor the peeled areas with a dye that matches your couch, and then apply a leather conditioner to soften the leather again.

After that, try to be very careful with your couch.

If you notice that sunlight is constantly shining from one window onto it, close the curtains or blinds.

And protect it by trying not to overly crease the leather when you sit on it, as well as never putting heavy or rough objects on the couch.

How Do You Prevent Leather From Peeling?

To prevent leather from peeling, regularly condition it to stop it from drying out and becoming cracked.

Just as you moisturize your face to keep your skin from becoming dry and flaky, you must moisturize leather.

Only ever use recommended products when cleaning and maintaining leather items because adverse products will cause even more damage.

If you notice any dirt or other debris on leather, wipe it off.

Do the same for any liquid spillages or other excessive moistures as well, otherwise they will be absorbed into the leather and cause it to become more vulnerable.

You should also avoid leaving leather objects in the path of direct sunlight because that is one of the easiest ways to cause it to dry out.

Most importantly, keep a close eye on your leather.

One of the good things about peeling leather is that it is really easy to spot, even when it is very minor, so you can treat it before it peels further.

Catching even slight flakes of leather early on makes treating the problem so much easier than if the problem has been allowed to worsen.

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