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Don’t go tearing your hair out …

If you have a question about or a problem with leather, the chances are somebody else has asked it before. This page is full of the common sorts of questions we have received, so have a look at them and see if they help!


Q: The shoes got wet, and now there are green/blue marks on them that I can’t remove. I don’t know what to do.

A: They don’t say what colour they were originally, but I would suggest that the stains are a component of the dye that has migrated, or mould.

Q: (Furniture) ink marks don’t come off/How can I remove blue ballpoint pen from a cream leather suite?

A: I am sorry to hear you have a problem with ink marks on your leather furniture. Ball-point pen ink is readily soluble in the polymer finish applied to the surface of upholstery leather and therefore is quickly absorbed into the surface making it difficult to remove. There are products on the market designed to remove ink marks; they usually look like a tube of lipstick that you apply, leave for a short while and then wipe off again. However, they are only fully effective if treated soon after contamination; the longer you leave the ink the harder it will be to remove. You may be able to purchase one of these ink cleaners from the shop where you bought the furniture.

Q: Black stains are coming off the leather and therefore marking my clothes! What can I do?

A: It sounds as though the dye or finish is not fast, in which case take it back to the shop where you bought it. Or, you have cleaned the furniture with something that has damaged the finish.


Q: My denim jeans have left a colour stain on my cream leather sofa – what can I do about this?

A: Colour staining is an increasingly common problem as light coloured leather furniture becomes more popular and dye transfers from one material to another.  This can be avoied by using a leather care product to protect the leather before use or after cleaning.  For further information contact  Some retailers may provide leather protector at point of sale or apply it prior to sale.

Q:  How can I protect my white leather car interior from stains and scuffing?

A:  use of a leather protector such as Eurofins | BLC Leather Dyeguard, either before the leather becomes soiled or after cleaning prevents colour staining from materials like denim or newsprint and also significantly reduces wear and tear on leather bolsters, seams, stitching and entry/exit points in the vehicle. For further information contact


Q: I bought this cotton jacket in the USA that has a brown leather collar which I believe may be Nubuck but I am not really sure, it is very soft. I have cleaned it with suede cleaner and it has gone a much lighter and washed out colour and does not look very nice.

A: It sounds like the dye in the collar is not fast towards the cleaning product you have used. Ideally, the garment should have a care label which gives advice on how to clean it appropriately and those instructions followed. If a problem occurs after following the instructions given then the instructions would have to be considered incorrect for that product giving you good reason for complaint. If the garment does not have a care label then again, I think you have good reason for complaint. It is usually recommended that garment leathers are dry cleaned at a specialist cleaners. I hope this is of some use.

Q: Someone stuck a sticker on my suede shoes and after removal some stickiness has remained in the suede and will not come out leaving a dark spot as some dirt has stuck to the stickiness. Please help with a remedy!

A: Try dabbing it off with drycleaning fluid which you can get at good hardware stores. Try in an inconspicuous place first to ensure the dye is not removed.

Q: I have had this furniture for a few months and I went to dust it off soon after I had purchased it, using a leather cleaner/conditioner wipe, and the colour of the leather came off with the wipe. Is this normal? I do know my furniture is not nubuck if that will help. The store I purchased it from gave me no instructions on the care. Also he showed me a swatch of the leather before I purchased the couch and chair and I told him I needed a leather that did not scratch because I have a six year old. The swatch did not scratch but the furniture does badly.

A: If you bought the cleaner and conditioner at the same place as the furniture and the shop recommended its use on your furniture, then you have a legitimate complaint as it would appear that there is clearly an incompatablity between the care products used and the finish on the leather. If you do not get anywhere, then I suggest you go to your local trading standards officer. We would be happy to provide an independent report if you need one.

Q: Black leather coat – seems to have lost colour in patches. Wanted to know if this can be treated in any way?

A: If the coat is relatively new I should take it back to the shop. Alternatively take it to a reputable cleaner who offer a refurbishment service, ie Johnson Cleaners UK.

Q: This is a brown, semi-aniline, suite (sofa and one chair) delivered new 7 days ago. Unlike the specimen on the shop display which was immaculate, our new suite seems to be covered in large areas by a dusty bloom which is particularly noticeable when sunlight falls on the suite. The store salesman suggested we tried lightly rubbing a small area with a damp cloth, this did nothing to the problem but left a distinct brown stain on the cloth. We are extremely disappointed with the quality of this item and are expecting a visit from the manufacturer’s representative shortly.

A: It sounds like either a fatty acid spue, which is a bit like the bloom you get on chocolates sometimes or the finish is breaking up, in which case you should complain.

Q: Leather (aniline) furniture purchased 12 months ago from a leading retailer. We have followed the manufacturers instructions and used soft soap to clean. The leather looks very tired and dry and as if in need of a ‘feed/cream’, however we cannot apply this as our furniture is covered by a ‘protection policy’. In addition we were told when we purchased the product that any scratches would simply disappear with gentle heat and a circular rubbing motion with a soft cloth. This is not the case and we have found that even the very lightest marks do not ‘disappear’. We are extremely disappointed with this product.

A: From what you describe, this sounds like a waxy finished leather in which case soap is probably not the best treatment. A very slightly damp cloth with plain water is best.


Q: My jacket has been ruined by the dry cleaner – what can I do?

A: Companies such as Eurofins | BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd can provide an independent assessment to determine if the cleaner is at fault or the garment manufacturer.

Q: A pair of my wife’s beige brown soft leather trousers went to the dry cleaners but come back with a very strong smell of chemicals & parts of the trousers had become darker. Can you provide me with contact details of reputable companies that clean delicate leather garments in the UK ?

A:Johnson Cleaners (UK) can provide you with the service you require.


Q: We are a distributor of leather items, and recently were asked to declare the Latin names of the animals from which the skins and hides originate. Do you know what the commonly used Latin names are and where I could get further information from?

European Breeds Bos taurus
Tropical Breeds (humped) Bos indicus

There are a number of cattle breeds which exist that are hybrids of Bos taurus and Bos indicus. Examples of them would include the Sanga type cattle from Africa which developed naturally hundreds of years ago and the synthetic breeds developed in the 1900’s by crossing.

Other Domestic Livestock:
Domestic Sheep Ovis aries
Domestic Goat Capra hircus
Domestic Swine Sus scrofa

Other Species
Domestic buffalo Babalus babalus

For more information visit


Q: Can I call on an expert to sort my leather problem?

A: There are professional cleaners with experience in cleaning leather and there are craftsmen who can repair or renovate leather products for you. See our products or links page for contact details.

Q: Can I make my old leather suite/jacket smell like new?

A: There are a few products available, including a “leather aroma disk”.

Q: I was told by a shop not to hang my leather jacket in a wardrobe as it needs to breathe, is this true?

A: it is ok to hang in a wardrobe so long as there is some movement of air ie ventilation holes somewhere. Do not hang in a polythene cover.

Q: How do I protect my suede shoes?

A: You can buy recommended spray to offer more protection against staining but this may alter the colour of the suede. When applying recommended sprays always pay attention to the instructions and test on an inconspicuous area first.

Q: My leather sofa does not look the same colour as in the shop Why?

A: Leather is a natural product and because of this there will be some shade variation

Q: Where can I buy some leather to re-cover my chairs?

A: It is very difficult to purchase small amounts of leather from major suppliers since they usually deal in bulk orders only. Smaller suppliers and distributors of leathers can be found through contact with BLC in Northampton – use the enquiry form to request a list.

Q: How do I go about re-finishing my furniture?

A: Contact a company who specialise in refurbishment of leather upholstery ie LeatherCare Master or Perfect Leather Solutions.

Q: My leather sofa is around 20 years old but seems to be getting very dry and cracks are developing. The manufacturers care products seem to put a skin on it. To me it needs something to soak into the leather but the manufacturers don’t recommend this on their label.

A: In all fairness the item has probably reached the end of its useful life after 20yrs.

Q: How can I tell if the leather is pigskin?

A: You need a microscope to do this, look for hair follicles that go right through the leather.

Q: What sort of characteristics does leather have?

A: visit our leather section

Q: The sides of seats show signs of creasing and almost flaking due to constant use i.e. getting in and out vehicle. What can I do to prevent it getting worse?

A: Assuming the car is not very old, take it back and complain.

Q: The handbag is brand new and it has mildew all over it. How does this happen, is it typical and what can I do to remove it and prevent it from happening in the future?

A: Prevent by storing in a cool, dry, airy place. Do not store in polythene. Wipe existing mould off with wool dampened in wettol solution.

Q: Although happy with the leather and style of furniture, after a period of time I have thought that a darker colour would be preferable. Is it possible to dye the leather sofa’s that are currently tan to a chocolate brown?

A: Contact a company who specialise in refurbishment of leather upholstery ie LeatherCare Master or Perfect Leather Solutions.

Q: Rubbing alcohol was spilled on the leather furniture. How can I have the leather restored without paying a fortune?

A: Contact a company who specialise in refurbishment of leather upholstery ie LeatherCare Master or Perfect Leather Solutions.

Q: Will it crack and dry out?

A: It should not if it has been made to standard and cared for properly.

Q: Is leather hot in the summer and cold in the winter?

A: No.

Q: With modern technology is ‘hide food’ now redundant?

A: Yes.

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