HL chatted to Gerhard van Deventer, CEO of Incanda Furniture about how best to maintain your leather furniture. Is there a tried and tested method for caring for leather furniture or are there different ways to care for specific leather items? The type of leather can influence the treatment. Leathers with a suede finish or with no protective top coatings can be challenging, as they will absorb any fluid. However, more than 90% of all leathers already have protective top coatings and can first be cleaned with a damp cloth and then fed with any of the leather care products on the market. I prefer something with a beeswax base, as it will last a bit longer and not change the colour of the leather. What should you do when you start seeing cracks in a leather sofa? Are there any quick fixes? Nothing! If it’s good, full-grain leather it should not become too serious and will just add a bit of character. If it is poor quality, corrected grain or split leather, it will probably deteriorate very quickly and there is really nothing you can do to fix the situation. What should you do if you spill liquids on leather furniture? Immediately wipe it off with a wet cloth – 90% of all liquids will come off easily, but something like pen ink might be more problematic and could require specialist intervention. Does the positioning of leather furniture affect its longevity? For example, will leather be affected by direct sunlight? Yes, leather will fade over time, just as any other fabric. If you have to put it in direct sunlight, a way to mitigate the effect is to rotate the different pieces from time to time. It’s important to apply leather food regularly on the affected areas, and while it will not necessarily reduce fading, it will keep the leather supple. Good quality, full-grain leather is unbelievably strong and will last for many years in direct sunlight. The problem lies with processed leathers (especially heavily coated leathers), which can start to perish after only a few years. Is there any way to breathe life into badly worn leather furniture? Just like your car that needs to be serviced from time to time, your leather furniture will also need a good cleaning and application of leather food, re-dyeing of faded areas, re-stuffing of cushions, repairing of loose stitches, etc. This can be done quickly and will not set you back financially. The end result is normally very pleasing. For more information about Incanda’s leather products, visit incanda.co.za.