Wednesday, 9 August 2017

“Mould (Mold) Remediation” -





Stachybotrys Chartarum [: fungi that grow in the form of multi- cellular filaments, called hyphae] 

[Many moulds can begin growing at 4 °C (39 °F), the temperature within a typical refrigerator, or less. When conditions do not enable growth, moulds may remain alive in a dormant state depending on the species, within a large range of temperatures before they die. The many different mould species vary enormously in their tolerance to temperature and humidity extremes. Certain moulds can survive harsh conditions such as the snow-covered soils of Antarctica, refrigeration, highly acidic solvents, and even petroleum products such as jet fuel. Xerophilic moulds use the humidity in the air as their only water source; other moulds need more moisture. Mould has a musty odor.] 

Mould in vehicle interiors is, unfortunately, more common than you would imagine. Although car manufacturers do their best to keep water and even moisture from getting into your vehicle, over time, seals wear out and eventually will start to allow water ingress, or something as simple as forgetting to roll up your windows or closing the sunroof during a rain storm
Without identifying and eliminating the source of the mould you can't get rid of it, there are many 

Counteractant type products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove, clean and thoroughly dry the whole area; carpets, and any padding or under-carpet materials, upholstery (inc. foam and etc.) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan (don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter).  

There are hundreds of thousands of types of mould, but only about ten types cause health problems, commonly sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions, as well as allergies. I would strongly recommend you wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) safety glasses, respirators; etc. inhalation of mould could be very detrimental to your health and can cause an allergic reaction

There are many Counteractants products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove and clean and disinfect the whole area; carpets, upholstery (including the upholstery foam and etc.) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan. Don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter.
Remove the seats and thoroughly clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner and a disinfectant. Then let it air dry, or use a heater to ensure that they are completely dry. To neutralize mould use 10:1 Distiller water / (non-chlorine) bleach solution, use a syringe to inject the solution into seating foam, you may need to remove and replace the carpet padding.

Test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not remove the dye. Some carpet cleaning solutions also contain a fungicide

Chlorine Bleach - bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a hard, non-porous surface. This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to permeate a surface (soak in). Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. The basic problem is that to ensure survival, mould spores spread its Mycelia (roots) deep into a porous surface. Mould remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into porous materials to remove its Mycelia. The properties of bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mould appears to be gone but bleach will only remove the green stain by bleaching it, and the internal mould and its Mycelia remains to grow back.

OSHA and the EPA have specifically advised against the use of bleach for mold remediation.

Bactoshield- is an all in one safe antimicrobial dry cleaner, stain blocker and deodorizer for carpets - http://www.4-c.co.uk/carpet-cleaning.html

Sporicidin® Enzyme Mold Stain Cleaner - concentrate is a blend of enzymes in a low foaming solution formulated to loosen and remove dried debris, protein, blood and mucin deposits. It effectively cleans both natural and synthetic fibres that have been soiled with organic and inorganic debris. Ideal for use as a pre-cleaner for mould remediation, and restoration applications

Clean the material using a steam extractor’s upholstery attachment, this will eliminate the bacteria that create mildew, ensure the carpets and upholstery is thoroughly dry before you re-install.

Microban Mildew & Mold Remover - an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys mould, mildew, and other bacterial odours on contact, when you cannot use chlorine The formula is a water-based, non-flammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and anti-microbial, all in one unique formulation
It eliminates the spores instantly and has a long-lasting, residual effect. It may be sprayed by hand on any surface or injected into carpet and upholstery padding with our hypodermic syringe. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved for both spray and fogging applications (cannot be shipped to CA)

Leather Upholstery – Leather Master’s Mold Remover (N-Nubuck / Alcantara®) (A-Aniline / Non-Coated) (P-Protected / Coated) you may notice dark or white blotches where two areas of the leather touch or areas not used.

If the contamination is not removed, the fungus will dissolve the leather, forming small pits. Just like mould and mildew contamination in other areas, you cannot wash or shampoo it away. This only makes the problem worse. The fungus is caused by living organisms that must be killed before the leather is cleaned. This product is effective in most forms of bacterial or fungus growth.

Carpets, Mats and Fabric and Vinyl covered upholstery Microban Mildew & Mold Remover is an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys mould, mildew, and other bacterial odours on contact. When you cannot use chlorine, Microban is a very effective solution. The formula is a water-based, nonflammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and antimicrobial, all in one formulation
Application - do not dilute, use full strength, apply via sprayer to porous surfaces until moist, no not over wet, brush into carpeting, allow to dry 10-20 minutes. Due to VOC Regulations Microban cannot ship to California

The presence of bacteria and mould in vehicle interiors
Dr. Charles P. Gerba and Sheri L. Maxwell set out to test the presence of bacteria and mould in vehicle interiors. There were 100 vehicles involved in the test in the states of Illinois, Arizona, Florida, California and Washington, D.C., to provide a good cross-section of climatic conditions across the country. The following lists some of the results of their testing’s. “Testing for bacteria and Mold” by Dr. Charles P Gerba and Sheri L Maxwell (Professional Car washing & Detailing – July 2009)

Most germs present:
1. Radio knob
1. Seat belt
2. Window opener
3. Steering wheel
4. Car seat
Places with most Staphylococcus. aureus (most common form of Staph infections:
1. Steering wheel
2. Seat belt
3. Cup holder
4. Dash board
5. Window opener
Most mould spores:
1. Cup holder
2. Food spills
3. Change holder
4. Dash board
 5. Steering wheel
Cities with the most bacteria in vehicles (from a select sample):
1. Tucson, AZ
2. Oakland/Pleasanton, CA
3. Chicago
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Tampa, FL

Information resources:
1. Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation, published by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) also contains valuable information
2. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides free brochures to anyone who asks.
3. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a few other organizations can be considered unbiased and reliable sources.
4. The National Institute of Safety & Health (NIOSH) is also an excellent source of unbiased information.

Protect yourself, work safe. Respiratory Protection; mould spores represent a health hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress so wear Respiratory Protection. Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress. As in all things, allow common sense to prevail and proceed with due caution

Professional detailers – as your you’re dealing with health-related issues, bear in mind that we are living in a litigious society, so document the process / procedures used on this type of remediation.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

“Five Tips to Branding Yourself” -


Career Development  

We’ve all been taught that a firm handshake, professional attire, and sound credentials are the makings for a good first impression.

Today, that’s no longer enough.

The advent of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have enabled anyone and everyone to become known; connect in almost real time directly with clients, colleagues and friends; and build relationships across the globe. Now, making an unforgettable first impression in-person is no longer the only way to establish your brand. Yes, your brand.

While you may not be Nike or Disney, who you are and how you come across are really important to being successful. Our personal brands are in the spotlight everyday for everyone to see online. Are you putting your best foot forward? Maybe it’s time for some personal branding.

If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and the outcome might not be so favorable. Branding yourself keeps you current in your field, opens doors for you, and creates a lasting impression on potential and existing clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over the initial perception people have of you.

“What is it that you want to be known for? Personal branding is how we define ourselves in the work space while also incorporating the personal elements that make us who we are,” according to Dawn Rasmussen, president of the Portland, Oregon-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services.

What Makes You, You
A successful brand can go a long way with self-promotion, conveying loyalty, and offering consistency in the quality of the services you provide.

#1: Define your brand and become an expert.
Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Use words such as collaborative, resourceful, flexible, forward-thinking, connected, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine and/or accessible to describe your persona, culture, and outlook. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that's irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time.

For example, if you know corporate tax accounting, it's probably not wise to brand yourself as a personal financial expert. Yet, remember that people want to hear about the professional you, but they also want to understand your personality. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into the conversation.

#2: Establish a presence.
You’re being Googled by friends, colleagues, and potential customers, so make sure your branded content is what people find when they Google your name. One way to do this is to build a basic online presence through your own website or blog.

For example, you can purchase your full name as a domain name (yourfullname.com). By developing either a static website or a blog under your domain name, you will own the first result for your name in Google and other search engines. This should be a separate site than your company's website. After purchasing your domain name, add your picture, a bio, your email address, and links to the rest of your presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). This way, people can get in touch with you in their medium of choice. Claim your name before someone else does. While search engines will pick up on your social media pages, having your own domain will produce a more finite result.

#3: Generate brand awareness through networking. You should be connecting with other young professionals in the accounting industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term.

#4: Remember the 3 C's of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. Be clear in who you are and are not. Don’t sugar-coat your qualifications. Express your brand across all communications mediums. Determine where you want to fit in (industry and niche area of expertise) and then remain visible to your target audience.

#5: Get feedback from those who know you best—at work, at home, anywhere. The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.

These days, branding the company you work for isn't enough. The world wants to hear what you have to say as a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen.

American Institute of Chartered Public Accountants (AICPA)

 https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/youngcpanetwork/resources/career/pages/fivetipstobrandingyourself.aspx

Monday, 7 August 2017

Leather pigment (Colour Dye) restoration


After years of use, automotive finished leather can become worn and tired looking, and can often make an otherwise pristine interior, look old and unappealing. The option of a replacement is both expensive and very often unnecessary, and can affect the originality of your vehicle.

Leather restoration helps you or your clients add value and prestige to their vehicle, wether it is a daily driver, a Concours d’élégance entrant or a classic car. When the time comes to resell the vehicle, one with damaged leather will realise much less than one with clean undamaged upholstery so clients use renovation for commercial as well as aesthetic reasons.

As tough and durable as finished leather can be it can still suffer from wear and tear problems which can be repaired at an affordable cost compared to renewal. Finished leather upholstery is often the most costly item to replace in a vehicle. Small scale damage can be fixed with a localised repair quickly and smoothly i.e. cuts and cracks, scuffs and scratches, fading, stains, and discoloration as well as general wear and tear

Kits are available that allows you to recolor worn and faded leather relatively easily. The colour coat provided is water- based material, colour matched, that is designed to be highly compatible with leather, and provides a long lasting finish

Ensure that the pigmentation manufacturers have continued to keep pace with advances in copolymer technology and uses only the finest, first-quality pigments Prior to the removal of seat covers or renovating the pigmentation it is advisable to apply Leather Master Soft Touch (ex Vital) liberally to surfaces and then allow it to sit for 20 – 30minutes, this will soften the covers making them more workable.

Photo Degradation

[: decomposition of a compound by radiant energy]

If the interior is subjected to extreme ultra violet (UV) radiation the pigmented urethane protection will begin to exhibit a common reaction, oxidation. This is the beginning of photo degradation; a common primary reaction is an oxidation. Some materials absorb UV radiation more readily than other materials. Materials that readily absorb (UV) radiation are quickly damaged; rubber, vinyl, gel coat fibreglass, and many other plastics.

When radiation is absorbed, it starts to break (cleave) weak chemical bonds, which leads to (oxidation) photochemical degradation (bleaching, fading, discoloration, chalking, brittleness and cracking) all indications of ultra violet deterioration. The bond cleavages resulting from UV absorption cause the formation of “radicals.” Each free radical can trigger a chain of reactions (in the presence of air), leading to more bond cleavages and destruction. These oxidizing chain reactions require no further UV exposure, just the presence of air

Urethane Surface Cracks

As the leather hide loses moisture, it begins to shrink and stiffen. This leaves a minuscule gap (delamination) between the leather hide and the pigmented (colour) urethane coating on top of it. The urethane coating is no longer supported by the hide; without proper support, it starts to crack.

Pigmentation suppliers – 
I've done extensive concourse leather restorations using Swissvax or Leather Masters products and I must say they are the best I have used compared to Zymol, Leatherequi et al

Swisswax Leather Healer Leather Dye - an easy-to-apply Leather refurbishing dye, it Is easy to apply and sets automatically and permanently, without leaving a heavy layer of pigments as often encountered with other leather tinting. The purpose of this product is to restore leather to its original colour and with a uniform matte finish, but without a "just been painted" appearance.

Apply after the thorough preparation of the leather surface; Swissvax dye sets automatically and permanently without leaving a heavy layer of pigment as it is often the case with another sprayed-on leather tinting. The leather fine and natural structure, as well as its typical original feel, are perfectly preserved.
Certain areas of your vehicles leather interior like seats, upholstery, side mouldings and steering wheels inevitably start to show signs of wear, even if well taken care of, that spoil its overall impression. Often these imperfections are not serious and are simply colour that has worn off or light scratches in the leather surface which can be removed and will disappear with the right application The Swissvax dye is easily applied with a small sponge and sets automatically and permanently. The leathers fine and natural structure as well as its typical original feel are perfectly preserved.  46 Standard Colours

Alternate Products
Refinish Coating - a two part system of premium coatings delivers OEM standards, using the highest-grade water-based coatings to give lasting durability, flexibility, and versatility

Leather Magic! ™ - colorants are water-based pigment restoration products used for re-colouring large areas or changing the colour of your leather completely

Leatherworld Technologies – water-based auto leather dye for most marques

Surface Preparation
A few days before commencing the actual leather renovation, clean the finished leather surfaces.  As a cleaning solution, I use a formula that is used by one of the major tanneries to clean their leather. Mix a solution of 3% detergents that contains a surfactant (P21S Total Auto Wash) 10% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and the balance distilled water. And then apply Leather Master Soft Touch (formally Vital) this is not a conditioner per se; it softens the finished leather and make it easier to remove the seat covers.

Like all detailing task’s the correct surface preparation prior to the application of the pigmentation (colour) will ensure that it adheres correctly, and has both durability and aesthetics. Use a safe degreaser to ensure any oil and grease free surface (Leather Masters™ Leather Degreaser) this aerosol product is ideal for cleaning as it dissolves the oils and transforms them into a powder that is more absorbent than the leather. This powder is what is wiped off, cleaning and degreasing the leather. Allow the white powder to dry fully. If the powder is drying to a yellow colour, it means that there are still a lot of oils in the leather.

And then use a safe solvent cleaner (Leather Magic DT-152 or Leather Master Color Prep & Cleaner)  these chemicals are formulated from several types of alcohol and milder based solvents and is used primarily to prepare the surface of leather for repair or pigmentation application. It will remove all dressings, protectants, waxes, and oils from the surface, but more importantly, it will strip off the top most layer of the finish, which cleans the surface so that it is receptive to the application of repair and colorant materials. This also creates a permanent bonding of the materials to the leather.

To ensure adhesion lightly sand areas to be re-coloured by using an abrasive (Scotchbrite 7447 - Maroon pad, General Purpose Hand - 320-400 grit) You’ll need to break down approximately 25µ (1 mil)  of the surface, this is important so the new leather dye can ‘key’ into the finished leather and look natural. Be consistent in how far you remove the pigmentation, it is not necessary to completely remove the pigmentation that is sitting on the leather surface. Remove dust with a tack rag or damp micro fibre towel.

The leather is correctly prepped when you start to see colour transfer from the leather onto the abrasive pad or towel. This indicates that the finish has been removed exposing the colour beneath.

Pigmentation (Colour) Renovation 
Certain areas of your vehicles leather interior like seats, upholstery, side mouldings and steering wheels inevitably start to show signs of wear, even if well taken care of, that spoil its overall impression. Often these imperfections are not serious and are simply colour that has worn off or light scratches in the leather surface which can be removed and will disappear with the right application technique and leather pigmentation. Swisswax Leather Refurbishing Pigmentation

Steering wheels typically have a matte clear coat to protect them from ultra violet (UV-B) light, so it’s important to replace this finish as it protects and enhances the leather and preserves its durability. Leather World Technologies Top Coat is a water-based clear coating for finished (pigmented) leather. This product provides a clear finish designed to give abrasion protection and better durability for finished leather.  

Allow the pigmentation to cure for 24 hours before the application of the clear coat. Apply with a clean lint free 100% cotton micro fibre towel, being careful to apply two thin uniform coats (allow each coat to thoroughly dry) to reduce build-up and streaks, allow to dry for 24 -36 hours; dependent upon temperature and humidity. This type of clear paint can be 'heat cured' with infra-red heat, a heat gun or a hair dryer

Finally, apply a surface a protection product Leather Masters Protection Cream with a dry micro fibre towel and allow to thoroughly dry and then lightly buff. This provides a Scotchgard™ type protection specifically formulated for leather

Note: the same methodology and products can be used on leather shift stick (gear knob) covers

Leather Stitching
If the stitching and finished leather surfaces are different colors try to avoid allowing any pigmentation to dry on the stitching; to remove wipe with a water-based solvent cleaner.

Leather stitching is usually cotton and nylon mix, nylon is attacked by harsh petroleum distillate solvents, they melt it and weaken the threads, which may cause the stitching to fail over time

Stitching is somewhat friable if subjected to excessive abrasion, bearing this in mind the cleaner needs to ‘do the work’ without relying on friction.
To renovate / clean stitching using a medium / hard horse hair brush, a toothbrush or a sponge and a safe solvent cleaner (DT-1105) this chemical is formulated from several types of alcohol and milder based solvents and it will remove all dressings, protectants, waxes, and oils from the surface. And then remove all traces of the solvent/alcohol with a foam cleaner Leather Master™ Foam Cleaner

Pigmentation (colour) Application

[: in the US pigmentation is called dye (although it’s a very different process for the application of a colorant]
 Ideal temperatures for application 70 – 75.0F with 30%-40% humidity, test the product on a small area for a colour match; it is normal that the newly applied pigmentation colour may appear more vibrant and translucent than the faded hue you have become accustomed to. If you’re satisfied with your test area, apply the product

Pour all the pigmentation into a suitable container so it can be stirred and mixed properly with a wide paint stirrer.  As some pigments are heavier than others and settle. If it is too thick, stir in a small quantity of distilled water to achieve workable consistency

 Wipe-on colour wash application - use a clean white cotton terry cloth, along with a small painting brush for small and difficult to reach areas By using the wipe on application technique you’ll be able to control the amount of pigmentation applied and don’t have to worry about overspray.

Should go without saying, use latex gloves or your hands will end up being ‘dyed’ with colorant

Using a small amount of the pigmentation,  apply to one area at a time and keep changing to a clean area of the towel, or use a fresh micro fibre towel. Being a detailer, I’m used to waxing in back-and-forth motions; however, the finish will streak with this method of application.
Thin coats (i.e. a diluted colour ‘wash’) are better than heavier applications and will produce a more natural, translucent finish. The first coat may not look great but once you have 2 or 3 coats on, then the colour will look more even. 

 Work it into the leather like you were applying a wood stain, hence the name ‘colour wash’. You use the cloth to spread the colorant around and actually work it into the leather without leaving a thick coating, since you’re working it in but not leaving much on the surface. You don't want to remove all the dye, but you also don t want to leave so much liquid dye down that it puddles in any way. It should appear almost dry when you’re done working it in

Before the pigmentation dries (seating areas) use a small foam paint roller and an artist’s soft paint brush on seams, piping, and stitching to even out colour and ensure good adhesion. If a better coverage or more colour is required apply thin coats as necessary. When the colour is correct and allow to dry for 6 hours or preferably overnight. It is normal that the newly applied colorant may appear more vibrant and translucent than the faded hue you have become accustomed to.

 Do not use an oil-based product after the application of a water-based colorant, the newer formulations of the dye will apparently be chemically altered and ruined by treating it with the oil, and your colorant will be no longer water-insoluble

Urethane Protection Clear Coat
OEM finished leather typically has a matte clear coat to provide abrasion resistance and to protect them from ultra violet (UV-B) light, so it’s important to replace this finish as it protects and enhances the leather and preserves its durability.

This clear coat (Leather Magic DT-70 Matte Finish Clear) is water- based, polyurethane compound that will provide the toughest finish over a repaired area. The clear coat may be applied either by wiping or spraying over a surface and creates a pleasing matte finish over a colour coated surface to provide substantial protection and durability

Allow the pigmentation to cure for 24 hours before the application of the clear coat. Apply with a clean lint free 100% cotton micro fibre towel, being careful to apply two thin uniform coats (allow each coat to thoroughly dry) to reduce build-up and streaks, allow to dry for 24 -36 hours; dependent upon temperature and humidity. This type of clear paint can be 'heat cured' with infra-red heat, a heat gun or a hair dryer

Associated Articles


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Various Leather Surface Conditions / Repair


How your leather feels (its Patina – literally ‘hand’) tells you more about its condition than anything; it should feel like something between velvet and satin. Supple, inviting and luxurious. Leather care starts with maintaining factory fresh feeling leather from the beginning. Keeping it clean is important, and hydration is the key; preserving the life, flexibility, appearance and longevity of your leather.
1. Burns or torn vinyl / leather –scrape away any burned edges and cut off any rough and / or frayed particles. Obtain a piece of vinyl leather and trim it slightly larger than the tear, apply a suitable adhesive (Pro Stick 65™ Hi-Strength) allowing it to become ‘tacky’. Place this sub-patch under the vinyl / leather and allow to fully dry. If necessary, use (Leather Magic!) filler to level the surface; use several light coats of filler and allow to dry between coats.

You can use a hair dryer to assist in drying. Remember to hold hair dry at a 300 angle. After the leather repair is level, apply a colour dye to match if required

2. Bolster abrasions - it will depend on how badly the leather is abraded. Most bolsters have sections where the leather is more worn than others. If it is heavily worn, the leather can be very thin. You can tell by pinching the leather to see if it is paper thin. Too much sanding will result in burning through the leather. Lightly sand the finish and then apply a filler

3. Cracking – keeping leather clean is the key to finished leathers durability, it is the combination of dirt and abrasion that causes the finish to crack and deteriorate over time. It is the pigment/finish coating that cracks and not the leather itself so keeping the leather clean will help prevent dirt from causing a problem.
Urethane upholstery fibre structure will stretch in all directions with no particular grain or stress pattern. The urethane surface coating will not withstand multi directional stress, however, and when it’s flexed or stretched continuously in the same place the surface coating develops minute cracks.
Repeated flexing and stretching eventually causes what appears to be a ‘cracks’ in the surface coating, but is usually the pigmentation taking on wear pattern or directional creasing   

If the finished leathers urethane pigment coating has begun to fail (micro cracking) which cannot be seen with the naked eye but will make the leather appear dirty especially on light coloured leather. Steam or cleaning products may permeate the between the hide and the pigmentation coating causing it to delaminate (separate)
Leather Repair Compound (DT-152 Leather Magic) this is a water base filler material which is air dried requiring no heat to cure. When cured, this material remains totally flexible and natural feeling just like the original leather. It is a thick, paste compound which may be easily worked into crevices and cracks in order to bond the separated leather together permanently and fill crevices completely flush with the surrounding surface areas.

Cracked and / or faded surfaces need to be correctly prepped and then re-dyed. By using an aqueous (water-based) pigmentation product like this kit from Leather Magic; wipe the leather down with the solution, using the 220 grit sand paper; this will remove most of the minor creases and provide a 'key' for the pigmentation. Apply 3-4 thin coats of colour (allow to dry between coats) you have the option to spray the final coat with a sprayer (all included in kit) – Leather Magic Repair. And then add a clear topcoat for surface abrasion protection

4. Creasing - automotive finished leather is a multi-strata material, it comprises; a water-based urethane pigmentation (colour) to provide both an even colour and protection from wear when getting in and out of the vehicle and a thin water-based urethane (Ethyl carbamate) used for protecting automobile upholstery.
If dirt and / or abrasive grit are allowed to remain in these creases it will abrade the surface, eventually causing the leather to split along the crease lines, dirt in these crease lines also makes the surface appearance appear worse than it is, especially on light coloured finished leather.
So keeping the finished leather surface clean is very important. If the finished leather creases have become excessive the pigmentation and / or the urethane can be renovated. (See also Wrinkle’s)
5. Wrinkle’s - similar to a paints clear coat, upholstery urethane is classified as a semi-solid permeable membrane, being a thermosetting polymer (elastomers) it remains flexible while retaining its tensile strength, to enable it to expand and contract, following the temperature fluctuations (elasticity) of the substrate and is therefore subject to show wrinkle’s.

These can be lessened by using a damp (microwave heated) towel, which will cause the urethane to contract slightly. The foam, leather hide and its urethane covering are subjected to compression (the weight applied by people sitting on them) which causes them the stretch, which in turn produces creases (wrinkles). If they become excessive it may mean that the foam is compressed to the point it will no longer ‘rebound’ and should therefore be replaced (See also Creasing)

6. Dry leather - it is the moisture level that has altered and re-hydration is needed to restore balance. Keeping leather clean and hydrated is the key to maintaining leather and although commercial 'conditioners' may 'feel good it's not the leather itself that feels softer, but merely the product sitting on the surface. (See also Moisture Content)

7. Damaged or Torn Stitching - an oil-based product will attract abrasive dirt and permeated the leather via the stitching, the oil will soften the leather, and the abrasive dirt plus friction will caused the leather and stitches to tear. To stitch leather properly, you need specialist tools, its s not like stitching fabric as the leather is thick and resists piercing.

There are a host of problems unique to stitching leather, and there is an array of specialized tools just for this process. The needles tend to be much larger than needles that are meant for sewing cloth, these have triangular points which cut through the leather.

 Waxed polyurethane, linen or canvas thread is usually used for stitching. The use of an awls and a pinwheel requires that the leather to be resting against a firm surface, usually a small wooden block, so you need to remove the hide from the foam underneath to re-stitch leather.

8. Deformed leather surface – similar to a paints clear coat, upholstery urethane is classified as a semi-solid permeable membrane, being a thermosetting polymer (elastomers) it remains flexible while retaining its tensile strength, to enable it to expand and contract, following the temperature fluctuations (elasticity) of the substrate. The foam is subjected to compression, while the leather hide and urethane are under tension. Compression of the taught urethane / leather hide causes stretch marks.

The application of low pressure / dry vapour steam will help restore the shape, used in conjunction with hand pressure. Steaming is what the factory does to mould the leather around all the curves of seats and interior panels, and upholsters use to stretch or reshape leather.
Place a damp micro fibre towel in the microwave and heat for a few minutes - until they are really hot but not so hot that you can't touch them. Place on the seats and leave for a few minutes - great at removing ingrained dirt too.
9. Delamination –occurs when the pigmented urethane protection separates from the leather substrate. If oil is allowed to permeate any micro fissures in the leather or via the stitching it will compromise the resin binder system and delaminate from the hide releasing its adhesive bond, and it will be able to move in a different direction from the hide, which will result in surface fissures and cracking, further compounding the problem eventually leading to the subsequent replacement of the protective (urethane) covering

10. Holes or Tears can be repaired by cleaning any rough or frayed edges and then placing a sub-patch of backing material that is larger than the hole must then be secured in place by means of a sub-patch and adhesive to give the leather patch something to anchor to. Before you insert the backing piece cover it with adhesive, allow the adhesive to become tacky.
Take a piece of circular leather cut to a half inch larger all round than hole and hold it in place with adhesive applied to the sub-patch backing piece. Pro Stick 65™ Hi-Strength- spray adhesive for bonding foams, carpet and upholstery
11. Leather pigment restoration – kits available that allows you to recolour worn and faded leather easily. The colour coat provided is a water- based material, colour matched, that is designed to be highly compatible with leather, and provides a long lasting finish– Leather Magic 

12. Loose covers- the urethane pigmentation upholstery fibre structure of finished leather is designed to stretch along with its substrate, however sometimes it becomes over-stretched and in some instances can be rectified by dampening the surface and then applying heat it’s possible that the surface will tighten up. Dampen the surface (do not soak) with distilled water and then position the end of a hair dryer eight to 10 inches away from the wrinkled leather surface. Move the end back and forth so that the hot air is not concentrated on one section of the leather for too long. This prevents the dryer from burning the leather.
The heat from the hot air in the dryer will gradually shrink the finished leather, tightening its surface (this is the way leather is fitted in upholstery shops, i.e. shrink to fit) and effectively removing the wrinkles.
Hair dryers operate at a lower temperature than professional heat guns that are typically used to shrink fit leather. As a result, it might be several minutes before the wrinkles are completely gone.
Loose covers could be caused by foam padding compression, which will require replacement. Also be cognizant that if oils have permeated between the hide and the pigmentation coating it may have become delaminated, which means the two surfaces are moving independently
13. Pigmentation (Colour) Replacement - Certain areas of your vehicles leather interior like seats, upholstery, side mouldings and steering wheels inevitably start to show signs of wear, even if well taken care of, that spoil its overall impression. Often these imperfections are not serious and are simply colour that has worn off or light scratches in the leather surface which can be removed and will disappear with the right application technique and leather pigmentation. Swisswax Leather Refurbishing Pigmentation

14. Scuffed (Covered) leather - use a hair drier (not a heat gun) at a 300 angle to heat the area while massaging it, this will lift the scuff out. Then apply LM Leather Protection. If it is still noticeable then treat it like a leather repair.

15. Stiff leather surface – Soft Touch will soften leather that has become dried out, stiff or is squeaking. It is also excellent for improving the tactile feel of leathers.

16. 1z Plastic Cleaner (Plastik-Reiniger) was originally developed to protect vinyl tops from oxidation and embedded dirt build-up. Clear-Cote is also a protective coating for newly refinished leather or vinyl.  It provides a durable, washable surface for any leather or vinyl upholstery; available in original gloss or matte finish. Use a fast-drying lacquer thinner to remove the old colour coating. Apply colour, allow drying thoroughly and then applying Color-Plus

17. Squeaky leather – see Leather Soft Touch

18. Urethane surface scratches - for light slightly scuffed finished leather upholstery; use a 2000 grit finishing paper, with light pressure sand the area until the marks have faded. Then use a very thin application of Leather Master’s Leather Filler, water- based acrylic paste that fills out scratches in leather or any part of that grain that is missing.

19. Scratched leather – Removing Scratches
Leather will age from abrasion (scuffs) and collect light scratches from keys, boxes, and just about any item you place on its surface.
1. Leather Master™ Scratch Away – (A-Aniline/Non-Coated only) a professional formula designed to erase these light surface scratches and scuffs. It performs this amazing feat by moving the surrounding dye to cover the area where the colour is missing.
Application:
· Apply a small amount to your fingertip (we suggest using a plastic glove).
· Dab over the surrounding area, slowly working toward the damaged area until the scratch or scuff disappears.
· DO NOT wipe with a towel while this product is still damp!
· Allow to completely dry and then apply Leather Master™ Protection Cream.

Finished leather suffers from abrasion wear over time or can be scratched from items you place on its surface.
2. Magic Mender - (P-Protected / Coated) most scratches to finished leather or vinyl can be repaired with just a few simple products. All it requires is a properly clean and prepared surface, a professional quality repair compound and a correctly colour-matched finish top coating
Application:
· Clean the surface you're going to repair
· Apply Magic Mender leather repair compound and allow to dry
· Brush-on or spray Color-Flex final colour finish for a flexible, long lasting repair - http://www.leatherrepairkits.com/

20. Urethane covered hides - the oils secreted from your skin are slightly acidic and may compromise the urethane covering. Removing these oils is paramount to leather care, but limiting the amount of bare skin you expose to your seats and interior is a great way to prevent discoloration.
 Once damage to the extent of cracking is apparent on urethane covered upholstery, there is no way to restore them to original factory condition without re-finishing them.

21. Shiny Surface – OEM leather upholstery should have a matte look. If dirt and / or grit are allowed to remain on the surface it will abrade the surface and make it ‘shiny’, eventually causing the leather to split along the crease lines, dirt in these crease lines also makes the surface appearance appear worse than it is, especially on light coloured finished leather. So keeping the finished leather surface clean is very important. If the finished leather has become excessive the pigmentation and / or the urethane can be renovated.
Vacuum to remove any loose dust / dirt and then wipe with a damp 100% cotton micro fibre towel. Periodically clean using Iz einszett 'Plastik-Reiniger' is an intensive, non-corrosive, non-acidic two-phase deep cleaner that contains anti-static and produces a matte satin finish. Spray surfaces with 1z einszett Plastik Reiniger. Work the cleaning solution into seams, edges and seat backs using a medium soft bristle upholstery brush. If necessary, use an old toothbrush to get into the small crevices.
22. Tree Sap / Resin- use an aerosol compressed air computer cleaner (alternatively use an ice cube) the refrigerant it contains will ‘freeze’ the resin and it can then be carefully scraped off with a plastic razor blade

23. Leather cracks - this is the cause of leather cracking. The interior layer of the leather is a collection of Omni-directional fibres. These fibres’ hold residual oil (fat liquoring) and moisture. Over time, the moisture evaporates through the pores of the leather. As the leather hide loses moisture, it begins to shrink and stiffen. This leaves a miniscule gap between the leather hide and the colour coating on top of it. The colour coating is no longer supported by the hide. Without proper support, it starts to crack. The cracking you see on your seats starts in the colour coating. Without treatment, the cracks can become severe

24. Water Ingress Damaged Surfaces - by inadvertently leaving a moon roof, convertible top or vehicles windows open during a rain storm will very likely soak the leather seating and perhaps the carpets. The damage would depend on how long it's exposed to water, restoration is important because it may become a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Left for a couple of weeks your whole interior would probably have to be replaced.

There are no leather finishes that are water proof. Leather hides used for automotive upholstery consist of approximately 45 square feet, that are stitched together to form a covering. The thousands of stitch holes allow any standing water to be absorbed and migrate laterally under the urethane finish. The perforated leathers used on many BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsches and other cars also allow standing water to permeate the urethane.

Leather that has been soaked in water may become brittle and may be ruined due to the formation of water mark stains and blemishes. Water damage restoration for leather is very manageable using the correct products and methodologies. When leather becomes soaked or wet, the best way to dry it is to use clean, dry towels to wipe away the water. Never dry leather using a heater as this will cause the leather to shrink rapidly, causing further drying and cracking.

Finished leather (urethane pigmentation) is water resistant, which means if you spill or allow liquid onto the surface and clean it right away it should not cause problems. Damage to the electronics that are under the seats (seatbelt sensor, seat positioning motor, air bag sensors, and etc) may be a cause for concern.

Obviously the amount of damage could be lessened dependent upon how quickly action was taken. If you saw it immediately, and got it home quickly and dried it out using towels to soak up the rain water, most things would be okay.

Restoration
Avoid flexing or bending the leather while you are restoring it because leather is weakened when the fibres are dry and it may crack.

Wet a towel with warm water, wringing out excess. Proceed to wipe the leather to remove any dirt and moisten the surface. If you are working on a large item, do one section at a time so you can apply Leather Master™ Soft Touch, while the surface is still moist. This is not a conditioner per se; it contains polymers in an aqueous emulsion and is used to improve and maintain the tactile feel and lustre by rehydration and to ensure the leather remains matte, soft and supple.

Apply a small amount to a clean, damp 100% cotton micro fibre towel, use a circular motion and slight pressure to ensure the product permeates the dried-out pores, but do not push hard enough to damage the leather. Allow 20-30 minutes’ dwell time; unless the damage is severe, it should soften up after you massage it for a few minutes and then wipe surface with a dry 100% cotton micro fibre towel.

Although water (hydration) is good for leather and is what keeps it in good condition generally when its fibres become over soaked they swell and become deformed. When they dry they may not shrink back and revert to their original form and so become more brittle and distorted. Unfortunately, at this stage it may be impossible to rectify.

Protected 
With leather, it is much easier to practice prevention than it is to try to resolve major challenges after the fact. Leather Protection will also work to remove small surface scratches on finished leathers. In general, Leather Protection Cream is used as a final step in combination with most of the Leather Master products.

This is essential as it will protect the surface finish (Leather Master™ - Protection Cream, a Scotchgard™ type, water-based product) as a sacrificial layer; this way you are not actually cleaning the Leather's original surface, but cleaning from the surface of the protection. It also makes dirt easier to clean off

The polymers penetrate the surface of finished leather and cross-link to form a durable protective film that is breathable, allowing transpiration and keeps the leather supple. Being aqueous (water- based) it restores moisture to finished leather and provides a protective sacrificial barrier against all kinds of soiling, water, oil, alcohol-based stains and perspiration marks, so you are cleaning the protective layer