Do you own old bags, jackets etc that have begun to peel? Don’t throw them out just yet! Here are some tips on how to prevent and fix peeling faux leather.
Why does it peel? Faux leather, also known as faux leatherette or vegan leather, is a man-made material made to mimic the appearance and texture of real leather. However, because it is not real animal hide, it can be prone to peeling over time as the materials break down. There is so many reasons such as use of harsh cleaning chemicals or products, and prolonged sun exposure can also cause peeling. Another cause for peeling is improper care and maintenance. Faux leather just like genuine leather needs to be cared for and looked after by using faux leather conditioners or gently wiping the products with a soft damp cloth.
Here are 10 steps you can follow to make your faux leather products last longer:
#1 Clean Regularly: The first step in prevention is cleaning your faux leather regularly. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the surface of your faux leather and remove any dirt or debris. Make sure to use a gentle cleanser specifically made for faux leather so that you don’t damage the material. You can use specifically made faux leather cleaning wipes or a mild soap and water solution.
#2 Condition: Like genuine leather skin, faux leather needs to be regularly conditioned to keep it soft and prevent cracks. Use a faux leather conditioner and apply it evenly with a soft cloth. Make sure to follow the instructions on the conditioner for the best results. A quick search on google "Faux Leather Conditioner" will bring about a lot of results of conditioners (in all price ranges) that can be purchased in India.
#3 Protect: To protect your faux leather from scratches and peeling, use a protective spray made specifically for faux leather. This will add a layer of protection on top of the material and can prevent future damage. Be careful not to oversaturate the material when applying the spray. Because of the added layer of protection, it is important to clean and condition your faux leather more regularly.
#4 Avoid Exposure: Exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures can cause faux leather to crack and peel. Keep your faux leather items in a cool, dry place when not in use. If you are storing them for a long period of time, wrap them in a cloth or cover to protect them from dust and dirt.
#5 Do Not Overstuff: Don’t overstuff your faux leather bags or wallets. This can stretch the material and cause it to crack and peel over time. Use inserts or organisers to keep items from shifting around inside your faux leather bags.
#6 Avoid Contact with Harsh Chemicals: Chemicals, such as bleach or alcohol, can cause damage to faux leather. Avoid using these types of cleaners on your faux leather items, and stick to gentle cleansers specifically made for faux leather.
#7 Keep It Dry: To prevent moisture damage, make sure to keep your faux leather items dry. Wipe off any wet spills immediately and let them air dry before storing or using them again. You can also use a fan to speed up the drying process, but make sure it is on a low setting to avoid damaging the material.
#8 Use Soft Cloths: When cleaning or conditioning your faux leather, make sure to use soft cloths or brushes. Rough materials can scratch and damage the surface of the faux leather, leading to peeling.
#9 Repair Damage Immediately: A faux leather repair kit is the best way to immediately fix peels however, it is not an easily available household item. Another alternative would be to carefully remove the loose flakey bits, then take a similar coloured marker sketch pen and fill up the peeled area carefully; now take a clear nail polish and apply it evenly to seal the finish. Allow it to fully dry before using the bag again.
Faux leather is a great alternative to the real deal, although, because it is not chemically protected decomposed animal skin, the longevity is not the same. If you’re looking to prevent your faux leather from peeling, there are a few things you can do. You should clean it regularly with a mild soap, avoid getting it wet and keep it out of direct sunlight. With proper care, your faux leather will last for years.
Hopefully these tips will help you in extending the life of your products. Happy caring!
Sources: Matt Clark from leatherek (November 2022), Independence Brother (January 2019), Personal experience of Aulive Team working with faux leather over the years.