Bonded leather will eventually peel and crack. If you want to protect bonded leather from peeling, you need to clean it and stay away from sources of damage.
By taking care of your bonded leather couch, you can expand its life to over three years. In this article, I’ll go through some of the best tips to keep your bonded leather healthy.
In This Article We'll Discuss
What is Bonded Leather?
Bonded leather is a blend of faux leather and cowhide. The cowhide used is essentially formed from the scraps of parts made into real leather.
The manufacturers shred the remaining pieces and reform them into a solid mass. They do this reformation with adhesive chemicals. These adhesive chemicals are also blended with polyurethane binders. Normally, this process creates a final product that is around 20% real leather.
If the product is under 20% real leather, they officially cannot call it bonded leather. Instead, you would use the name ‘Faux’ or ‘Artificial’ leather.
Bonded leather is of lower quality than 100% leather, but is often much cheaper. This balance between affordability and durability is the main idea of bonded leather.
How Long Does Bonded Leather Last?
The durability of bonded leather depends on many factors. The most important of these is the fraction of real leather used. If the piece is only 20% leather, it will be considerably less durable than one that is 25% leather.
Real leather lasts much longer than bonded leather. Bonded leather lasts much longer than synthetic leather. Essentially, the more leather in the product, the longer it will last.
However, the leather’s durability will also depend on your maintenance level. If you upkeep the bonded leather, it will last much longer than normal. A regular cleaning plan will ensure your bonded leather lasts as long as possible.
Bonded leather begins to break down over time, while normal leather takes longer to do so. This is because of the process of how they form bonded leather. When connecting all the shreds of cowhide, they use an adhesive to bind them together.
Two individual strands of cowhide will fuse together. These points of contact are where damage can occur. Each of these points of connection could rip apart. You may rip or damage the surface at these weak points.
How to Care For and Prevent Bonded Leather From Peeling?
There are several steps you can take if you’re looking to prevent bonded leather from peeling. The first of these is to keep your couch out of direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight can cause a breakdown of the adhesive that binds the cowhide. Make sure to keep your couch somewhere dark where the light will not impact it.
Another tip is to keep your couch away from sources of heat. From ovens to radiators, heat can impact the quality of your leather and make it likely to breakdown. You’ll want to keep your couch away from any heat sources if you want it to last for a long time.
A further tip for preventing bonded leather from peeling is regularly cleaning it. However, make sure you are using the right products. You must avoid Alcohol-based cleaning products at all costs. These will accelerate the breaking down process of your bonded leather.
If you want to clean bonded leather, you should use an alcohol-free cleaning product. Also, you can apply a leather conditioner to rejuvenate the material. Doing this once in a while will keep the leather at a high quality. Similarly, the leather conditioner can make the couch look much more realistic.
If you don’t take care of your bonded leather, it could last less than a year. One year is a very short amount of time considering how much even bonded leather can cost.
If you take care of bonded leather, it could last for around 3 years without any major markings or peeling. Make sure to stay away from things that will damage it and clean it regularly.
What Causes Bonded Leather to Crack and Peel?
There are three main components that cause bonded leather to crack and peel.
The first of these are chemicals. If you are using the wrong cleaning products on your bonded leather, you may be damaging it. If you clean with an alcohol product, it may interrupt the bonds between adhesive and leather.
The chemicals present in alcohol cleaners will break down your leather. This can lead to a higher frequency of rips and a faster disintegration.
Another factor that can cause bonded leather to crack and peel is direct sunlight. Over time, sunlight will cause the chemicals present in the leather to break down. This reduces the structural integrity of the bonded leather. With structural faults comes rips and tears.
Finally, you want to avoid direct heat on your bonded leather. This could come from being near a stove or a fire. It can also come from direct sunlight, which I have discussed above.
Heat, like alcohol and sunlight, can interfere with the adhesive used in leather. This interruption can lead to a fraying of the material as parts begin to come apart.
Make sure to avoid chemical cleaners, sunlight, and heat if you want your bonded leather to last.
Can you Repair Damaged Bonded Leather?
Bonded leather is not technically a very high-quality leather. Due to this, leather repair people will avoid helping out with repairs on this type of leather. As there are lots of chemicals in the product, it can be hard to fix well.
There are still some ways you can repair damaged bonded leather.
Buy some soft filler, or another flexible compound, and apply it to the leather. Wherever there are rips or fissures, apply the soft filler. This will create a filling that smooths over the rip. When it dries, it will create a new leather-like surface.
You’ll then need to paint over the soft filler. This step is optional, but if you want a uniform color, you’ll have to paint. Leaving the soft filler can add an interesting dimension to your sofa, so this is up to your discretion.
Either way, make sure to clean the final product to ensure a uniform finish. This will be your best shot at making a repair of bonded leather.
If you don’t want to buy soft filler, you can also dye your sofa. Wherever there is missing leather, you could dye that part of the fabric below. The exposed fabric will then take on the color you administer.
If you color match before you do this, you’ll be able to dye the fabric the same color as the leather. This will allow you to create a uniform color of the leather. This will visually fix the problem.
However, it won’t have that leather feeling most couches have. Your best option will be to use filler and then paint over. That will fix the problem visually and match the feeling desired.
Wrapping up How Long Does Bonded Leather Last?
Considering its lower quality, bonded leather will break down over time. In spite of this, there are a few things you can do to prolong its life.
Make sure to keep away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. When you are cleaning, be sure to use an alcohol-free product. Every now and again, apply some leather conditioner to rejuvenate the material.
All in all, bonded leather will degenerate over time. However, you can slow the progression by focusing on caring for the material.