It’s not a stretch to say that faux leather (or as it’s often rebranded, ‘vegan leather’) is having a moment. As slow living and the vegan movement gains traction, brands are opting for synthetic alternatives from the high street all the way to haute couture.
Regardless of your reasons for choosing faux leather over the real deal, it’s important to understand that taking care of your items is a non-negotiable part of preserving your clothing and prolonging its longevity.
Here at Collonil, we’ve been advising clients how to take care of a variety of materials for decades, and we’re frequently asked questions regarding our expert opinions. We’ve put together a few basic FAQ for you to peruse.
Remember: before you take the plunge towards preservation, make sure you read the care label of your special pieces – as the variety of source materials that fall under this nebulous term can have specific care requirements and special treatment needs.
How do I remove stains from faux leather?
Most people don’t know that a lot of vegan textiles can actually be washed with a gentle detergent (or baby detergent), whether by hand or on a cold cycle in your machine. But if you’ve spilled your passata or the intern’s splashed coffee on your new Moto jacket, your item might require a little more care.
- Begin by blotting the area with a microfibre cloth – much as you would when cleaning standard nappa on a daily basis.
- Then approach your piece with a dab of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball. Using small swirling motions, brush the stain gently and let it dry before you go back in all heavy-handed.
- Remember to spot test any solvents on your piece before heading straight for the stain, just to make sure the dye is colour-fast and there are no adverse side effects to your solution.
Do I have to dry clean my faux leather garments?
The short answer is: check the care label. But in most cases, garments with panelling, trims and edging can typically go through the machine on a gentle cycle.
Remember to turn any delicate or bulky garments inside out before washing and wash them separately from other coloured pieces (particularly if it is your first time putting them through the cycle).
Also keep in mind that you should let these pieces air dry, rather than popping them in the dryer. Too much heat exposure can lead to cracking and even melting in extreme cases.
Are there special products I should have in my cleaning kit?
Yes, there are a range of specific products we recommend to look after your synthetic leather, and yes, they’re different from standard saddlery offerings. But at heart, the routine looks largely similar to the standard:
- Clean your items prior to applying any conditioning products. Begin with a microfibre cloth and then move to a commercial-grade cleansing balm or foam.
- Use a regenerating gel to cover any scarring or damage to your faux nap.
- Finish with a deodorising or protective spray to keep your items ready to wear.
If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Collonil today.