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How to Soften Leather Furniture

Leather furniture in your home can be a costly investment, and one that you should be eager to protect. But after spending such a large sum, you want your luxury your way. Often new leather comes with little give, feeling a little hard to the touch when you sit down on it for the first few weeks.

Make your leather feel worn in with natural oils.

Things You Will Need

  • Blow dryer
  • Cotton rags
  • Neatsfoot oil or mink oil
  • Lanolin oil
  • Professional leather conditioner

Leather furniture in your home can be a costly investment, and one that you should be eager to protect.  But after spending such a large sum, you want your luxury your way.

Often new leather comes with little give, feeling a little hard to the touch when you sit down on it for the first few weeks.  If you want that soft worked-in feeling fast, you can soften up the leather using natural oils and chemicals that reach into the pores of the leather and add a healthy moisture.

  1. Apply a little light heat with the dryer to open up the pores of the leather, which will allow the oils to sink in fully.
  2. Apply a generous amount of neatsfoot oil or mink oil to a clean cloth. Wipe across the surface of the leather gently in a circular buffing motion. Be sure to cover the entire surface.
  3. Repeat the previous step with a generous amount of lanolin oil.
  4. Wipe off any excess oil with a separate clean rag. Let the oils sit for about a day before using the furniture.
  5. Finish off the furniture with a professional leather conditioner, preferably one that contains a little bit of beeswax, which will provide a protective coat for the leather and also waterproof it.
  6. Tip

    If you think you may be using too much of a product, use a smaller amount, since you can always add a bit more. You can find a number of products that contain neatsfoot oil and lanolin oil in the same compound. Always test each substance in a small inconspicuous area before applying to your entire piece.

Things You Will Need

  • Blow dryer
  • Cotton rags
  • Neatsfoot oil or mink oil
  • Lanolin oil
  • Professional leather conditioner

Tips

  • If you think you may be using too much of a product, use a smaller amount, since you can always add a bit more.
  • You can find a number of products that contain neatsfoot oil and lanolin oil in the same compound.
  • Always test each substance in a small inconspicuous area before applying to your entire piece.

About the Author

Darren White is a third-year student studying photography and art history at Haverford College. Raised in the Philadelphia area, he has followed its art scene for some time, which has influenced his column, The Fashion File, that he writes for the "Bi-Co News." He also writes, edits and photographs for Haverford's fashion magazine, "Feathers & Fur."

Photo Credits

  • Overstuffed Brown Leather Reclining Sofa image by James Phelps from Fotolia.com
  • Overstuffed Brown Leather Reclining Sofa image by James Phelps from Fotolia.com