I think its very common for us to panic whenever we see a little scratch on our leather goods but what happens when we see them crack? We certainly think it's the end of the world right?. Well, fear no more, we are going to tell you how cracked leather happens and how you can fix it.
How It Happens
Ok, so let's start by knowing exactly what's going on when leather is cracking. At a microscopic level, leather is made up of countless tiny fibers that weave and wind together in complex fashions, dense near the surface, and looser the further in you go. While this leather was living skin, it was kept nourish with continuously replenishing natural oils.
Now that it is no longer living skin, these oils are no longer replenished. This means that the fibers weaving together your leather are constantly rubbing against each other when your leather flexes or moves, and as the fibers begin to dry, this causes them to chafe and scrub each other into dust over time.
To prevent this, the leather will need its fibers to be oiled and be slippery enough through the use of a conditioner, allowing the fibers to move against each without harm. When the leather has not been conditioned in some time, the leather will dry out. This is especially true if the leather has been receiving regular exposure to direct sunlight, which will cause the leather to age prematurely and break it down on a molecular level. UV radiation is actually a primary cause of cracked leather. If you have leather exposed to sunlight frequently, try to keep it covered with a blanket when not in use, or give it UV resistant conditioner.
How To Fix It
We have good needs and bad news about fixing cracking leather. Alright, let's start with the bad news, really cracked leather can't be mended back together. Once fibers break, that’s pretty much it. Those fibers are broke. Likewise, when cracks develop in your leather, they can’t really be un-cracked. With a deft hand, some cracked might be sewn or filled in, although this process can be tricky. Instead, it is far easier (and oftentimes, even more aesthetic) to strengthen the fibers surrounding the cracks that are still intact and help the rest of the scar to blend in naturally with the rest of the leather through use of a strong conditioner. This process is similar to healing scratched or cut leather, which disrupts fibers near the surface, instead of all the fibers throughout, as is the case with cracked leather.
The effects of this latter treatment essentially disguise blemish, while helping your leather to grow strong and naturally into its new shape. While some remnant of a scar will usually be visible, it should look more like a natural imprint – a relic of the hide from before it was hide – part of the organic design that makes it unique. The results to healing deeply scratched, scarred, and worn out leather speak for themselves.
So, the good news is that you can make them better with a little bit of patience and a good conditioner.
3 Steps to Fix Cracked Leather
Remember you'll need a strong conditioner but this is what you'll need to do:
Clean your leather. Test your cleaner first. Apply gently, and cleanse as much as you keep pulling out grime and dust (but don’t let your leather become too dry). If your leather starts feeling super dry, and if you are treating cracked leather, chances are it’s already going to feel pretty dry by the time you start, so it’s a good time to add conditioner. When treating leather that’s been neglected for a while, it’s good to at least give it one treatment of cleaner before you begin, just to remove the layers of dust that have had time to settle inside the leather’s pores.
Apply conditioner over the scratch/cut/crack using your finger or the application sponge that came with it. You are doing detail work here, rather than giving the leather a complete layer of conditioner. The leather may absorb the conditioner reasonably quickly, owing to its thirstiness, so just apply a small amount right now, and make sure you test it first before you apply. After you have applied the conditioner to the distressed area, smooth the leather’s color out with an even, and complete spread of standard conditioner. Let the leather dry naturally.
You can go over the affected area again with the strong conditioner if the blemish is still there. Apply gently, and it won’t likely take very much at all to fully condition your leather. Afterwards, apply another even spread of conditioner. You can keep this going until you are satisfied with the results, or until the leather no longer absorbs conditioner, at which point you should buff the leather off and let it dry naturally.