Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cat Scratches on Leather Furniture

Cat got to your leather?

One of the most common leather furniture restoration and repair projects our leather technicians work on is cat claw damaged leather. In an average year, we at Advanced Leather Solutions repair over 10,000 individual cat scratches on leather. That number is conservative as we've seen leather sofas come into our shop in Hayward, CA with over 1,000 individual scratch marks. It's such a popular problem that we have produced a "Cat Scratch on Leather Repair" DVD based video for our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) clients.

Solving the problem requires a two step process. 1. Fill the wound with a synthetic material chemically engineered specifically for leather (not for vinyl). 2. Color over the offended area, disguising the damage.

The filler acts like synthetic scar tissue, filling the void created by the cat claw's penetration into the leather. And then the color is applied to conceal the repaired claw mark. When done correctly, the cat scratches either disappear from view completely or will appear to the casual observer as a natural characteristic in the leather. Use the right materials and the repairs will last the life of the furniture.

The key to disguising the damage is getting the color right. Color matching is an art form that takes lots of practice to master. It's very difficult to "nail" the color without experience. And, if the color isn't right, the repairs will stick out like a sore thumb. In an earlier posting (The Real Facts About DIY Leather and Vinyl Repair) I uploaded this photo that shows a consumer's attempt to repair cat claw damage and then conceal with a color they mixed themselves from a leather repair product they purchased on-line.

Clearly, not exactly a good color match. An Advanced Leather Solutions technician had to strip off this wrong color and re-color to save the furniture.

Here is the result after an Advanced Leather Solutions technician saved the day...

If you don't want to spend the money for professional leather repair, then the best solution for a do-it-yourself project is to have professional involvement at the color matching stage. The rest is fairly mechanical. With good "How To" documentation, especially if supported with video, the actual repair process is fairly easy to master. With the leather color professionally matched, you'll have the best shot at making those pesky cat claw marks disappear.

The following is a brief demonstration of cat claw damage repair that I've uploaded to Piscasa. The Cat Scratch Repair DVD from Advanced Leather Solutions shows the repair procedure in much greater detail.

Cat Scratch Repair

TO learn more, visit my web-sites at http://www.AdvLeather.com/ and http://www.DIYLeatherSolutions.com/

Copyright 2009, Kevin Gillan

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