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Proper leather appearence - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/Alarms/ICE/HVAC - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
ABorkat

Proper leather appearence

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Back in '60's and earlier that I know of, Connelly leather was died from one side as opposed to being vat dipped. What I learned in one of the RROC club seminars is that early Connolly always had a slightly dirty look deep in the grains due to the dying process. When you clean that leather, you really don't want to scrub that out, although it could be done if you wanted. I've looked at some old Roll Royces, and you can see this easily on original leather. Overall it doesn't look dirty at all, but you can see the graininess.

That said, who knows the proper leather appearence for the 1980's Connolly leather? I've started the leatherique process, and at the moment my leather is much darker in the leather grains (probably because it hasn't been cleaned much in 22 years). In a few of the more worn spots, the dirt is gone completely. My concern is how much to actually clean. If like early connolly skins, the darker grain color should be apparent, I don't want to over clean it. But, if it should be a consistant dye color across the leather, I want to really get in there with a soft bristle brush and do it right.

Any thoughts?

Adam

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Not sure about what you're talking about but I can tell you that you need to get the leather as clean as possible for the dye to bond correctly. Follow the instructions religiously.


1995 S4s

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I doubt that you'd be able to get a darker appearance in the grain with the home applied Leatherique process, although dirt in the rain would alter it I guess it's more likely to cause the new colourant to not adhere correctly. I guess you'd need Nick Fulcher or somebody to comment on how it would have been for the definitive answer.

I'm about to do my Excel interior from a few colours based on the sandy / golden interior and the blue new parts I've fitted and make it all a deep cream colour, I'll be cleaning that all very thoroughly and not worrying if the grain isn't as it should have been in the 80s.

Best of luck with yours.

Andy

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Not sure about what you're talking about but I can tell you that you need to get the leather as clean as possible for the dye to bond correctly. Follow the instructions religiously.

Thank you both. I guess I should have explained that better. I'm not actually re-dying the leather, only cleaning and conditioning it with the their rejuvenating oil and "pristine clean". I'm just afraid to over clean it. Thankfully, other than just being dirty, my interior is near mint :sofa:

AB

Edited by ABorkat

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Adam

I have just had a 1982 Lotus Eclat interior re-Connolised by some ex-Connolly guys. They confirmed exactly what you said. When originally cured, dyed etc, the leather would have had some colouration (dirt?) left in the grain so that this was visible through the finish. At the time, this was preferred to give the leather a more authentic appearance. Modern leather tends to look a bit less natural in my opinion, but that's the finish most people prefer these days. In the reconnolising process, the have managed to retain some of the grain colour so that the leather retains some appearance of age. Don't ask me how.

The ex-Connolly guys who have now done two of my cars trade as Leathercare Rennovations here in the UK. They are very helpful, and I am sure would not mind you calling them to get some advice. I suggest you speak to Steve on +44 1925 851621. Feel free to mention my name.

Robert

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In Answer to your question the black efect in the grain of the leather was put there on purpose after the hide was finished, it was usually on Vaumol leather (top of the range) and we used it at Lotus mainly 3234 colour, it looked a dirty beige/magnolia.

It was polished in by hand by two skilled workers who worked on either side of the hide while it was on a surface table it was like black shoe polish that was rubbed all over the leather and then polished off again leaving the deep grain black and this was repeated a few times untill the two workers were happy with the effect and then left to dry.

Mr Tim Connolly spent a whole day with me at the tannery showing how it was produced from start to finish and some areas stank a bit to say the least.

I do not think you will ever be able to put the black effect back into your leather and if you re-colour it it will all be gone so feed it and look after it.

Nick Fulcher.


Mike Kimberley's 'Can Do' Trim Guru

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You need to feed your leather with Connolly Hide Food so long as it's the celulose type up to circa 1990, and if you can't find any we stock it and have done for years.

Nick Fulcher.


Mike Kimberley's 'Can Do' Trim Guru

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I've recently given my car the Leatherique (rejuvinator oil and pristine clean) treatment, and here's what I noticed. On the leather bits that aren't really exposed to wear (dashboard, door panels, etc.), the Leatherique cleaned and softened the material wonderfully. It looks near-new.

However on my seats, which are in good condition but worn in some normal areas from use, the Leatherique seems to have actually exacerbated the appearance of cracks and imperfections. Now, I say appearance only because I closely examined the leather both before and after, and the product didn't actually make it worse... to the contrary, the leather is very much cleaner and softer than it was... however, the oil penetrates deep into the hides, and if you have any cracking or spider-webbing, its going to get right in between those cracks and make them darker and very very visible.

I'm not sure if it will go away on it's own, but I find myself half-regretting the decision to treat the leather at all, and not sure how to make it better.

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No, no. That's patina and is a good thing. Nothing worse than an overdone 'concours' treatment of classic cars.

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I've recently given my car the Leatherique (rejuvinator oil and pristine clean) treatment, and here's what I noticed.

However on my seats, which are in good condition but worn in some normal areas from use, the Leatherique seems to have actually exacerbated the appearance of cracks and imperfections.

however, the oil penetrates deep into the hides, and if you have any cracking or spider-webbing, its going to get right in between those cracks and make them darker and very very visible.

I'm not sure if it will go away on it's own

I had similar scare with the Leatherique. On my non-Lotus, the cracks where the dye was broken were left with this. After a few weeks, the darkening disappeared.

I also notice something else (this time on the Lotus), which I emailed George at Leatherique about, and he set me at ease. A few days after the oil was done, all of my threads looked like they had absorbed all of the dirt and grime, and I couldn't get them clean. What he said, which I later found was right thankfully, was that the oil needed to finish penetrating the leather and these would dry up. They did, and now my leather looks and feels nearly new.

I think when I run out of the Leatherique on my December treatment, I'll give Hide Food a try. I've heard it's also very good. And hey, it's got Nick's blessing, so what more can you ask for?!?! :wallbash:

Adam

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How long did you leave the oil to soak for? I left mine for about 8 hours with a hot blowdryer running in the car, though I've heard that most do it for longer.

About the same time and sitting out in the driveway in the sun, but during an average Atlanta summer day (where it's nearly 90 degrees in the shade!) :wallbash:

Edited by ABorkat

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I just ordered some Gliptone Cleaner + Conditioner from a seller on ebay.

Ebay Link

$55 incl delivery.

Will post what the results are like once it arrives.

Gavin


Cheers, Gavin

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