Leather Tips


Please note that care has been taken to give the best advice in this section but KDK Leatherworks; The Author; Webmaster or any other party does not accept any responsibility if the advice is used and the result is not the same as anticipated.

Quality of Leather

One of the best indicators of the quality of leather merchandise is price, although this is not always the case. Sometimes a retailer may sell out seasonal stock or items in the end of a range and then discount his prices.

  • Type of hide Some skins are more sought after than others, like snake skin; ostrich or crocodile. Cowhide, goat & sheepskin are more common and therefore less expensive.
  • The tanning process The more a skin has been “tampered” with, the more its’ natural qualities are affected. Coatings, like some dyes, may change and harden the feel of the skin. Coatings are normally applied to hide other imperfections in the hide.
  • Thickness of the hide A typical hide has an uneven thickness. Areas closer to the belly area are normally softer and thinner. A good product will be made of the same sections of hides, allowing for an even feel.

Cracked and scratched leather

  • Cracks cannot be removed from leather.
  • However, by using different techniques, like colouring, sanding and filling the appearance of cracks may be changed.
  • The best advice is to always keep your leather items properly “fed” by using quality hide food.
  • In severe cases it is best to have a badly affected panel removed completely and replaced. The challenging part of this is to match the colour of the replaced section with that of the old.

Torn leather

  • Torn leather can be repaired by various techniques.
  • At KDK Leatherworks we prefer to take the affected section of leather from the item (whether it’s furniture, a hand bag or leather jacket) and repair it from the inside.
  • In severe cases like when a piece of leather was torn out, some stitching may be required.
  • In some cases the repaired tear may be almost invisible, whilst in other it may still be slightly visible.

Repairing wallets, handbags & suitcases

  • The most common repair work involves repair of the edges of leather items.
  • In most cases “piping” is required to do this properly.
  • The item needs to be taken apart completely (including the lining) so that the affected area can be properly exposed and repaired.


  • Broken zips mean one of two things: Either the slider has become dysfunctional or the zip “teeth” have been damaged.
  • A defunct slider is easy to replace (mostly), but a zip with broken “teeth” needs to be replaced completely.

Specialized Leather Repair

  • KDK leatherworks offer a specialised leather advice & repair service.
  • We will do our very best to assist in getting your problem solved.

Cleaning Leather

  • This section does not apply to suede or Nubuck.
  • Do not try to remove the stain by using a leather treatment.
  •  This will only cover the affected part and will make further attempts to clean the stain useless.
  • The most effective way to clean leather is by using a soft cloth with a very mild solution of cold water and dishwashing liquid. Hot water will harden the leather permanently.
  • This will remove most greasy stains.
  • Stains caused by “coloured” liquids, such as red wine cannot be removed and normally requires re-colouring of the leather.

Suede & Nubuck

  • Suede & Nubuck have a luxurious soft feel and look.
  • It is however extremely difficult to restore damaged suede to its’ former glory because the fibres tend to wear off; get damaged or stuck together.
  • The best way of cleaning it is to use a custom brush (fairly hard bristles) and softly brush (patiently) out the affected part with short strokes.
  • It may be necessary to do this on a much wider area to get an even look.
  • In severe cases a very mild solution of water and dishwashing liquid may be used.
  • The best advice is always to be aware of the possibility of a stain when eating or drinking and to do it in such a way that you don’t waste on your jacket or couch.


  • Water spots are common and mostly happen when water is wasted on leather which has not been treated by a proper hide food.
  • The stain shows because the water “has pushed out” pigment/ dirt in the leather and concentrated it on the edges of the stain.
  • It may help to “wash” the complete object.
  • Depending on the severity of the stain, new colouring of the leather may be required.