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Does sunlight darken or lighten leather?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Anyone definitively know what sunlight does to leather? Does it make it darker or bleach it out?

I would guess it lightens it by kind of bleaching it out, like you see on very old car seats sometimes. However, a girl I know got some sort of LV purse which has that natural tan leather on it and she wanted to darken it, she did so successfully by leaving it in a windowsill.

I have a couple of pairs of tan shoes where one is darker than the other. Last night I tried polishing my entire lighter shoe with tan polish. It may have darkened it ever so slightly, or possibly not at all. So, this might work over time, but it would require I keep polishing one shoe while not polishing the other at all. Seems like once the color matches, one will be way more shiny than the other.

Next, I tried mixing tan and regular brown polish on the dauber. I kinda swirled it together to hopefully get a dark tan. I test-applied it on the inside heel to see what kind of color this would result it. It is waaay too dark. The streaks of the wax were very obvious, in short it looked exactly like I accidentally tried to polish my tan shoes with brown wax.
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
Anyone definitively know what sunlight does to leather? Does it make it darker or bleach it out?

..... a girl I know got some sort of LV purse which has that natural tan leather on it and she wanted to darken it, she did so successfully by leaving it in a windowsill.


Next, I tried mixing tan and regular brown polish on the dauber. I kinda swirled it together to hopefully get a dark tan. I test-applied it on the inside heel to see what kind of color this would result it. It is waaay too dark. The streaks of the wax were very obvious, in short it looked exactly like I accidentally tried to polish my tan shoes with brown wax.

Hi,

Sunlight will always bleach or lighten the colour of the leather. To me, any other result is scientifically impossible unless the leather has been treated with some "unknown" tanning agent.

There is nothing to stop you experimenting with using different polishes on each shoe. I certainly agree it is not possible to polish one shoe only.

I wouldn't ever fear 'streaks'. Buff away and you should not have a 'stain' effect. I have great fun using really dark polish on tan and chestnut shoes. Admittedly, they are both evenly finished in the first place.

Regards,

Graham
post #3 of 16
in the short term it can darken leather (ie like a sun tan) but in the long term it will lighten it
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
Anyone definitively know what sunlight does to leather? Does it make it darker or bleach it out?

I would guess it lightens it by kind of bleaching it out, like you see on very old car seats sometimes. However, a girl I know got some sort of LV purse which has that natural tan leather on it and she wanted to darken it, she did so successfully by leaving it in a windowsill.

I have a couple of pairs of tan shoes where one is darker than the other. Last night I tried polishing my entire lighter shoe with tan polish. It may have darkened it ever so slightly, or possibly not at all. So, this might work over time, but it would require I keep polishing one shoe while not polishing the other at all. Seems like once the color matches, one will be way more shiny than the other.

Next, I tried mixing tan and regular brown polish on the dauber. I kinda swirled it together to hopefully get a dark tan. I test-applied it on the inside heel to see what kind of color this would result it. It is waaay too dark. The streaks of the wax were very obvious, in short it looked exactly like I accidentally tried to polish my tan shoes with brown wax.


It will ighetn with time, with or without sun exposure. This is why it is advised to use shoe creams that are a shade darker when polishing the shoes.
post #5 of 16
sunlight lightens upper leather.

darkens sole veg tanned leather
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
really?

Has anyone here intentionally left a shoe in or near sunlight to lighten the color?
post #7 of 16
Here's an example of shell, I don't know how calf is different (if any). Sunlight does tend ot lighten leather. http://supertalk.superfuture.com/sho...postcount=8476... Linked from sufu, which is linked from AAAC
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
really?

Has anyone here intentionally left a shoe in or near sunlight to lighten the color?

this is from my experience buying shoes from retailers.

some retailers leave one shoe out on display and the other in the box in storage.

the ones i get that go to clearance are usually left out this way for long periods of time, so many times i see on brown colored shoes

the one left out in display are lighter in color (due to all the lights and sometimes they are near windows)
and the one in storage remains the original 'darker' color

the sole of the one on display is usually darker than the one in storage.

check out AEs that are like this at certain retailers. you will see.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by erdawe View Post
Here's an example of shell, I don't know how calf is different (if any). Sunlight does tend ot lighten leather.

http://supertalk.superfuture.com/sho...postcount=8476... Linked from sufu, which is linked from AAAC

That's like driving from Florida, through the ghettos of DC, and ending up in New York.

Doesn't the Leather Goods thread from Sufu feature a lot of Red Moon, Tanner, etc. products that are left outside to "tan" and darken?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sho'nuff View Post
the sole of the one on display is usually darker than the one in storage.

check out AEs that are like this at certain retailers. you will see.

I think this is from the oxidation of the sole leather, not from the effects of sunlight.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willsw View Post
That's like driving from Florida, through the ghettos of DC, and ending up in New York.
lolz at the analogy.. Honestly that's really the only thread I bother to occasionally read on that forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willsw View Post
Doesn't the Leather Goods thread from Sufu feature a lot of Red Moon, Tanner, etc. products that are left outside to "tan" and darken?
Maybe? Could be these good are veggie tanned and from natural leather or something, and darken like others mentioned previously. I'm no expert on this by any means, I just know what I observe.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
I think this is from the oxidation of the sole leather, not from the effects of sunlight.

that's it
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
I think this is from the oxidation of the sole leather, not from the effects of sunlight.
Could be both (photo-oxidation).
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
hmm interesting. Waiting for Tom or RIDER to catch wind of this thread for a final word...
post #15 of 16
thread revival, i want to know the answer

i have a natural tan color belt and ithas turned into a dark shade of brown, looking for a way to get it a lighter color

does any1 have adefinite answer?
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