How do I know if my leather will stand up to the sun? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:25 PM
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How do I know if my leather will stand up to the sun?

Hello forum: I'm wondering. If I was doing a dash or a steering wheel, I really want to use a real leather. I love leather. But how do I know how quickly the leather will be damaged by the sun? Lets assume my vehicle is going to be parked out in the sun every day, and the leather is black.

Oh sure you can just pay way more for "automotive leather" but what does that stuff actually FEEL like? Seems like that would greatly limit my choices...

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockworthy
Hello forum: I'm wondering. If I was doing a dash or a steering wheel, I really want to use a real leather. I love leather. But how do I know how quickly the leather will be damaged by the sun? Lets assume my vehicle is going to be parked out in the sun every day, and the leather is black.

Oh sure you can just pay way more for "automotive leather" but what does that stuff actually FEEL like? Seems like that would greatly limit my choices...
The automotive leathers that I have felt were great. Leather made for clothing does not have the UV protection that automotive leather has. I can tell you this - my girlfriend left a handbag in her vehicle last summer. It was leather. She was asking me why it had a big fade mark across it if it was leather. I explained to her about UV treatment.

I guess you can do what you want. The question is how often do you want to redo it? that is up to you. And it probably is not as fire retardant as automotive leather either.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:14 AM
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Hmm. Interesting.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:57 AM
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Good leather, whether it is "automotive grade" or not, properly taken care of will do just fine in your car. By properly taken care of, I mean kept clean and treated periodically with a good leather conditioner like Lexol. Don't use Armor All on leather. The biggest problem with leather, or vinyl for that matter, is body oil, dirt, and letting it get dried out. Naturally, the leather being black or any dark color is a negative because it will attract the sun's rays.

If you're worried about it, just make a cover for the steering wheel and dash board out of some breathable fabric and cover it completely when it sits outside in the sun.
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