Warm (Cracked) Leatherette
August 30, 2012 2:53 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep a leatherette sofa from cracking (and deteriorating)?

I bought a white, leatherette sofa (that I asked a previous AskMe question about here: http://ask.metafilter.com/102453/Warm-and-Stained-Leatherette) four years ago. It's quite possibly my favorite sofa, ever. It's also a fantastic bed.

The problem is that, after four years of use, the leatherette fabric is cracking in places and flaking off, leaving little vinyl shreds around the places where the deterioration is the worst.

I don't want to save the original sofa--it's too far gone for that. But I'm replacing it with a new one, and while the cost isn't the biggest issue here, I am not happy with the waste. I'll donate the old sofa, but I want to keep the new one in good shape for a lot longer than four years. That seems far too short a lifespan for a sofa (especially one I love).

So how do I keep the fabric from cracking after a few years? Are there tricks, tips, products I can use, even?
posted by yellowcandy to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Was it exposed to a lot of sun? That definitely makes vinyl deteriorate faster. But also in general this is one of the reasons that vinyl is considered an inferior alternative to real leather; it wears out faster, and the symptoms of it wearing out are (generally) more objectionable. (However, being in the midst of couch shopping myself right now, I totally understand wanting to get exactly the same thing again once you've found one you like. I'd do the same thing - it's so hard to find a great couch!)
posted by primethyme at 3:44 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

No, not much sun exposure at all.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:10 PM on August 30, 2012

If you're going for a new sofa, spring for real leather, for all the reasons you've listed. It costs more per sofa, but lasts longer, so you win at the long game.

If you have some moral objection to real leather, try microfiber. It won't outlast leather, but new treatments can be amazingly stain resistant, and plush-feeling like leather (though you'll never mistake one for the other, of course).
posted by IAmBroom at 1:25 PM on August 31, 2012

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