Leather car seats are a popular choice for many drivers. They look luxurious and add a touch of class to any vehicle. However, one common complaint about leather seats is that they tend to wrinkle over time. In this article, we will explore the many reasons why leather car seats wrinkle and offer some solutions on how to prevent this from happening.
1. Heavy Use
Cars are a long-term property that we use every day. When you’re lucky to purchase the car of your dream or a good quality car, you might want to keep it for years.
With those years come a lot of use. The seats of the car are one of the first places that show signs of wear and tear. Leather car seats although durable will develop wrinkles over time as you use your car.
You might not notice it immediately but after many years of heavy use, your leather car seat will start to wrinkle. The more you’re in the driver’s seat, the worse it becomes. And after a while, you can’t even tell if they were originally flat or not.
The way this happens is leather is a natural material and, over time, it will stretch and form wrinkles. The more you use your car, the more these wrinkles will become permanent.
The beauty of this is that it is an awesome way for your leather to develop patina which is a feature most people love about leather.
Patina is a term used to describe the natural darkening, creases, wrinkles, among other things of leather over time as it ages and develops character.
2. Leather Car Seats Wrinkle As They Age
There is no single vintage or old leather car seat I’ve seen that is not creased or wrinkled. Two main facts still remain that when leather is used over a period of time, it will develop creases and wrinkles.
Leather is a natural skin as it comes from the hides and skins of animal like cows. It is not plastic or rubber and thus changes over time as you use it.
Just like the human skin, leather as a material will wrinkle and crease as it ages. This is one of the reasons why leather car seats wrinkle too.
It is an unfortunate reality that we all have to accept. However, there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening or at least slow down the process so your leather seat lasts longer and doesn’t look worn out after a few years of use.
Let me tell you a story about how my grandfather’s seat was wrinkled after many years of use, and I helped him restore it back to its original condition.
I remember that when I was growing up, we had this old Honda Accord with leather seats on the driver’s side and front passenger side.
The two seats were heavily wrinkled and creased as my grandfather had used them for many years. The car was about 20 years old at the time and the leather seats looked like it too.
Leather ages in a great way when cared for properly, but still changes with time and that change comes with wrinkles on the leather car seats.
These creases are part of the aging process of leather which is welcomed by many people because they appreciate this natural occurrence.
However, if you don’t like the way your leather seats look with wrinkles and would like to prevent this from happening, then read on for some solutions.
3. Soft Leather Materials Wrinkle
Right from the factory, if the leather material used to make the leather car seats are relatively soft, then it will wrinkle easier and a lot quicker.
Leather is one of the most durable materials you can use for car seats but there are different grades and types of leather.
The softer the leather, the more likely it is to wrinkle over time. For example, leather materials sourced from animal like cows, pigs, and sheep are usually a lot softer than those made from bovine, alligators, or snakes.
This is because the skins of these animals have different thicknesses and levels of softness. This is largely due to their natural skin structure and physiology.
It is also possible to alter the softness by using chemicals, tanning agents, and other processing methods when making leather from animal hides.
This makes it possible to manipulate the softness of leather but even then there are different types of leather that will wrinkle quicker than others depending on how they were made.
As a general rule, the softer the leather, the more likely it is to wrinkle so if you’re looking for car seats that don’t wrinkle then avoid leather car seats that feel soft or light right of the back.
4. Leather Not Drying Thoroughly After Cleaning
Generally, the structure of leather can easily change as the leather material becomes wet.
When leather becomes wet, the fibers will swell and stretch which can result in wrinkles forming on the material of your car seat if the car seats are not made to dry properly.
This basically means that the leather fibers are sensitive to moisture. Therefore, you have to be careful when cleaning your car seats with water or any other liquid.
If you want a wrinkle-free leather car seat, then always make sure that all the surfaces of the material dry properly after cleaning them as this will prevent wrinkles from forming on it over time by not using leather car seats while wet.
One common scenario is when you sit on your leather car seats with wet clothes or if it rains and the water seeps into the leather.
In this case, you will definitely see wrinkles form on the seats over time as they won’t be able to dry properly.
If you’re caught in the rain, always try to take a towel with you and dry off your car seats before getting in. This way, you’ll minimize the chances of wrinkles forming on your leather car seats.
You can always dry the leather car seat with a cloth or let it air-dry but make sure that there is no moisture left on the surface before you start using your car seats again.
5. Baby Seats Causes Wrinkles And Dents
Another common cause of wrinkles on leather car seats is babies and child car seats.
This happens a lot because these types of car seats are strapped tightly to the vehicle’s seat using buckles or straps which will apply pressure to your leather material over time.
This constant pressure applied by these child safety devices will eventually put dents or push-down areas on the leather material and will cause wrinkles to form over time.
If you have young children, it is best to make sure their car seats are properly fixed. Better still, you can make sure your leather car seats are well protected before the child seat is installed on them.
You cannot compromise the safety of your kids and pets.
However, it is also important to take care of your leather car seats if you want them to last longer and stay wrinkle-free.
If possible, try as much as possible to avoid having a child’s car seat for too long on the same spot in your vehicle. This will help reduce wrinkles from forming over time due to the pressure exerted by the car seat.
6. Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures can also cause wrinkles to form on your leather car seats. If the temperature is too cold or hot, it will most likely affect the softness of your leather material and eventually cause wrinkles to form on its surface over time.
This happens because extremes in temperature can change the structure of your leather material and make it more vulnerable to wrinkles.
This is why you should always park your car in a cool, dry place when not in use especially if you live in very cold areas.
You should also consider using sunshades on your windscreen to block out direct sunlight from reaching the inside of your car.
This will help keep the interior of your car at a moderate temperature and minimize the chances of wrinkles forming on your leather car seats.
On the other hand, if you live in hot climates, try to park your car in the shade as much as possible. This will prevent the leather material from becoming too warm and developing wrinkles over time.
Also, if there are too many frequent climate changes in your area, make sure to frequently use a leather conditioner for your car seats.
The conditioner will nourish and moisturize the leather material of the seat which will, in turn, prevent wrinkles from forming on it over time by keeping it hydrated all day long.
7. Seat Covers
While seat covers are supposed to protect your leather car seats from dirt, stains, and wear and tear, it can also be a major contributor to the formation of wrinkles over time.
This is because seat covers add an extra layer of material on top of your leather car seats which will make it difficult for the leather to breathe. Over time, this will cause the leather car seats to wrinkle.
This is why you should always remove your seat covers after use so that the leather material will breathe properly and prevent wrinkles from forming on it over time.
Better still, you can get a breathable car seat cover for your vehicle which will ensure proper ventilation of the leather material under it.
The only downside to this is that the car seat cover may not be as effective in protecting your leather car seats from dirt, stains, and wear and tear.
However, it will definitely help prevent wrinkles from forming on the leather over time.
Also, you want to make sure that the leather care seat covers installed are done properly without leaving any air gaps. Also, you want to get the right size leather car seat covers for your car seats so that it does not pull or tug at the leather material, which can also cause wrinkles over time.
8. Sun Damage
Sunlight is one of the arch-nemeses of leather car seats. It can cause the material to fade, crack, and develop wrinkles over time.
This is because direct sunlight contains UV rays which are very harmful to leather car seats. If left unprotected, your leather car seats will eventually succumb to the damaging effects of the sun’s rays and develop unsightly wrinkles.
This is why you should always apply a UV leather protection spray on your car seats if they are exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis whether outside or inside the vehicle.
This will help protect them from premature wrinkling and other forms of damage caused by UV rays. However, this does not mean that you can leave your car seats exposed to direct sunlight for long periods without any sort of protection.
In fact, even the best UV leather protection spray cannot completely protect your leather car seats from the damaging effects of UV rays over time.
This is why you should always keep your vehicle’s interior cool and dry at all times by using sunshades on the windscreen and parking in the shade when your car is not being used.
Doing so will help protect your leather car seats from developing wrinkles prematurely over time.
9. Poor Quality Leather Material
As you may already know, there are different qualities of leather materials out there. Some are made from genuine high-quality leather, while others are made from synthetic or cheaper quality material that imitates real leather but with lower cost and durability.
If your car seats were covered in low-quality leather material, you will have a higher chance of developing wrinkles on them over time as compared to those that are covered in high-quality leather. This is because the low-quality material will not be as durable and resistant to wrinkles as compared to the high-quality one.
This is why it is important to always check the quality of leather material used before you purchase car seat covers or have them installed on your car seats.
If you are not sure about the quality of leather material, you can always ask the seller or manufacturer for a sample to test its durability and resistance to wrinkling.
Alternatively, you can also do some research online to see what other people have said about the quality of the leather material used in the car seat covers before making your purchase.
By doing so, you can be more assured of the quality and durability of your car seat covers.
10. Improper Storage
Your car seats can also develop wrinkles if you do not store them properly. This is especially true for those that are kept in storage for long periods of time without being used such as during the winter season or when the vehicle is off-road.
In order to prevent this from happening, you should always make sure to store your car seats in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will help preserve the leather material and prevent it from developing wrinkles over time.
If your car will be stored for longer periods, you want to make sure that you take the car from storage every few months to ensure that it is still in good condition.
Do make sure to apply some leather conditioner from time to time and make sure to allow the conditioner to thoroughly dry before returning the car back into storage.
Additionally, you also want to make sure that the car seats are properly covered with a protective layer so that they do not come into direct contact with any harmful substances such as dust particles or liquids which can cause them to develop wrinkles prematurely over time.
11. Poor Quality Leather Care Products
Another common reason why leather car seat wrinkle is due to the use of poor-quality leather care products.
This can be attributed to the fact that some people tend not to thoroughly research what type of product they should use on their car seats before purchasing one.
They just end up buying whatever brand or model is available at their local stores without even considering whether or not it is suitable for their leather car seats.
The result? Your car seat develops wrinkles prematurely over time and you will have to spend more money on getting another set of car seat covers in order to replace them.
This is usually due to harsh ingredients in the leather cleaner, conditioner, or protector used to clean and protect your leather car seats.
These ingredients can be very harmful to the leather material, causing it to become brittle over time which in turn leads to premature wrinkling of the material itself.
To avoid this from happening, always make sure that you do some research first before buying any products for cleaning or protecting your leather car seats.
Prevention Tips To Keep Your Leather Car Seats Wrinkle Free
There are several things you can do to prevent leather car seats from wrinkling. Here are a few tips:
- Be gentle when using the car seat.
- Avoid excessive tugging or pulling when cleaning or drying the car seat.
- Make sure to use a high-quality leather cleaner, conditioner, and protector.
- Store your car seats in a cool, dry, and dark place when not in use.
- Take the car seats out of storage every few months to ensure that they are still in good condition.
- Apply a leather conditioner from time to time and make sure to allow the conditioner to thoroughly dry before returning the car back into storage or before use.
- Make sure that the car seats are properly covered with a protective layer so that they do not come into direct contact with any harmful substances such as dust particles or liquids which can cause them to develop wrinkles prematurely over time.
- Make sure that you do some research first before buying any products for cleaning or protecting your leather car seats.
To recap, there are many reasons why leather car seats wrinkle. Some of the most common reasons include heavy use, aging, soft materials, and a lack of drying after cleaning.
In some cases, baby seats can cause wrinkles and dents in the leather. Extreme temperatures can also cause leather to wrinkle.
Seat covers can help, but only if they are of good quality and fit well. Poor storage can also lead to wrinkles. The use of poor-quality leather care products is another common reason for premature wrinkling.
So there you have it! The many reasons why leather car seats wrinkle and some tips on how to prevent them from happening. Follow these simple tips and your leather car seats will stay wrinkle-free for a long time!