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From digest.v7.n123 Sat Aug 16 15:08:33 1997
From: Duane Collie <>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 13:26:25 -0400
Subject: Leather Repair UPDATE <long>

I promised to send a post on my attempt to repair my '95 M3 Buffalo Grey leather which suffered a dye-transfer from carrying a new tire in the seat when returning from O'Fest.

So I went to the experts - Leather Master out of North Carolina and sent them a sample swatch with the stain re-created. They sent back a number of products, in various levels of potency (some of these could etch glass, I think). I worked through them up to and including the last & most drastic of them : SUPER REMOVER! This one has caution label alls over it including "USE AS LAST DITCH EFFORT BEFORE REPLACING LEATHER". OhhhKayyyyyy...right....this should be good.....

I proceed cautiously with the Super Remover as a last resort (as the lesser products failed to remove the stain). "BY GAWD!" I says..."Super Remover is getting the stain out...finally!" It is also taking the original BMW leather pigment dye with it.

This is not a good thing.

On to the next step. I suspected this would be the case and had them mix up a water-based analine dye kit.
It works great! They nailed the color spot-on and its now just a matter of laying up successive coats of dye. This is not as drastic as it sounds an is easy to do. Its also great for re-dying the cracks on the aggressive bolsters on the standard E36 M3 seats. This is not an acrlyic-based paint (that I saw another Digester mention they used) - the painted leather repairs eventually crack and flake off over time. A proper water-based analine dye sinks in and bonds to the leather itself.

You can call Leather Master direct at 800-300-2359. I'm a dealer for them (I use their products for touch-ups on leather furniture I sell in my store) so I do not know if they sell direct. I don't really want to get into the business of selling leather care products via the Digest, but if you are in need and cannot source elsewhere, then drop me an e-mail and I'll help you out if I can on a very limited basis. NOTE: This is NOT a solitation for commercial business - and I have nothing to send out for information!

Here's what I used:

MIDI kit (a basic 'soft' cleaner & protection kit).. $ 17.50 Bottle of Super Cleaner (careful here!) .... $ 19.00 Custom Colorline Kit-Pigmented (matched to your leather).. $ 49.00

Moral of the story:

  1. Rubber products DO chemical dye transfer into the leather - don't lay them on your seats.
  2. Save the leather sample swatch BMW gives you when you buy the car so it can be sent off for a dye match transfer later on if required.
  3. Don't be afraid to re-dye your seats, but get the right product (not acrylic paint!)

Duane Collie
National Capital Chapter

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