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What is Oil or Pull-Up Leather? It’s Durability, Characteristics, and Maintenance

What is Oil or Pull-Up Leather It’s Durability, Characteristics, and Maintenance

What is Oil or Pull-Up Leather? It’s Durability, Characteristics, and Maintenance


The appearance of leather is one of its outstanding features. With flaws and color variations, each leather piece offers a unique tale about the hide. One of my favorite types of leather is oil leather or pull up leather because I find color changes to be the most attractive. Pull-up leather has substantially more diversity throughout the piece, and this variance only gets deeper with use. 


Pull up leather is a finishing technique that gives leather a multitone appearance by adding hot oils and wax. Stretching or bending pull-up leather makes the undertones more pronounced. This offers durability and wear resistance and can be used with any type of leather. Per square foot, pull up leather ranges from $4 to $15.


What to Expect for This Blog?


We'll go into the interesting world of pull-up leather in this blog. Learn about the distinctive qualities that make it stand out, such as the multitone appearance brought on by hot oils and wax and its capacity to acquire a lovely patina over time. We'll dispel myths about its durability and go over its history, manufacturing method, and a variety of applications, including wallets and shoes. We'll also offer advice on how to take care of pull-up leather and share our personal research on how to remove scuffs and keep it looking good. You'll learn useful facts here whether you're a leather fanatic or just interested in this unique material.


Table of Content 

  1. What Is Pull-Up Leather?
  2. Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
  3. History of Pull-Up Leather
  4. How Pull Up Leather is Made?
  5. In-depth Characteristics of Pull Up Leather

            Natural or Synthetic

            Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Flexible?

            Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Soft?

            Surface Texture

            Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Durable?

            Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Waterproof?

            What is the Cost of Pull-Up Leather?

  1. Pros of Pull-Up Leather
  2. Cons of Pull-Up Leather
  3. Some Pull-Up Leather Products
  4. Our Personal Research on Pull-Up Leather

            Rubbing the Leather

            Rubbing the Leather With Leather Balm

            Using a Heat Gun

  1. Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Care and Maintenance

            Clean a Pull-Up Leather?

            How to Condition Pull-Up Leather?

            How to Store Pull-Up Leather?

  1. Popular Questions on Pull-Up Leather
  2. Conclusion


1. What Is Oil Or Pull-Up Leather?


What is Pull Up Leather


Any type of leather finished with hot oil or wax is referred to as pull up leather. Although every tannery has a unique process for making pull-up leather, the multitone result is common. A gradient exists throughout the worn areas as a result of the oils and waxes shifting as the leather is stretched or bent.


The leather becomes more durable because the effect is produced by filling the leather with a lot of hot oil or wax. Water will be resisted more forcefully than with other leathers, and scratches will fade into the leather.


2. Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions


Pull-up leather worn patterns are sometimes mistaken for damage rather than patina. Normally, leather ages by growing darker, while pull-up leather ages by becoming lighter. The majority of marks are only superficial because the leather is packed with oil or wax; however, scratches and wear will be highlighted.


In fact, the majority of marks left on pull-up leather may be removed by simply heating the leather up by rubbing it with a towel. This aids in bringing wax or oil back to the area, blending it more seamlessly with the leather's darker areas. 


3. History of Pull-Up Leather


Oils have long been used in the production of leather. Raw leather was traditionally soaked in animal fats. The fats oils would seep into the hide and coat it, making it more durable and water-resistant. The pull-up effect, however, is more than that. According to legend, Chromexcel by Horween was the first pull-up leather.


It was developed more than 100 years ago, and it overstuffs the leather using a secret mixture of oils and waxes. As a result, strong leather is produced, and the oils and waxes can be seen transferring across the surface. The pull up finishing technique is currently well-liked all over the world, with each tannery utilizing its own mixture to produce the distinctive look. 


4. How Pull-Up Leather is Made?


How Pull-Up Leather is Made


Like most other types of leather, pull-up leather starts as an animal hide. Before tanning, the hide needs to be cleaned and trimmed. Pull up leather will be put in a pit or drum with the appropriate chemical compounds since it might be vegetable tanned or chrome tanned.


They are let to dry after tanning before the leather is colored. Both a huge vat and an airbrush can be use to apply color. The leather's final, finishing-method operation produces the pull-up effect. On the surface of the leather, waxes and/or hot oils are combine and applied.


The color of the leather will appear darker when it is covered since it is "hidden" below the polish. As a result of the leather's ability to reveal its real color when bent, this produces the pull-up effect.


5. In-depth Characteristics of Pull-Up Leather


Natural or Synthetic

Real leather, whether split, top-grain, or full-grain, is known as pull up leather. The leather's "pull up" features are essentially a result of the coating process. As a result, the hides use determine the leather quality and authenticity. Top grain, chromium-tanned leather will represent the majority of pull-up leathers.


Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Flexible?


Flexibility of pull up leather


The majority of the available hides will be fairly flexible in an effort to demonstrate the impacts of pull up leather. One of the main selling points of pull-up leather is how the color beneath is accentuate as the leather bends. In addition to being chrome tan, which results in significantly softer leather, many pull-up leathers will also be.


Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Soft?

Pull-up leather is not advertise as being soft. Although the surface is softer than soft leathers, it can only be describe as ordinary. Waxy pull-up leathers in particular may have tougher hides that take longer to break in. In order to attain its effect, pull up leather typically sacrifices suppleness. 


Surface Texture

Pull-up leather's surface texture can differ. Due to the fact that the pull-up effect is produce by stuffing the leather with these substances, the two most prevalent characteristics are a waxy or oily surface. The leather may moreover already have a texture that won't be conceal by the additional wax or oil. However, pull up effects in additional textured pull up leather might only be mild. 


Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Durable?


Durability of Pull up Leather


Pull-up leather becomes incredibly durable thanks to the additional hot oils and/or waxes packed into the surface. In addition to adding character by producing the pull-up appearance, scratches can be easily erase by rubbing. Additionally, the additional waxes and/or oils assist keep the leather from becoming wet. Pull-up leather is a preferred material for boots and other high-wear items because of these qualities.


Is Oil Leather or Pull-Up Leather Waterproof?

Pull up leather is water resistant, though it isn't completely waterproof, thanks to the hot oils and/or waxes stuffed into the surface of the leather, which act as a barrier, repelling and preventing water from entering the leather.


What is the Cost of Pull-Up Leather?

A common finishing technique that enables the leather to be taken over at various pricing points is pull-up type leather. Pull-up leather can be sold for as little as $4 per square foot at the low end. The tanning process improves as the quality does. The priciest pull-up leathers are those that have been vegetable tan; they can cost up to $15 per square foot. 


6. Pros of Pull Up Leather


Pull up leather is a popular option for producers for a variety of factors. Its visual appeal is its first draw. It is one of the few types of leather where the patina brings out the beauty of the leather. Each and every piece that uses pull-up leather gains so much character from the lightning impact that usage creates.


Along with providing toughness and water resistance, the hot oils and/or waxes packed into the surface of the leather also reduce the amount of maintenance needed for the leather. In summary, pull up leather is a gorgeous variety of leather that is low maintenance, durable, and only gets prettier with age.


7. Cons of Pull Up Leather


Pull up leather has very few cons because the majority of its qualities are appealing. The pull effect, though, may make it harder for some people to enjoy a project. Pull-up leather scratches more easily and loses its shine more rapidly than other types of leather, which is a problem for people who want to keep their leather looking brand new.


For crafters, the oily or waxy surface can build up on needles or thread or bleed onto other materials. The thread could get dirty as a result, necessitating several stops to replace it. 


8. Some Pull Up Leather Products


Pull up Leather Shoes


  1. Shoes/Boots 
  2. Wallets   
  3. Belts
  4. Bags


9. Our Personal Research on Pull Up Leather


The patina that develops from using the leather over time is an essential component of pull-up leather. However, leather that is pull up scratches easily. While some scratches are acceptable as part of the patina, others might be ugly. I looked into and put to the test numerous methods for eradicating scratches and restoring color uniformity. 

Rubbing the Leather

Scratches are most frequently repaire by rubbing the leather. I experimented with a rag and my fingertip. Scratches could be remove with little apparent difference, however rubbing with a cloth also produced a slight sheen. Scratches on the surface were not a problem, but as they progressed in depth, they became harder to conceal and would only slightly darken. 


Rubbing the Leather With Leather Balm

When practical, waxes and oils found in leather balm have a tendency to make leather darker. In this test, I tried to hide comparable scratches by applying leather balm to a cloth instead. The balm appeared to fill and darken the lighter regions, which was a fantastic performance.


Deep scratches that had not yet reach the leather's color were also skillfully fill. One thing to take note of is that the area where the leather balm was apply was a little bit darker than the region around it. To maintain a consistent color using this procedure, the entire leather surface may need to be cover. 


Using a Heat Gun

One common technique I have always been dying to attempt is warming the waxes and oils in the leather before rubbing it with a heat gun or hair dryer. I did this by directing a heat pistol at the scratches while it was on the lowest setting.


The scratches vanished right away with the heat, and when I touched the surface, they were completely gone. If serious scratches didn't remove enough of the leather's color, they may be cover. 


10. Oil Leather or Pull Up Leather Care and Maintenance


How to Clean a Pull Up Leather?


Pull Up Leather Cleaning


Pull up leather may require a little extra care when cleaning because it tends to collect more dust than other leathers. The surface should be cleane with a delicate horse hair brush, but any stuck-on debris can easily be remove with a damp rag. After dusting, thoroughly clean the surface with a clean rag and saddle soap. When using saddle soap, it is preferable to condition the leather first to stop it from drying out. 


How to Condition Pull-Up Leather?

Although pull up leather needs more dusting than regular leather, it won't require as much conditioning. Unless the leather gets wet or after using leather soap, once or twice a year is more than enough. Use a clean cloth and a small bit of leather conditioner to condition the leather. Before using more conditioner, rub it over the leather surface and let it air dry fully. 


How to Store Pull Up Leather?

It's crucial to keep pull-up leather out of the sun and heat when storing it. Both may result in the leather drying out after extended exposure. Any pull up leather should ideally be kept in a dust bag. When pulling out the leather for usage, keeping the dust and debris contained can be helpful because the leather draws both of these things. 


11. Popular Questions on Pull Up Leather


What does pull up on leather mean?

The trend that results from bending leather is refer to as "pull up" when talking about leather. Hot oils and/or waxes are inject into pull-up leather, deepening the leather's color by coating it. The color is "pulled up" to the surface of the leather as it is bent, emphasizing wear, scratches, and other patina. 


What is oil pull leather?

Pull Up leather is an oil and wax-rich leather that feels smooth and supple to the touch despite being entirely natural, untreated, and rough. It has a distinctive natural appearance that, with use, lightens in color when stretched to create a distinctive worn-in effect.


Is pull up leather genuine leather?

 Yes, Pull-up leather is genuine leather. An extra coating seen on other aniline leathers contributes to the pull-up effect. The leather below is normally top grain leather or better, despite the fact that the top coat of oils and/or waxes may be heavy and give the impression of being made of plastic. 


What is the difference between oil tanned and pull up leather?

Pull-Up leather is a unique type of leather that is typically finish on the surface using wax and oil. A leather that has been oil, on the other hand, has been tan using oils or fat as additional tanning agents. Both scenarios produce soft leather with a fashionable look that makes the surface appear lighter when tugged or bent. When the leather is not only oiled but also waxed on the surface, this effect is considerably more noticeable.


Can you shine pull up leather?

To manufacture pull-up leather, several materials are occasionally combine in various ways. Pull-up leather often shines best when several waxes apply. Buff the leather with a fresh towel to make it shiny. It's possible that oily pull-up leathers won't always shine.


Is pull up leather good quality?

The variety of tanneries that produce pull up leather greatly influences the quality of the end result. Even while the majority of pull-up leather will have at least top grain, the finishing techniques and the way the top coat is put on can significantly alter how the leather feels in the end. 


12. Conclusion


Deeper scratches took more work to remove, although all tested methods were successful at doing so for surface-level scratches. A leather balm can be use in those circumstances, however it might make the region darker. The heat gun was the most effective since it repaired deep scratches more quickly and without darkening the region. It is significant to note that none of the tested methods can restore the color of leather that has been scratch.


Learn more about leather here  Leather 101 - The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Leather


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