Colour migration

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Colour migration

Occasionally dyes penetrate from the back of the leather through to the surface. These are typically pen markings on the back of leather as a guide to cutting in the right place. The ink goes through the leather and becomes visible on the pigmentation. This can lead to considerable damage.


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A red spot on the back of the leather soaked through and became visible on furniture leather.


There was a case of a yacht fitted with leather panels, over several floors, on the floors, the walls and the ceiling. After some time, the dyes from the back markers migrated through the leather. It was a total loss, and the leather had to be completely redone. Leather should only be marked with chalks or silver leather marking pens to avoid such problems.


Colour migration on the back of leather laminated material

In this case, dark spots were discovered on a white leather motorcycle suit. A black fabric was glued onto the back of the visible stains. The discolouration was only in areas where the fabric was glued to the leather. Other areas of contact with the fabric were not discoloured, nor areas where other adhesives were used.

Identical cases in car leather lead to the assumption that, under unfavourable conditions, (laminated fabrics with thermo-active adhesives, fabrics that are not colour-fast and possibly moisture in the leather) may lead to a migration of dyes onto the visible side of the leather.


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Migration of dyes from the back lining of a dark fabric.


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In the central region, where the substance is not glued, there is no discolouration.


Colour migration in non-adhered materials on the back

Materials that are not glued may have properties or dyes that can leave marks on the back of leather. Depending on the extent of the stains, these dyes can migrate to the front of the leather over time. Moisture promotes this process allowing the dye to travel through the leather.


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Clearly visible stains where the fabric touches the back. Where the leather is folded, the staining stops.


Adhesive migration – Glue migration

Adhesives used on the back of leather can also soak through to the front. In other words adhesive migration.


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Adhesive migration on a leather jacket. - Glue migration on chairs.


Using COLOURLOCK Blocker on ink stains


The use of COLOURLOCK Blocker in cases of dye transfer on leather, colour migration, tyre marks, adhesive migration, black mould etc. in leather.

More problematic cases of leather colorations


Additional information


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