Flamingo effect

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The "flamingo effect" is a rare phenomenon occurring on pigmented, light smooth leather. When it first appears, the surface colour becomes pink but only in concealed areas (contact surfaces of the pads pressed against each other on the grain side). Also, it only seems to occur when two grain sides of leather rub against one another. Darkness alone does not trigger this problem. Please see the photo below.


The discolorations may not be immediately recognisable, but they are disturbing. Usually, this happens on relatively new furniture.


The surface pigmentation of the leather then becomes reddish or pinkish. In extremely rare cases, yellowish discolourations can also develop. The reason for this colour change has not been fully clarified. So far, this phenomenon has happened to furniture leather and within the first couple of years after the purchase. It also occurs when the leather is in storage and the grain sides are in direct contact.

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Flamingo effect-2015-01.jpg

After extended storage of folded leather, the light-coloured leather becomes reddish in the contact area of the pigmentation.


An explanation for this phenomenon may be a change in the pigment colour or a bleeding of dyes from the leather into the surface pigmentation. There is no valid explanation why only contact areas of the grain side are affected and not on all leather.



The xenon test shows that reddish discolouration is significantly reduced by UV irradiation.


Currently, the only solutions are to replace the leather or to bleach it by UV light. For the replacement option, avoid using the same leather, otherwise the flamingo effect will reappear.

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