How water-damaged Ugg boots are professionally restored
- Arrow Leathercare Services is a family business in Kansas City, Missouri.
- One of its specialties is the
cleaningand restorationof Ugg boots.
- Bruce Gershon, the owner, walks us through how his team cleans and restores a pair of Ugg Pasqual Belted Booties that are water damaged.
Following is a transcript of the
Bruce Gershon: Today, we're going to walk you through our restoration of a pair of
Danny: OK, in they go.
Bruce: These Ugg boots are probably generally washed at around 75- or 80-degree temperature. You have to have a little bit of warmth in there for the surfactants, the soaps and the oils to work properly. Danny: 20 minutes later, we're ready to take them out. Bruce: When we take the boots out of the machine, there is a bit of a hopping-back, shrinking-back process that happens in this wet cleaning. Uggs have a tendency to stretch out when you're wearing them, and so we are trying to stretch them back out a little bit but more shape them, and then he's taking little terry-cloth rags that we have and putting them in the toe so that the toe will keep a nice round shape when they dry. When Danny is finished shaping the boot, he'll put them on the drying rack, and they'll usually stay on the drying rack for 24 hours to 36 hours. After we get the boots off the drying rack and they're totally dry, Missy will take them and use a 3M pad. They make several different grades of these pads, and this one is a light- to medium-coarseness pad, and it's perfect for what we call shaving, or brushing the sheepskin to bring up the nap. When the suede wears, it will literally wear the nap off of the skin, and so one of the things that we wanna do is brush that nap back up and make it so that you don't see where it was worn.
Danny: Now we're gonna spray them up. To the spray booth.
Bruce: Missy is spraying the boot with what we call a neutral suede oil, for rejuvenating the suede. There are water-repellent properties to the oil. And at that point, we added a little dye to the oil to help camouflage that very slight trace of the hard-water mark that we were trying to eliminate. After the oiling and the drying period, generally an hour or so, we will come back and brush up the nap, and in doing this, we're inspecting to make sure that the color is even and we've rejuvenated the suede, the nap, the velvety look. Sometimes in the wet-cleaning process the fur will pick up little teeny bits of the suede, and so she will brush that fur to remove any of that suede lint that might've gotten on the boots in the wet-cleaning process. So, the final step is the water repellent. The water repellent that we use on the Uggs is designed to help protect them from moisture and wet-type stains. It won't make the boot waterproof. That's pretty much impossible, but it will go a long way to making it repel spots and stains. And then they will be inspected, and if they go through the final inspection process, they're ready to be packaged and shipped off to their owner.
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