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      11-24-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
gazosnic
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Leather stretched - any fix for this?

I just picked up a used m3 and the driver seat leather where you sit is stretched and wrinkled. Is there anyway to restore this back to how it was originally?
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      11-24-2013, 09:56 PM   #2
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I tried hair dryer and portable steamer... maybe seemed to help a little... but def not uniformly tight how I want it to be.

When you say moisture, maybe I should add more or let it soak a bit before re-applying heat? Any recommendations appreciated on best procedure.
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      11-25-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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My X5 has the same issue on the passenger seat.
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      11-26-2013, 01:14 AM   #4
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There's no way. It's a natural way of leather to age
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      11-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
Not correct, leather is a skin. It will stretch out over time but if you use moist heat it tightens the skin.



First clean the seats with a leather cleaner. Make sure to use a leather cleaner as it is pH neutral.

Then lay a damp towel down and with a COOL iron go over the leather, (play with the settings very carefully as to not scorch anything). The heat and moisture will almost immediately improve the tautness.

Then use a leather conditioner to help retain the shape.

This will by no means give you the look of new leather seats but will really improve the appearance and feel.
You get it to look like the day it rolled out of the factory and you'll prove me wrong
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      11-27-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. When you say cool iron, you mean initially correct right and increase heat to essentially iron the leather?

Also would you suggest periodically reapplying moisture by wetting the towl again throughout the process?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
Not correct, leather is a skin. It will stretch out over time but if you use moist heat it tightens the skin.



First clean the seats with a leather cleaner. Make sure to use a leather cleaner as it is pH neutral.

Then lay a damp towel down and with a COOL iron go over the leather, (play with the settings very carefully as to not scorch anything). The heat and moisture will almost immediately improve the tautness.

Then use a leather conditioner to help retain the shape.

This will by no means give you the look of new leather seats but will really improve the appearance and feel.
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      11-27-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, is it?
Yup didn't see it sorry about that. Don't get defensive
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      11-28-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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this might help

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      11-29-2013, 03:59 AM   #9
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I took the leap of faith today, and went with the hot iron method on my driver seat, great result!

I laid a damp microfiber over the leather seat, set my iron to the highest setting, and went to work. (low setting resulted in no steam for my iron, your result may very). I simply ironed the seat (stretched out area) like I'd do with a shirt, and I was able to tighten the leather to 90% level of the passenger seat, which has zero stretch since I never carry any passenger. The seat also came out cleaner than when I started, must be the steam.

I then applied my 1z einszett leather lotion, and I have to say the seat definitely looks way newer with the tightened leather.

Last edited by Leonardo629; 11-29-2013 at 04:49 AM.
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      11-29-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo629 View Post
I took the leap of faith today, and went with the hot iron method on my driver seat, great result!

I laid a damp microfiber over the leather seat, set my iron to the highest setting, and went to work. (low setting resulted in no steam for my iron, your result may very). I simply ironed the seat (stretched out area) like I'd do with a shirt, and I was able to tighten the leather to 90% level of the passenger seat, which has zero stretch since I never carry any passenger. The seat also came out cleaner than when I started, must be the steam.

I then applied my 1z einszett leather lotion, and I have to say the seat definitely looks way newer with the tightened leather.
Awesome... will have to try to do this myself this weekend. So were you ok going to high heat with periodically monitoring the heat of the leather? Any before / after shots?
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      11-29-2013, 12:40 PM   #11
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Since you have to create steam in order for this method to work, just adjust accordingly. As you iron the microfiber, touch the microfiber with your other hand to make sure enough steam is being produced. The whole process should take you less than a couple minutes. I touched the leather after I removed the microfiber, and it was pretty warm, but definitely not hot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gazosnic View Post
Awesome... will have to try to do this myself this weekend. So were you ok going to high heat with periodically monitoring the heat of the leather? Any before / after shots?
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      11-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #12
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I don't have the before/after shot of the seat, but I have a pass. vs. driver. Llike I mentioned before, my pass seat is still in new condition since the seat has been sat on for less than 10 times since I got the car back in Jan. 2013. My M3 has around 6000mi.



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      11-30-2013, 03:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo629 View Post
I don't have the before/after shot of the seat, but I have a pass. vs. driver. Llike I mentioned before, my pass seat is still in new condition since the seat has been sat on for less than 10 times since I got the car back in Jan. 2013. My M3 has around 6000mi.



not for nothing your car is a 2013 w/ 6k miles. What should the seats look like? Mine still look like new for an 09 w/ 45k
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      11-30-2013, 07:13 PM   #14
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Care to share pics of your seats and your leather care routine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughs65e90 View Post
not for nothing your car is a 2013 w/ 6k miles. What should the seats look like? Mine still look like new for an 09 w/ 45k
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      12-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #15
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You should use 100% cotton towel instead. Microfiber is synthetic and could melt into a hot mess.
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      06-16-2015, 03:49 PM   #16
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I try not to revive old threads, but I was just wondering if anyone else had tried this lately since the OP? I'm looking at options to restore my driver's seat and this looks promising.
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      11-14-2015, 09:27 PM   #17
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Tried it a couple weeks ago. It DOES work...that is, until you sit in the seat in which case it goes back to its previous loose form
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      04-12-2016, 06:29 AM   #18
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Small damp/wet face towels in a microwave, then place the hot towel on the seat (CAREFUL its gonna be hot) !!

Last edited by m3toboot; 04-12-2016 at 06:30 AM. Reason: typo
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      04-12-2016, 11:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkFT View Post
I try not to revive old threads, but I was just wondering if anyone else had tried this lately since the OP? I'm looking at options to restore my driver's seat and this looks promising.
Leather stretches and patinas. Nothing you can really do about it. If anything, the fact that it shows some wear indicates that it's real leather and not the fake stuff.

If it's particularly nasty or even torn/discolored, visit an auto upholstery shop and see what they can do. Sometimes it can be redyed, or you may have to reorder a new cover (expensive).
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      04-12-2016, 07:50 PM   #20
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I might sound crazy, but I would love a little fitted seat cushion to protect the leather from wrinkling and stretching. I condition my leather more than any I know but I still can't keep the seats looking fresh. And I would say I'm pretty light...
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      04-13-2016, 04:51 PM   #21
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I'm as crazy with my seats as you guys are. Car turned 5 years and 26k miles. Wrinkles seems impossible to completely avoid but the leather itself actually still looks close to brand.
Keeping them clean and regular conditioned I believe is key. Even wipe them off every so often with a micro towel to keep dust etc off. OCD yes but believe it helps...
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      04-13-2016, 04:56 PM   #22
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Having a wallet in your back pocket is a good way to accelerate the stretching/wear. You typically see the weird divot off-center on the seat bottom.

Plus, it's not the greatest for your back.
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