The entire team of TLL is ecstatic about having been featured in one of the most coveted cleaning technology publications of the country!
The Art of Leather Cleaning
Posted by: Clean India Journal – Editor September 15, 2015
Leather Cleaning is no way an easy task. It is more like art restoration, where a technician has to work on several elements like stains, loose thread, dirt lining etc. “Our services are analogous to that of a surgeon’s, both in terms of time expended and expertise involved,” says Mallika Sharma, Founder-The Leather Laundry.
What propelled us to take up this venture was an enviable experience of two and half decades in the leather industry. We already have all the technical know-how, expertise and synergies in place! Also a genuine dearth of professional leather care technicians in India, prompted us to jump in and fill the gap by offering to clean, repair and care for leather, we are dissuading people from discarding their leather gear. This reduces wastefulness and conserves the environment (as leather processing entails a lot of water consumption and air pollution). Thus the Leather Laundry is a socially responsible initiative that tacitly reduces the impact of growing consumerism and fast fashion!
Cleaning and Moisturizing: Recommended procedures of leather cleaning are used to remove stains and soil as well as to replenish vital oils and restore color. Stains are removed in the safest possible way to maintain the look, feel and delicate balance of oil in the animal hide. Moisture content and softness is also restored by applying a special topcoat of rehydrating creams.
Coloring and Refinishing: Our color matching experts bring back color and softness that have been lost due to continued use, through the application of refinishing dyes and oils. They also fix non fast colors and restore colors that wear off during the normal cleaning procedure. The experts specialize in changing/improving the texture and tone of leather. From minor touch-up and tone correction to recoloring and complete color restoration, we do it all!
Repairing and Replacement: The trained tailoring workforce helps meet the repair needs of your leather apparel and accessories, thus rendering them usable. We carry a huge array of hardware, lining fabrics and leathers (of all possible qualities and colors) on stock. Our skilled craftsmen use high quality thread to provide excellent stitch work that completely blends in with your product.
Besides, cleaning, coloring & repairing, customized services is also available, such as:
-Size alternation of garments to get the ideal fit.
-Modification of color and quality of lining and hardware as per your liking.
-Strap length adjustment of leather bags
-Personal monogramming of names,initials, messages etc.
-Modification of texture and color of leather as per your liking!
-Additional embroidery work/printing.
We also offer made-to-order leather jackets where people can order the jackets based on the designs they selected.
Our prices are thus reflective of the same. My first customer has been a leather brand from Bangalore! The Company sent out leather gear in bulk quantities to us, and has been quite satisfied with our services! I have had people coming to me with precious leather gear (of high sentimental value) from their grandparents’ times, seeking advise on preservation and restoration techniques.
Troubles on the way…
Lack of skills in the field, lack of awareness among the consumers, theft or pilferage; we faced a lot of teething troubles at every stage. Even to this day, we are learning and are facing unexpected challenges from all quarters.
Cost Vs Quality
For me competition has never been a deterrent, or a motivator! I want to effectively package and sell stellar quality service that is timely, courteous and durable! I will not say that the concept is entirely unique/novel! There are several Indian players dabbling with the concept already! I do not want to under-cut competition by indulging in a price war of sorts. The focus area will only and always be “quality”. Since my focus area is narrow and caters to a niche market, it will take us a while to get volumes and break into the market! But it will be totally worth its while! Profit, is not the motive at the moment, building up on a culture of leather-care in India, is.
The key milestones for the next one-year would only be to focus on excellent quality and timely deliveries. We will try to get as much traction as we can in Delhi/ NCR and in other metro cities through our brand partners! I have tied up with three brands from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, who have exclusive rights to market our products in their respective cities! I am in dialogue with two other brands, and the idea now would be to tie up with, as many brands as possible, so that they can direct all the leather care needs of their customers to us!
Too early to be able to make any kind of projections! I am taking my own sweet time, and want the venture to grow organically (banking heavily on word-of-mouth). We are learning every day and are playing it by ear! Of-course I have certain dreams, goals and milestones for the venture, but I would like to keep them to myself for now!