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About a year and half ago I posted a question regading the maintenance of the Terracota leather interior. I got one response that unfortunatelly was not specific enough. Hopefully now there are more cars out there with Terracota and I will get an answer. My question has to do with the different finish in this leather. It's does not have a glossy finish, it seems to have something like a sattin finish. I am concerned that if I don't use the correct product it will change or damage the OE finish. Until now all I have used is a damp cloth, but I feel like should be doing more. Any suggestions??? How are you maintaining your Terracota interior? Anyone?
 

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About a year and half ago I posted a question regading the maintenance of the Terracota leather interior. I got one response that unfortunatelly was not specific enough. Hopefully now there are more cars out there with Terracota and I will get an answer. My question has to do with the different finish in this leather. It's does not have a glossy finish, it seems to have something like a sattin finish. I am concerned that if I don't use the correct product it will change or damage the OE finish. Until now all I have used is a damp cloth, but I feel like should be doing more. Any suggestions??? How are you maintaining your Terracota interior? Anyone?
I have a 2007 CS with Terracota interior and I have exclusively been using Zaino Leather Spray Cleaner (Z9) and Leather in a Bottle Conditioner lotion (Z10) and they work very well IMO. I tried other products and have come to the conclusion that ZAINO is the best for me because it doesn't change the finish or leave an oily or glossy finish. I treat the whole interior, ie seats, door panels and dashboard about once every 4-6 months and have more or less managed to maintain the original finish. Z10 also leaves a nice new leather smell. I don't think that Z10 has changed the original colour or finish in 3 years of usage and about 8 applications. I strongly suggest you treat the leather because you will cause more damage of you leave it untreated for prolonged periods. Inevitably, the seats will develop a smoother feel with usage over time. The dash and door panel feels "granier" to the touch now compared to the seats but that's something you can't avoid. To minimise rubbing the side bolsters while getting in and out of the car; especially if you have sports seats, try and find a techniques to slide in and out without rubbing on the LHS bolster. HTH.
 

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What exactly are you wanting to do to the leather besides "preserve the present finish". If the vehicle is garaged most of the time I would suggest doing nothing. If you want to treat the leather with a leather product you should probably contact your Porsche parts department and ask them if there are different products for the different colored interiors.
I have found from owning a number vehicles with leather interiors that basically there are two types of leather used in vehicles whether domestic or foreign. Coated leather and uncoated leather.
Leather is an organic material and will "age" with time. I have never seen a vehicle with leather interior that keeps it's factory look unless the owner has put a set of covers over the seats or never exposed it to sunlight. If you are the only one who occupies the car obviously the drivers seat will be of greatest concern. Any "treatment" which is applied to the leather will eventually have some affect on it. I would do some research on coated and uncoated leather and the products which are used with each, and as I said earlier contact the Porsche dealer.:)
 

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Terracotta is just a special color; it is the same leather as the standard colors, according to Porsche, so care is the same. A damp cotton towel & a vacuum are your best friends for cleaning. For occasional conditioning, like once or twice per year, you'll hear many opinions regarding the right products to use. My personal favorite for years has been from Spinneybeck. (Use an internet search engine to find it, and you can search in this forum for other comments on Spinneybeck conditioner.) One reason I like that product, other than the awesome results, is that they are a high-end leather manufacturer, so I figure their product is unlikely to injure leather in any way.
 

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I have found from owning a number vehicles with leather interiors that basically there are two types of leather used in vehicles whether domestic or foreign. Coated leather and uncoated leather.
There are numerous differences between leathers, and unless Porsche tells us specifically what they're buying, we'll never know for sure. Even the standard Porsche leather isn't glossy, it just has a low sheen.

There's lots of discussion about the dye process, spray or vat-dyed. The common thinking in the forums is that standard & special Porsche leathers are spray-dyed, so the color is superficial. From the cross-section edge of natural leather I can see that it appears to be vat-dyed. All automotive leathers are coated or impregnated. Truly "naked" leathers are too delicate for automotive use. (I made that mistake once. Dumb.)

Having done a leather project or three, and asked some questions, there are apparently numerous differences in leather products and production processes. Like, corrected grain versus uncorrected grain. Examining the standard leather it looks like the grain is corrected. Porsche infers natural leather is uncorrected, but never actually says that, and if it is uncorrected Porsche is specifying some very nice hides. I've never seen information regarding whether or not Porsche uses aniline leather. The coatings on leather varies by manufacturer and by product, but every leather vendor I've talked to says most conditioners weaken the coating and remove finishing oils from the tanning process, so conditioning should be a rare procedure, and used primarily for getting ground-in dirt and oils out of the leather grain.
 

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There's lots of discussion about the dye process, spray or vat-dyed. The common thinking in the forums is that standard & special Porsche leathers are spray-dyed, so the color is superficial. From the cross-section edge of natural leather I can see that it appears to be vat-dyed.


I was told by the dealer that the full and special leathers were all dyed. The standard leather, which includes matched vinyl was sprayed, which made the color more constant across the two materials. From comparing my couch (which is dyed) to the leather from the cocoa interior in my CS, I believe he is correct.

Several leather specialists I've spoken with suggest a warm damp (not wet) lint and dye free cloth for cleaning. Then a high quality conditioner at regular intervals more for dryer climates and frequent direct sun exposure. I personally use Zaino, but only break out the leather cleaner in an emergency. Wipe down with a cloth once a week. I condition once a season, using the smallest amount of conditioner possible.

Other than that, a sun visor, tinted windows and a garage will go a long way in prolonging the life of the leather.
 

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I was told by the dealer that the full and special leathers were all dyed. The standard leather, which includes matched vinyl was sprayed, which made the color more constant across the two materials. From comparing my couch (which is dyed) to the leather from the cocoa interior in my CS, I believe he is correct.
Of course he is. Have you ever seen a Porsche cocoa steer? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi all,

Thanks for the input. To answer Bionichicken's question, what I want to do is to maintain the interior in as close to new condition as possible. The Terracota interior leather appears to have a different finish (sheen and texture) from other Porsche interiors. My previous experience in using products to clean and preserve the leather have been with "standard" smooth and somewhat shiny leather finish. I just want to make sure that what ever product I use will not change the original finish and end up with a smooth shiny interior. Having said all that, in two and a half years the car has only 11,000 miles and spends all unused time in a garage. To this point I have used only a damp clean cloth to wipe down the leather and it still looks as the first day I picked up the car. I just feel that after two and a half years I should be doing something more. Come to think of it, the only part that does need some more enthusiastic cleaning is the steering wheel. Maybe I'll use the Zaino stuf on the steering wheel.
 

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Hi all,

Thanks for the input. To answer Bionichicken's question, what I want to do is to maintain the interior in as close to new condition as possible. The Terracota interior leather appears to have a different finish (sheen and texture) from other Porsche interiors. My previous experience in using products to clean and preserve the leather have been with "standard" smooth and somewhat shiny leather finish. I just want to make sure that what ever product I use will not change the original finish and end up with a smooth shiny interior. Having said all that, in two and a half years the car has only 11,000 miles and spends all unused time in a garage. To this point I have used only a damp clean cloth to wipe down the leather and it still looks as the first day I picked up the car. I just feel that after two and a half years I should be doing something more. Come to think of it, the only part that does need some more enthusiastic cleaning is the steering wheel. Maybe I'll use the Zaino stuf on the steering wheel.

Driving gloves. Every time. All the time. Loan them to guest drivers. Mine happen to be a nice medium brown which works well with my Sand Beige steering wheel... The natural oils from your hands will affect the wheel (especially light ones like mine) adversely in very little time.
 

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It's a very special (AND short) list...:kiss:
 

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From my experience, in my old CS, it came with standard leather/vinyl that never felt smooth when rubbing your hand along the seat.

When I purchased my 997.2 with full natural leather Terracota/gray two tone, the terracota seats feel a lot smoother and more luxurious too. The leather smell is much deeper too.

Are you all sure the leather is the same on both standard and natural leather cars, cause it sure feels different when I had them both.
 

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When I purchased my 997.2 with full natural leather Terracota/gray two tone...
There's no such thing as natural Terracota leather. Terracota is a special color, but the leather is the same as the regular full leather colors. Only Dark Grey, Brown, and Carerra Red are natural leather.
 

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Then how can one explain the difference in how the leather feels, I know the standard leather seats are a mix of leather/vinyl... but every part of the full leather Terracota option seat I have feels very different/smoother than the standard leather seat I had on my CS...

Or maybe it's due to the ventilated seat option and all the small holes in the seat?
 

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Then how can one explain the difference in how the leather feels, I know the standard leather seats are a mix of leather/vinyl... but every part of the full leather Terracota option seat I have feels very different/smoother than the standard leather seat I had on my CS...

Or maybe it's due to the ventilated seat option and all the small holes in the seat?
I can't explain the difference. It might be that Porsche does use a different grade of leather for special colors, or their supplier uses a somewhat different dye formula that affects the "hand", as they say in the industry, or who-knows-what?

One of the first Caymans I test drove was a silver on terracota example, and I distinctly remember the leather impressing me more in every way than the standard partial leather does in our Boxster. The leather on the Boxster's sport steering wheel, for example, happens to be very soft and smooth, while the leather seating surfaces seem less so. If you spend any time with leather projects you quickly find that the sample-to-sample variability in how leather feels is considerable, and every vendor recommends that all of the leather for a given project should come from the same dye lot. For example, for one project I ordered about six color sample swatches of a popular automotive leather called Sabrina, from Spinneybeck. Every sample felt a little different, though they all looked quite similar, varying only by color. I never got a good answer about why that was the case.

We have natural leather in the CS interior, and it feels distinctly different than the leather in any of the non-natural cars I've experienced, including the above-mentioned terracota example. The natural stuff feels thicker and stiffer, yet it has a very interesting hand, that is a bit difficult to describe.
 

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I have a 2007 CS with Terracota interior and I have exclusively been using Zaino Leather Spray Cleaner (Z9) and Leather in a Bottle Conditioner lotion (Z10) and they work very well IMO. I tried other products and have come to the conclusion that ZAINO is the best for me because it doesn't change the finish or leave an oily or glossy finish.
+1 here....Zaino leather conditioner and spray are tops in my book. I use most of their products for inside and out and find they go along way between orders. In fact I had restocked prior to my croc's arrival and I still have enough for this year and probably into next.
 

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One thing which has not been addressed in this post is the leather itself.
Even though Porsche has specifications for the leather supplier and that/those suppliers strive to maintain their products to Porsche's satisfaction there is one variable in the equation, that being the hides themselves. Even though the molecular make up of each hide is basically the same not every hide comes from the same breed of cow/steer for one, and there also may be variables caused by age, nutrition, climate etc. when the animal was alive. Thus, though the leather in the vehicles may be processed exactly the same it may have subtle differences in its look and feel due to the hide itself. ;)
 

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I've used Spineybeck on my Terracota interior. The dash does not shine but the seats are smoother and have less texture than the dash and doors. I'm pretty sure that it is still close to the original 4 years later. I treat once maybe twice a year as I love the smell of the leather after treatment. I did see a boxter at the showroom that had the seats in the same texture as the dash. I don't know if that is an option in the new cars as mine is a 2006.
 

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Just a question though, what's the different between "natural" and "standard/special" leather? Are the latter synthetic or something?
 
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