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Masking Tape

Using Masking Tape to Clean NOVASUEDE®

  • Masking tape can be used to clean NOVASUEDE® like a lint brush. However, it should only lightly touch the suede and then be removed.
  • NEVER RUB THE TAPE INTO THE SUEDE or leave FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME.
  • NEVER USE TAPE TO MARK OR LABEL NOVASUEDE® IF THE TAPE WILL NEED TO BE REMOVED TO USE THE SUEDE.

Leaving Tape on NOVASUEDE®
There will be occasions when certain tapes will remain on NOVASUEDE® for a period of time, e.g., when a plastic cover is inadvertently taped to the chair’s upholstery during packaging. Masking tapes have rubber adhesives that with time tend to increase their peel adhesions to the surface of the material to which they have been applied. So when the tape is removed, some of the adhesive remains on the surface of the material. With NOVASUEDE®, the tape may pull out some of the microfiber and raise the nap above the rest of the suede. The result may be a dark area where the suede does not track with the rest of the piece.

These rubbery adhesives do not clean well with soap and water. Even some of the more popular spray cleaners do little more than soften the adhesive and “chase” it around.

If masking tape has been applied to suede for a period of time, the tape will have established a good bond to the microfibers. If this is the case, DO NOT PULL THE TAPE OFF THE SUEDE. The best way to remove the tape safely is to soften the tape adhesive and then remove it and the tape at the same time. A minimum of adhesive will remain on the suede. Mineral spirits is a clear water white solvent sold in hardware and paint stores, often as paint thinner for oil-based paints. A combustible liquid, it is a distillate of petroleum and has a mild odor similar to kerosene. Keep it away from ignition sources, use with adequate ventilation, and follow the manufacturer’s label instructions. Avoid alcohols, ketones such as acetone, and nail polish removers. It works well with clean white cloths to remove masking tape. Follow these instructions:

  • Starting with a small piece of tape, wet a cloth with the mineral spirits and wet the edge of the masking tape at the bond line.
  • The solvent will penetrate the suede, spread under the tape, and soften the tape.
  • Using light tension, gently lift the tape and slowly pull it back to where the solvent spot ends, a quarter-inch at a time. You should feel the tape grab to the dry suede. CAUTION: DO NOT PULL ON THE SUEDE!
  • Repeat the procedure until the tape has been completely removed.
  • It is important to work with a small area at a time and to be patient.
  • Over wetting the tape with mineral spirits or leaving it too long on the suede after wetting will soften the adhesive too much. When the tape is removed, the adhesive will remain on the suede.
  • Too little mineral spirits on the tape or too little wetting time will not allow the adhesive to soften adequately. When the tape is removed, some suede fibers also will be removed.
  • If any adhesive remains after the tape is removed, wet it with mineral spirits, roll it into a ball and pick it off the suede surface. Avoid pushing it down into the suede.
  • If the suede is dark or tacky, some adhesive may have been pushed into the microfiber. Wet the spot with mineral spirits and blot with a clean cloth. Brush the suede with a soft toothbrush. After drying, lightly brush the suede.
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