Connolly Leather
Connolly Leather
5 (100%) 3 vote[s]

Connolly Brothers, which supplied Connolly Leather Hides, was a world-famous British business. For over 125 years, Connolly Leather was a British business that mainly provided automotive makers with finely polished leather. The word is often used to define, as installed in a car interior, the unique brand of the leather itself. John Joseph and Samuel Frederick Connolly founded Connolly Leather back in 1878. The business started in London near the companies that offered to fix shoes on Euston Road.

When the business grew and began providing restoration facilities for harness and saddlery goods, it wasn’t long before they started purchasing leather and completing it themselves. The Connolly brothers have been there from the start when the motorcar was born.

The Connolly Leather products were very special in manufacturing as they had the patina, scent and clear grain designs left on the surface rendering them the greatest leathers in the country.

If you questioned the repair people who traveled to the UK mostly using public transport with a package of trade and goods tricks, the term “Connolising” became quite common with them because this leather was literally everywhere.

In its processing, Connolly Leather utilized Veg tanned Leathers heavily, because what this implies is how the leather was done, the color on the reverse of the animal hide still remained the same until the end of its production process. The top grain surface will be color painted and the rear side has the same natural color, so this is the special way to know if you own the authentic Connolly Leather in your car today.

The company also produced special leather-care products for restoring their leather seats and upholstery.

Connolly Leather stopped operating in June 2002 after being in the leather tanning and processing business since 1878.

Benefits and properties of Connolly leather:

  • Breathability (even better than wool);
  • Feels cool in summer and warm in winter;
  • Won’t become sticky on summer days;
  • Tear-resistant;
  • Many colors are available;
  • Can be renovated;
  • Has a nice and pleasant odor;
  • Absorbs water but won’t absorb liquid. The rain won’t harm Connolly leather upholstery;

Genuine Connolly leather is available in many colors and shades. For instance, you may buy beige, blue, cream, magnolia, champagne, light tan, stone, ochre, Toledo red, burgundy, brown, light green, suede green, ivory, buttermilk, wheat, latte, caramel, dark saddle, chestnut, graphite, etc. 

Uses

Connolly leather seats and upholstery can be found in classic Maserati vehicles. Also, Jaguar used genuine Connolly leather seats. 

The premium class models of Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, and non-British vehicles, including Lexus and Ferrari, were standard implementations. To name a handful, Connolly Leather was on the first Maserati, Ferrari, Morgan, Bentley, and Aston Martin vehicles before they withdrew from the mass market in the early 1900s.

MG utilized Connolly leathers on the MG TA from the 1920s to the 1950s, up to the MG TF release.

Generally, the lower-level vehicles have genuine Connolly leather only on the seat facings. There’s more leather in the upper-level models. It depends on the year, product, business, etc. This is something that, over the years, has improved a lot. XJS, for example, had full leather—all benches, console, door trim panels, rear trim panels, etc.

Not only was Connolly Leather popular for the automotive brands they supplied, but it earned popularity in the British House of Parliament by supplying this leather type to Concorde, the QE2 and the benches.

During World War II, this leather was also used for the chairs used in the Supermarine Spitfires.

Care and maintenance

1) With a soap

First of all, the interior of the Connolly leather can be washed with glycerin soap on a smooth cloth (or use gentle toilet soap, not corrosive or detergent soaps for regular wiping). To remove entrenched grit, use a tiny nail-brush. Prevent flooding and rinse the residue away.

2) With natural bee products

Apply a layer of CeeBee hide food that will preserve the initial flexibility and nourish the fibers, though still moist. Allow 24 hours for this to be absorbed, in which any excess should be cleaned off and a beautifully polished surface should be the product. If the initial coloring has rubbed away, it is possible to add fresh lacquer.  

This can be swabbed over with one or two coats uniformly and sparingly. Sadly, it would have to be covered with cracked or ripped leather, induced by the splitting of the foam-rubber foundation. When you cover the foam with cotton before sewing on the leather trim, this may be prevented.

3) With clean water

You just need to use a damp cloth for quick cleaning and daily maintenance of Connolly leather upholstery/seats. 

4) With special care cleaners

Also, the brand has a lineup of special Connolly Leather care cleaners and conditioners. 

It is as easy as developing a daily leather care regimen to avoid the harmful consequences of aging and over-exposure to the heat. For Connolly leather, experts recommend monthly maintenance with special brands.

Concentrated Connolly Leather Cleaner, with its time-tested consistency and usefulness on even the finest leather in the country, is the preference of cultured luxury vehicle owners. The last thing you want to do, for a commodity that has not proved to be trustworthy and delicate to your leather interior, is to risk the vitality of the car’s leather interior.

How to do the cleaning of Connolly leather upholstery with special brand products: 

  • Vacuum the area for cleaning loose particles;
  • Then use the Connolly Leather cleaner. It is super-concentrated. That is why use one part cleaner to 12 parts of water. In such a way, you may achieve pristine leather;
  • Use a soft cloth – dip it into this diluted solution. Then wring it out well;
  • Rub the cleaner to the seat or upholstery area that was previously vacuumed. Important notice! Test this solution at some hidden spot before applying it to more noticeable areas;
  • Change the cloth after picking up residue;
  • Use a fresh damp cloth for removing the remaining cleanser;
  • Then dry and polish the leather area with a soft cloth;
  • Let the leather dry completely before applying the conditioner;

How to recognize specific Connolly leather jars? Connolly leather goods are, and have always been, branded with the Connolly Brothers mark on the green label. It’s not genuine Connolly in the container if you don’t see Connolly on the box.

You should always dilute the Connolly Leather Care Cleaner in such a way: 1 part cleaner to 12 parts water. The 36-ounce Detail Bottle is simple to blend the cleaning solvent with water. For correct dilution, the recommended measurements should be labeled on the side of the original container.

Final thoughts

Connolly Leather had a very long tradition in Britain and a proud reputation. It is this tradition that has rendered it the product of preference for numerous leading automakers, as well as seats in the House of Commons and other prominent venues, and the very best quality items. If you have authentic Connolly leather upholstery, it is a real treasure and you should carefully maintain its genuine look for a longer lifespan. 


Steve Coltharp
Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an author of the blog “Leather Toolkits“. The beauty is in simplicity, so learn, train, and make your life maximally simple by creating things that will please people for many years. Let your hobby grow into something more and make this world brighter! Hope, in this blog you will find answers to all of your questions.

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