Things You'll Need
Soft lint-free cloths
In 1921, the American Technical Society recommended correcting slippery leather by "washing it first with gasoline and then with water." No right-minded person would follow such a recommendation today, but the Society was on the right track. Slippery leather has a coating--heavy in carnauba wax or beeswax--which makes it too slick to be comfortable for the sitter. Although gasoline will certainly clear away that coating, there are safer, modern-day alternatives to achieve the same result.
Mix a solution of three parts rubbing alcohol to one part water.
Rub the solution gently over the surface of the leather, using a wet, lint-free cloth. Do not rub vigorously, or you may remove the surface color.
Allow the leather to dry completely for two to four hours.
Treat and soften the leather with a top-quality conditioner. If the leather is slippery because it is stiff, a conditioner will loosen the stiffness.
Test the furniture. It should have far more "grab" to it because you have exposed the grain and conditioned the leather.
You may wish to treat the leather with a surface treatment to protect it from stains and fading. The surface treatment will contain the same waxes that made your leather slippery, but in a lesser amount.
Wax is actually a solid form of alcohol, so, the alcohol/water solution should dissolve it readily. Repeat the treatment with the alcohol/water solution until you achieve satisfactory results.
Dan Antony began his career in the sciences (biotech and materials science) before moving on to business and technology, including a stint as the international marketing manager of an ERP provider. His writing experience includes books on project management, engineering and construction, and the "Internet of Things."