Did you know the oldest leather artefact dates back to 5500 years? It’s an old leather shoe of size 7 that was discovered in Armenia. Even today the shoe is all shiny and bright like brand new. Guess how? Well, the same shoe was stuffed with grass and stored under cow dung all these years. In understandable terms, that leather shoe was stored amidst natural preservatives that restored and retained its genuine quality over all these years. While this certainly seems like the most successful way to preserve your leatherwear, it is not so feasible for you all. So how do we preserve our treasured leather bags, shoes and belts?
When it comes to apparel, shoes and furniture; leather is one of the natural-looking and feeling canvas out there. It exudes royal classic vibes and comes with a wealth of benefits from protection to style and comfort too. Leather is made out of animal hide which is technically a living thing. Hence, it needs great care and nurturing to survive the cold and brutal conditions of the outside world.
Now whether it’s a shoe, leather wallet, a laptop sleeve or your iPhone cover; there is nothing more luxurious than holding a finely crafted leather item. Just because the iconic leather is famously strong, you cannot ignore caring for your favorite leather goods. In this blog, we’ll discover and revisit some of the smart tricks that can make your leatherwear last a lifetime.
Spot and clean those stains
Try as hard as you can if you let that curry stain stick on your leather bag for too long, it won’t leave. A major rule of thumb with leather care is to wipe clean any stains as you see them. Leaving on those stains for too long will cause discolouration and patching. To clean off minor stains mix three parts of ivory dish soap to one part of distilled water. For aggressive stains, you’ll require water, a non-abrasive unscented gentle bar of soap and a toothbrush or leather brush.
Condition whenever needed
Never underestimate the power of a good leather conditioner. Just like your skin, leather too becomes dry with avid weather conditions and extreme temperatures. Treat your leather product with some moisture by evenly using a leather conditioner all over the product. A conditioner keeps the leather from cracking as it locks the much-needed moisture back into the shoes or bag.
You don’t have to pick up your cleaning gadgets in fire fighting cases. As much as you hate it, you have to look after your leather products regularly. Use lint rollers, damp cloth and light rubbing hands to get rid of easily removable dirt and oil stains from your leather furniture. Just make sure your hands are clean while you’re at it. Any of your natural skin oils can stain the leather to an irreparable extent.
Dust cracks leather so it’s best suitable to get rid of all the dirt sitting on your favorite leather jacket hanging in your closet. Sometimes, just simply dusting away all the dirt from your bags and shoes can increase its longevity. It’s not necessary to pull out your cleaning gear every time you sit down to clean your leather products. Remember that excessive use of water or watery hands on your leather goods can age your leather.
Dealing with wet leather
If there is an unfortunate water spillage on your leather sofa or handbag, don’t panic. Use a cotton towel or cloth to blot the excessive water. Do not rub, just soak all the excess water. Do not use any heat sources like a dryer or heater to quicken up the drying process. Just like your skin and hair, heat and styling products can rob leather of its natural sheen and oils.
Pretty much like your skin, leather needs good leather care. If you have to step outside in extreme heat or rain, you have to make sure your leather bag and shoes are prepared for weather changes. Use leather protectant sprays or bee wax to seal the moisture inside your goods. This will possibly affect the color of the leather but it will retain its quality and life-long beauty. Take special care when using lanolin infused leather protectants as these soften and smooth out your leather products. If you like your leather rough and rigid then just stay away from Lanolin.
Be more careful
The quality and length of life of your leather goods largely depends upon how you care for your products. Don’t stuff you leather bags into your cupboard. Do not place it where you feel dirt might cling to its skin. Be extra cautious when stepping out in extreme weather conditions by making use of oils, polish and leather conditioners. Little things that you wouldn’t otherwise care about should cross your mind every time you set foot into those shiny leather shoes or hold that leather wallet. You can genuinely prevent a lot of damage and loss of money if you’re careful right from the beginning.
Just like every other living thing on this planet, leather will age too. No matter how many leather cleaners and conditioners you buy or treat your leather goods like your babies; they will change over time and there is no going away from that. Think of all the scratches and blemishes as a token of adventures that you experienced when wearing your leather jacket or shoes.
You can invest in good leather care products and use them wisely but remember over-using, over-scrubbing and over-caring can also rob off the natural goodness of the animal hide. However, if leather is treated well, over time it develops patina – a soft sheen, imparting a character, a personality to the product. A patina is something unique to natural products like leather, wood. Patina develops best in full-grain high quality leather, which is also the reason why leather connoisseurs prefer high quality natural leather products.
Our tips and tricks listed above can help you extend the life of your leather goods. So happy cleaning!