Keeping Your Leather Forever
We’ve reassured the fact, rather emphatically, that a piece of genuine leather will last you a lifetime, and then some. But what we haven’t told you yet is how to ensure it actually does. Leaving it out to face the extremities of time and nature without proper care and nourishment will leave your favourite leather bag, briefcase, folder, jacket or shoes, limp and worse for the wear. While we strongly advocate you use your leather as often as you like, treating it with special care will keep its beauty intact forever.
And don’t worry. Looking after your everyday luxury is a lot easier than you imagined! Keep these handy tips in mind and your leather will thank you forever.
Keep it Covered
Moisture, direct sunlight and changing temperatures can affect your leather in numerous ways. Whether its shoes, bag or jackets, be sure to keep them covered in cloth bags after every use. Most premium leather brands, ensure they package their pieces in breathable cloth bags, so just be sure not to throw them away and you’ll have a solution readily available. Make sure, however, that you do not store them in plastic or vinyl as they do not breathe and retain moisture.
Keep it Clean
That little speck of gravy that fell onto your bag during lunch could cost you if you don’t act immediately. Spot-cleaning your leather is essential to keeping it lustrous and radiant. For easy-to-remove stains, simply wipe off with a damp cloth around the affected area and let it dry naturally.
Cleaning your leather can be as simple as taking a boar’s hair brush and brushing away dirt and grime. Boar’s hair brushes are most notably used for shoe cleaning and polishing, but it can be used for leather bags, wallets, and jackets. The hair is gentle enough that it won’t scratch the leather while still being strong enough to clean it.
Another option is to use a mild solution of soap and water if your leather needs more than a simple brushing. For those who polish their shoes consistently, a nail polish remover is a great way to clean off old polish. Do this step only after you have used a boar’s hair brush to clean your shoes.
Use a leather conditioner to help soften and replenish moisture in the leather. Leather needs some moisture to remain supple and soft. Leather conditioner also helps prepare the leather for polishing.
It would be ideal to let your leather products air dry over night after you’ve cleaned and conditioned them.
Polish Your Leather
There are three general approaches to shoe shining. They are the Marine Shine, the Classic Shine, and the Quick Shine. The methods are similar but have distinct differences that will give different levels of shine. Polishing your leather shoes does more than gives them a shine. There are additional steps such as
Cleaning – ridding the leather of dirt and grime
Conditioning – applying a cream that will prepare the leather for the polish
Rejuvenation – keeps the leather soft and supple
Polishing – adding a wax that will protect the leather and give it a brilliant shine
Keep it Off the Floor
Any true connoisseur of leather will let out an audible cry of dismay if a beautiful leather handbag or jacket is found strew across the floor. They aren’t being melodramatic just like that. They know what they are gasping about! Dirt, moisture and germs abound on every floor not sanitized for a toddler. So, placing your leather on a clean upper surface or investing in a bag hook is absolutely essential.
Keep Up with Maintenance
With time, straps will fray, stains will accumulate, and linings could give way. Don’t discard a thing of beauty just because of wear and tear and instead, find a reputed leather care facility to render it as good as new! The longer you wait for repairs, however, the harder it gets to resuscitate so make sure you are timely with your leather maintenance.
Keep its Shape
Storing leather accessories like handbags and shoes without something to help hold their shape will result in creases and warping. If you can’t seem to find a suitable bag caddy, stuff your bags with paper and zip them up securely. Also, make sure you do not hang your bags on their straps or your jackets without a hangar when storing. This will do wonders in increasing the longevity of your leather and its hardware.