But, leather goods do require taking care of. It is usually made from animal hide so maintaining leather does require some work. It is super malleable and it can also change its form and shape which means that the way you store and keep your leather goods will have an impact on its physical appearance.
Extending The Life of Your Leather Goods
There are a lot of natural elements that can really harm your leather goods and might also shorten their life span. If they are kept in the dark and in moist areas, you will run the risk of mildew or moss growing on your leather pieces.
If it gets too much sunlight, it will also destroy the color of the leather goods as well. This is why ensuring that it doesn't get exposed to extreme temperatures is also important.
Always ensure that :
- Your bags, jackets, wallets, notebooks are not stored in the car in the hot sun.
- That your bags are stored in their dedicated boxes or storage bins so that they aren't being hung by their handles.
- Your leather shoes are always in their dust bags before you store them, also if they are boots, include the shoe shaper as well to ensure the shoes stay in shape and do not crinkle.
- Your leather jackets are hung on heavy-duty hangers that are thickly padded to avoid stress on the leather.
2. Always Clean Off Stains
This happens to all of us. You might be having tea or coffee and you accidentally spill some on your leather bag. Leather is essentially animal hide which is skin so this means that it is porous. This means that leather allows moisture like water to pass through and if that happens and it isn't cleaned immediately it can cause issues like molding, staining as well as discoloration.
So, if you have accidentally poured something on your leather goods, always wipe it off as fast as possible. The longer the stain stays on your leather, the harder it would be for it to be removed.
If you know you will be using your leather bag that day, always make sure you are careful if there is a possibility of a stain and also keep a dedicated cloth to wipe off any stains when possible.
3. Buy Leather Stain Protectors
Using a dedicated leather protector will help you if you are more spill-prone. This way your leather goods will stay water-resistant. Water-resistance does not mean that you can walk out in the rain with your leather bag, it just means that it will be protected from the odd spills if it happens.
If your leather good gets wet, the oils in the leather that bonds the leather fibers from getting brittle will then bind with the water causing the water to release the oils at the surface of the leather making it less supple. In the long run, it will cause your leather to not look as vibrant anymore.
4. Reshaping Leather
It is known that over time, leather goods will lose their form just like any other bag or shoe out there. The main reason for this is with prolonged heat exposure like our body heat as well as keeping bags and shoes in the sun, it will cause steam and water vapor to develop in the leather. Causing the fibers to then harden and become brittle.
This is why it is extremely crucial to reshape the leather goods you have if they have been exposed to sunlight or when you store them.
For example, if you are not using your leather bags, always stuff them with paper or plastic to keep them in shape. This is the same thing for shoes as well, use a shoe tree to keep your shoes in shape when not being used.
5. Cleaning, Conditioning & Polishing
Cleaning your leather goods often will definitely double the life of your leather goods. Consistency is definitely key here.
- Brushing your bags with a soft brush will help get dust off which helps to keep the bags clean
- If you do have to clean it, use mild soap and a really soft foam sponge.
Never do this when you are cleaning your leather :
- Never use harsh chemicals, detergents, or alcohol-based liquids when cleaning your leather goods.
- Never soak your leather goods in water when cleaning it
- Never just throw your leather bags into the washing machine
Conditioning your leather goods is great because it helps to restore and replenish the lost moisture of your leather foods. It needs moisture to remain soft, supple, and vibrant. As we mentioned above, coupled with leather protectors, leather conditioners are a great combination in protecting your leather goods.
Polishing your leather goods like shoes is also important so that it maintains the shine and the condition of the leather. A good way to do that is by mixing one part vinegar with two parts linseed oil in a bowl. Dip a cloth in the mixture and rub it onto your bag in a circular motion to not only polish but recondition the leather. Let it soak for 15 minutes and then just use a dry cloth to wipe it off.
Here at Shuflia, we also have dedicated methods to caring for our different types of leather goods that we have listed below:
Type of leather and care instructions
- Rub it with moisturizing balms and wipe it off with a cloth.
- You can also treat it with leather protectors that have high contents of natural fat to give it that shine and relieve dryness.
- Never use hair dryers or any heating elements to dry the leather because it will damage the appearance of the leather.
- If you have scratches on this leather, use cellulose wipes.
- If it’s really dirty, a mild soap and water solution is fine.
- To remove simple stains, use a damp cloth or a sponge with a simple soap & water solution and a little ammonia.
- Keep in stored in a dark place and not in direct sunlight.
- Don’t store it in enclosed spaces like a plastic bag as oxidation processes that happen in enclosed bags will affect the color of the leather.
- If you see the leather getting dull, rub it with a freshly cut orange peel to refresh it.
- Again, if it’s dirty, use a simple solution of mild soap and water to clean it.
There you have it, our top 5 tips to extending the life of your leather goods. Leather goods are an investment but if you can take care of them properly, they will be able to last you a lifetime.
If you are interested in getting your own piece, visit Shuflia to find your next statement leather piece today.