Tough and rugged leather has been a fashion choice for centuries. This martial of our ancestors is used in clothes, shoes, and other decorative accessories. While it’s commonly considered to be as tough as nails, leather is in fact skin and needs to be cared for as such. A dry, cracked leather can ruin the aesthetic appeal of those gorgeous accessories. So, it’s crucial to practice consistent leather care to keep your leather goods looking like new, or the rugged used-but-not-too-used look that you’re aiming for. Here, we give some of our tips for quality leather care!
Chicago American Leather Bag
We’ve all been told the benefits of hair conditioning at our local salon, but did you know that it’s just as crucial to condition your leather? Leather conditioning with cream or oil moisturizers keeps the leather from getting dried out. When leather is too dry, it becomes prone to cracks that will ruin the look of the leather. Conditioning leather is similar to applying lotion to your own skin!
Leather conditioners or balms are often made from natural ingredients, such as this Leather Conditioning Balm made from all-natural beeswax, pine, and oil. It prevents dry leather, which will be prone to cracks. To use, simply apply the balm onto the surface of the leather, using either a cloth or your finger. Work the balm into all creases of the leather with an even coating across the entire surface.
It seems obvious, but keeping leather clean is one of the most crucial steps in maintaining your goods! Wiping leather with a slightly damp cloth is a reliable way to brush away dirt and dust. Just make sure to avoid using soap-- these chemicals are harmful to natural leather. Wiping away everyday dirt with a cloth once per week can keep your leather in great shape.
When you hang up your jacket or bag, remember to keep it in a dark closet or in a spot that’s far from sunlight. Sunlight can dry out the leather and make it brittle and cause it to crack. Keep leather goods in a cool, dry place when they are not being used. Definitely avoid musty, mildewy basements!
It’s up to you how frequently or infrequently you condition your leather. Some leather experts prefer to allow their leather to completely dry out before re-applying balms and conditioners-- this could mean 6-12 months in between conditioning. This would keep the leather looking rugged and tough, with some visible scuffs and scratches. Most leather lovers like to condition their goods every 3 months, especially everyday items such as shoes or bags.
Bison Weekender Duffel, Coronado Bison Leather
Well, suede is in a whole different ballpark! Suede is a form of leather that is actually the underside of the animal’s hide. Don’t use the same products or methods for regular leather on suede. Instead, use a small wire or suede-specific brush to wipe away dirt and dust. Always avoid cleaning suede with water, and stay out of the rain as much as possible!
Referenced: Anderberg, Jeremy, How to Care for Leather. The Art of Manliness, Feb 1, 2017.