Leather is tough. Why else would it be used in riding gear, welding gloves and wallets that sit under a person’s butts for many, many years? Leather can withstand extreme temperatures, is quite resistant to wear and tear and can handle itself in a whole variety of environments.
Having said that, it still needs some TLC. Now don’t go running away just yet, daunted by the prospects of adding yet another item to your list of “needs caring”. Looking out for your leather is a surprisingly easy task; a little bit caring here and there will go a long way in making your leather, well, go a long way.
1. Moisturizing: Leather loses its moisture and oils over time, making it hard, cracked and rough. If you like your leather supple (you should), moisturize it regularly. You can easily get leather conditioners specifically designed for this purpose, or go the DIY way and use linseed/sunflower/vegetable oil (this may damage the leather if not done properly, and hence, we don’t recommend it).
The frequency of moisturizing depends largely on the type of leather, the weather and the amount of usage the leather product is put through. A good rule of thumb is to moisturize it the moment you feel it drying out.
2. Cleaning: Seeing your leather dirtied up might make you reach for an array of chemical cleaners, but refrain. Chemical cleaners may alter the chemical properties of your leather, changing it (probably for the worse) forever. If your leather has gotten dirty, simply take a damp, soft cloth, wipe it clean and let it slow dry naturally.
3. Drying: Leather is best kept dry, but we know that’s mighty difficult. In case you have got your leather goods soaked, fret not. Simply let them slow dry naturally. Fast drying or heat drying leather might change its chemical properties, which, as we mentioned above, is undesirable. In case the leather dries out too much, simply resort to Step 1.
4. Storage: As you’ve probably figured out by now, leather shouldn’t be too dry or too wet. Thus, when you are storing your leather, keep it away from too much moisture, but at the same time, let it breathe. Don’t wrap it in plastic or hang it in your bathroom and you should be just fine.
So there you have it! A simple, undaunting guide to caring for your gorgeous, chic and timeless leather goods. Leather is awesome, and like all awesome things, it just needs a little bit of love.