An appreciated aspect in acquiring a leather product is the ease of maintenance and the consequential textural beauty on the surface, developed over time and with continued use. This maintenance while extending the item’s utility, is also necessary to justify the consumption of any material. Which we know to be a real issue in today’s society, when everyone is able to buy anything easily and at the speed of light. Everyone has a footprint on the environment, and that’s a big responsibility.
A product made out of real leather is a good base for durability. True, when compared with the majority of the other materials used in this space, of the fashion accessories. It will be even more durable if you prefer a pure leather, for example, a vegetable-tanned leather, with a good thickness and without many transformations, the so-called “full grain” leather. We'll only focus on this type, which is our prime choice to make our items.
How leather will look like, after some years, is tightly connected to the type of use and care you will practice. Climate conditions also affect how leather feels in your hands and its appearance, even if you are not using it.
Daylight, especially direct sunlight, will darken a vegetable-tanned leather. If the leather is light-colored, it will darken much more than a darker leather (black, dark brown).
If you live in a dry climate, the leather might also dry out. Using your leather product on a daily basis is a good care principle. The leather will breathe and maintain itself in a beautiful shape.
1. Using your leather product on a daily basis is a good care principle.
If the climate is too dry you might notice some stiffness in the leather; it might even crack in some areas. To avoid this, and give it some elasticity and pliability, you will have to apply a cream or an oil for leathers. Something for penetrating the leather, at the same time it restores some oiliness. You might have to do it regularly, probably not less than every two or every three months. It will depend on how much you use your leather product, but especially if it feels dry in your hands, almost like cardboard.
2. Apply a thin layer of cream or oil for leathers, on a regular basis. How often you should do this depends on how dry the leather is.
If you live in a damp climate you must also pay attention. Humidity will not ruin the leather hopelessly. As long as you use your product on a daily basis and allow water excesses to dry out, like rain, you should have no major problems. Never force the drying process with heating machines or any other kind of heaters. Because it will make the leather lose its inner oils. When the leather is dry from any water excesses, you should apply the cream/oil on it.
3. Never force the drying process with heating machines or any other kind of heaters; because it will make the leather lose its inner oils.
The key care for maintaining leather is to keep the oiliness inside. Even after a long period without using your leather product, restoring some oils inside should revive it and make it usable again.
By the way, there's no need to keep the leather completely soaked in oil. That will be terribly uncomfortable for you. It would make your product practically unusable, and you’d contaminate your hands and clothes with oils. It's just a thin, common-sense, coating of cream/oil. After the leather absorbs this conditioner, you should not notice any oiliness on the surface. If you think you applied too much cream/oil, use a cloth/rag to remove the excess, or let it in a ventilated place and the leather will absorb the rest.
When you are not using your leather product, you should pay proper care to how and where you store it. If it’s a bag, avoid leaving it folded and stuff some paper inside or any other dry and neutral material. A voluminous wallet should have something inside too. This will keep your products in its original shape, in perfect form and without unwanted creases.
4. If you are not using it, store your leather product in a dry environment, stuff it with breathable materials, like paper or fabric.
Don’t cover or wrap your leather product with plastic bags or cellophane. Instead, store it in a breathable bag, wrapped in paper, or even just in a ventilated place; as long as there is no dust for you to clean afterwards. We always ship our leather products in a fabric bag, or the so-called dust bag, so you can conveniently store your products in a safe manner.
If you do live in a place with too much humidity, and you don’t want to use your product for some time, and choose to store it, there will be a high risk to get some mildew or mold in the leather. It is not a good thing to look at, as it will start to dry and decompose the leather, but only for a long, long, long time — don't worry. Some leather items are found after many decades, subject to many adversities, and they are restorable.
5. After a long period of storage, rejuvenate your leather product with a liquid soap specially made for leathers, followed by a cream/oil application to restore the oiliness.
If after a winter, for example, you find your leather product with mildew, there is a solution. Wash it with a liquid soap specially made for leather, and let it dry. Have in mind these funguses travel quickly through air. Use a lot of different cloths or rags, to remove the mildew, to wash the leather, and to apply the cream; in order to avoid a re-contamination. Doing this outdoors is advised so you don’t breathe the mildew in the air. Mildew is bad for your health. After washing it, rejuvenate the leather's oils with a cream/oil.
We usually make ours, but that is not very practical for the occasional application. We are going to name some brands with which we have had some experience, they’re almost everywhere, and you can acquire them online too, but there are many others suitable for conditioning purposes.
We recommend the use of the Effax Leather Balm for nearly any climate. It penetrates easily and quickly without leaving traces. We also recommend Fiebing’s Aussie Leather Conditioner for more extreme climates, be them colder or hotter. This one's more doughy or gummy and a bit harder to apply, but once you get it on the leather, it will leave a good coating. Makes the leather more resistant to water and snow, as well as more resilient to extreme sunlight or extreme dryness.
There are other good brands, that haven't tried, that should deliver the same good results. To use on vegetable-tanned leather, the best thing is to find a cream/balm/conditioner that combines natural waxes with natural oils and without harsh chemicals. You should look for a combination of beeswax, carnauba wax, lanolin oil, neatsfoot oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, fish oil, and other natural/simple ingredients. For example, beeswax with lanolin oil is a good combination. If you need to apply an oil directly on leather, for when it's too dry, or after being washed, neatsfoot oil will be a good choice too.
To wash your leathers we strongly recommend the Effax Leather Combi, it's a liquid soap. You can apply it with the help of a rag or a sponge, and rub it on the leather to penetrate it and disinfect inside. Very easy to use and efficient. There are others brands in this area too; you just have to make sure they are a good fit for vegetable-tanned leather, or that they use a mild disinfectant in the composition.
Effax leather care products and Fiebing's Aussie Conditioner
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