Leather Accessories: Basic Leather Care
Real leather is strong and durable. It is a natural product that will continue to age and change with time, whether it’s in regular use or not. How the look and feel of your leather develop is usually dependent on how it is used, stored and cared for. As time goes by and with each use, your leather will soften, darken and create its own unique patina. The ageing process of vegetable-tanned leather adds to its character and is something which should be encourage and not avoided. You can with a little care help it to age gracefully.
Enjoy using your leather accessories, don’t be scared to crease or get them dirty. Leather loves to be used!
- For regularly used pieces, you shouldn’t need to condition the leather within the first 6 months as leather tends to absorb oil from your skin. Using your accessories often can help them retain their inner oil.
- Avoid leaving droplets of water on the surface. It’s better to gently wipe it into the leather, then allow to air dry away from sunlight.
- Be aware that colours from dark clothing can be transferred on to your leather, particularly lighter coloured leather and vice versa.
Sunlight will darken leather, particularly lighter colours. Direct sunlight can darken as well as dry out your leather, which can cause it to crack. Not letting your leather dry out is one of the key elements of caring for it.
- Store your leather away from heat sources like radiators.
- Avoid storing your leather in a high humidity environment, as this can cause it to absorb unwanted moisture. You may find a little mold on the leather if it’s left unused for a long time in warm, humid place.
- Maintain the original shape of your accessories when not in use by stuffing them with fabric or newspaper.
- Don’t store your leather in plastic bags or unbreathable material. It’s best to wrap or keep it in paper or fabric bags.
Clean & Condition
Never fear to clean or get your leather a little wet. The important thing is to let it dry well *naturally* and condition it when needed so it never dries out.
- For light cleaning, brush down with a horsehair brush (most shoe cleaning brushes will do the job), then gently wipe with a clean, damp cloth (damp, not wet).
- After cleaning or if your leather got wet, apply a conditioner to your leather. It may have lost some oil from being cleaned/wet.
- Use a gentle and neutral tone leather conditioner. Massage in a thin layer until it’s fully absorbed. If you feel you’ve applied too much, simply wipe off the excess with a dry cloth.
- If your leather feels dry or you haven’t used it for a long time, try sprucing it up with a gentle wipe down and a little conditioner.
Many leather lovers can't wait for their leather to age, some people don’t even care for the brand new leather look! So, how do you like yours?
At ArtsCraftsJewels, we use vegetable-tanned leather and plant based dyes for our handmade leather accessories to avoid the use of harmful chemicals as much as possible. Please head over to the crafts section to view the handmade leather range in our store.
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