Unfortunately, there is no way to keep your leather goods looking as pristine as the day you picked it up, but you can maintain it so it can continue looking great for years to come. Typically, leather care is not required, but here are some important tips you should know if you want to go the extra mile to care for your leather goods.
To start, leather is an organic material that molds with you over time with use. The surface of the leather may contain some natural marks such as wrinkles, which is a wonderful natural characteristic of this beautiful material. Leather is essentially alive, changing with its user during its lifetime. This visible transformation is called patina and will occur on surface areas that are handled often like on handles, closures, card slots, etc. Patina is more noticeable on vegetable tanned leathers, especially light colors, and even more noticeable on buffed leathers like Pueblo and Maya.
Avoid exposure to water, intense heat, direct sunlight, or excess humidity or aridity. These extremes could affect the appearance and color of the leather and possibly cause serious damage. In the case of water, quickly wipe or dab with an absorbent cloth to avoid stains.
Chemicals from everyday items can be harmful to your bag if spilled and should be avoided. Some common sources of stains are from fragrances, food spills, alcohol, makeup and other items like ink. If a spill occurred, you will need to remove the stain using appropriate leather cleaner and then reapply moisturizer. Discoloration may occur due to leather cleaner’s ability to strip color.
Leather is a natural resource, and like all natural beings, need to breath. When you put away your leather item, make sure it is away from direct sunlight and never suffocating in a plastic container.
Never Bite More Than You Can Chew
Putting more than what your leather product can handle would cause warping. You can also warp or distort your leather bag if it is overstuffed. Use the appropriate bag for the occasion.
Gentle Care and Conditioning Goes a Long Way
Clean your leather goods using a horsehair brush and lightly go over the surface in small circular motions to remove any dirt buildup. Maintain your leather good conditioned with a dedicated leather conditioner. I personally use Saphir products and their Creme Universelle Leather Balm is my go-to for most of my leather conditioning. I use their Cordovan cream for shell and Reptan Polish for exotics. On the rare chance that you need to clean your leather item, a dedicated leather cleaner should be used first, then followed by the conditioner. This is only for extreme occurrences. Please fully read cleaning product instructions before using and always first test in a small, hidden area.
Glazed finishes will slowly lose their sheen over time and turn matte in often handled areas. Vegetable tanned leathers may darken considerably when cream is applied. Please fully read cleaning product instructions before using and always first test in a small, hidden area.