All things leather, be it shoes, jackets, belts or wallets have specific care requirements that will not only ensure they look brand new, but also help them last longer. Whether you’re a corporate executive or a bike rider, your leather is something you want to ensure shines anytime you rock them.
Making leather look good shouldn’t be a herculean task as there are a number of simple instructions that can ensure that you get the best out of your look. Here are a number of commandments that can help you take proper and good care of your leather.
Allow It Breathe
Allowing your leather breathe tends to allow excess moisture to evaporate, which stops the leather from deteriorating quicker than it needs to. As such, you should store your jackets and shoes in an airy part of your wardrobe and transport any leather accessories in a breathable fabric bag instead of doing so in a sweaty plastic one.
You should also know that leather can stretch bigger but it cannot shrink back. What this means is that those crinkles in your overstuffed wallet won’t disappear. Ensure you take care not to stuff your wallet full of old receipts and cards in the first place.
Clean Carefully And Thoroughly
One of the things that damages leather the most are little particles of dirt and dust that you pick up either when you wear them or when you store them inappropriately. As such, you should form the habit of using a damp cloth to clean your garments once a week to help prevent premature ageing.
You should however avoid using any type of soap as the chemicals may interfere with the structure of the leather and also strip away the moisture that preserves the material.
Conditioning your leather materials is important especially when they are dry. This will help to add moisture to it and it should be done once every two to six months with a product that prevents cracks, fights dryness and adds a bit of shiny polish.
Irrespective of the product you use, whether Creams, foams, gels or oils, ensure that they are natural rather than synthetic. Apply the products gently with a brush that is designed to be used on leather. You should however test a small amount first because it is quite difficult to match the right shade of brown, for example. As such, condition a small area first before treating the whole shoe or jacket.
Be On The Lookout For Lanolin
Lanolin is a form of fatty secretion found in sheep’s wool and is mostly used as a core ingredient of a lot of leather care products because of its effectiveness at softening leather. This perhaps is why it is important that you are judicious with where you apply such products.
The super-soft finish might be exactly what you’re looking for in a well-worn jacket or bag, but same may not be needed for your formal pair of Oxfords of the belt you wear with your formalwear. As such, be on the lookout for lanolin on the bottle.
Leather tends to respond to sunlight poorly which is why it is important that you resist the urge to dry out leather garments in the sun when it gets wet. Doing so makes the material dry too quickly, making it crack and warp. Instead, let them dehydrate back to normal at room temperature.
Stuff some newspaper or paper towel inside shoes to accelerate the process of drying. For footwear, a shoe tree made of unvarnished cedar is something you should invest in as they help to draw out moisture and maintain the shape of your shoes.