Leather in itself can last for 100 years before it begins to disintegrate, but most people won’t be keeping their bag for that long. However, you can expect a good quality bag, made from full grain leather (which is what we mainly use), that is oiled regularly and stored carefully to last upwards of 30 years. Of course, there are several different finishes from Aniline to Distressed to Pull-up to Semi-Aniline which will affect when and how often you need to care for them. Some need little to no maintenance and others require more TLC. Outside of that, there are five main things that are good rules of thumb to avoid for all leather because they can and will affect the overall look and appearance if you let them go too long without attention.
- Exposure to Sunlight. Leather’s arch-nemesis is that big bright ball in the sky–the sun. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can not only fade the color of your leather, but also cause damaged leather that looks old and worn and potentially start cracking.
- Extreme Changes in Temperature. Is more note worthy than anything, but not hugely a factor when it comes to leather handbags, that’s more in relation to leather furniture.
- Not Cleaning Stains Right Away. It happens–from time to time, you or someone else might spill something on your leather. If you don’t take care to clean it right away, the stain can become permanent. Just take note as there are different cleaners for top-coated leather vs. a nubuck or suede. But a good leather restoration kit will have a protectant or other leather cleaning items that can help you clean the stain without damaging the leather, as products with harsh chemicals can. Which brings me to…
- Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals and Soaps to Clean Your Leather. We offer some natural products to help clean, restore and/or protect your leather. Depending on use of your handbag will determine how often these products are necessary. Here’s a link to the products we offer: click here.
- Too Much Heat in general. Remember Leather is skin, so it responds to heat in much the same way. Ever notice when you park your car outdoors in the summer how hot your leather seats get, it is the same with your bag.
But I am here to tell you there are a few ways to fix it.
- A Good Leather Cleaner. For starters, have a good leather cleaner on hand to safely remove dirt, oil, stains, and other grime from your leather without the use of harsh chemicals. Our Leather cream acts as a protectant too, so feel free to put it on your bag anytime to keep it looking like new regardless.
- A Leather Restoration Kit. If your leather is starting to look a little weathered, it might just need a little TLC to get it looking shiny and new again. Use a leather conditioner or cream to moisturize the leather and restore its look, as well as keep it protected from future leather damage. Our cream is safe to apply even with your fingertips, but a soft cloth works well too.
- Olive Oil or Baby Oil. If you’ve got a scratch or small tear in your leather, do not despair. You can often use olive oil or baby oil to repair it. Lightly apply the oil to the affected area, allow to dry for an hour, then see how it looks. Repeat if necessary. The key here is to try in an inconspicuous area first.
Below is a short video of Brynn showing you how to apply and some sample products to use. We hope this helps! If you ever have any question about any of our leathers, you can check out our Leather Page, our Care Tips online or Live Chat with us M-F 11am – 6pm (cst).
ps: If you are hard on your leather bags, choose a Semi-Aniline or top-coated leather, they are much easier to take care of. 😉