If like me, you own a leather bag, you would value every piece of information on How to Maintain the Leather Bag. Leather bags, since inception, have remained an exquisite timeless fashion accessory. It has grown beyond its content carrying value into an expression of class. It is roundly loved and treasured but only a few have the knowledge of caring for it. There is a great misconception about leather bags. Simple because a bag is made of leather doesn’t automatically mean it is made of high quality materials. For a better understanding of how to take good care of your leather bags, you need to understand and have the capacity to identify the different types of leather.
Types of Leather
1: Full Grain Leather
This refers to premium grade leather that has not been buffed or sanded off so as to do away with its roughness and imperfections. To a lot of people, the beauty of the full grain leather is in the visibility of its imperfections and it has the advantage of strength and durability.2: Top Grain Leather
Popularly known as “corrected” leather, do not mistake the term “Top” for “Best”. Top Grain Leather refers to buffed or sanded leather surface, resulting to thinner quality, in comparison to Full Grain Leather. It comes with a smooth feel after a coating has been applied. It is the most common used in mass produced handbags.3: Bonded Leather
This is popularly known as “reconstituted” leather, made from shredded leather scraps augmented with an embossed polyurethane coating. It is the lowest grade of leather and usually used in manufacturing low-end furniture and accessories.With time, every product made from natural leathers will age. It is the natural order of leather bags. Just like the human skin, to be kept in tip-top condition, it needs consistent care. Even with excellent care, they will still bow to the natural order, they will still age. It is unavoidable. The sweet side to it is that, like old wine, an aging but well looked after leather bag appears even more beautiful than a new one.
This ageing look of a leather bag is called ‘Patina’. It’s a very unique and valued appearance that is almost impossible to replicate artificially without following the natural order of wear and tear that leather bags daily pass through. A lot of people try to artificially age their leather bags for a unique Patina effect, but nothing comes very close to the beauty that exhumes from the Patina of a bag that has been well groomed over the years. The scars tell unique stories of longevity.
How to Maintain the Leather Bag
Wipe your bag once a week with warm, soapy water
You probably have heard about the therapeutic power of water. Yes. Mix your liquid soap with a small amount of warm water. Deep a soft clothe in the water and wipe the exterior of your leather bag. After cleaning with a damp cloth, wipe it all over with a dry soft cloth. Repeat this weekly.
Never use leather poisons
By leather poisons, we refer to vinegar or baby wipes. Never use these because they contain chemicals and substances that are damaging to your leather bag. For grease stains, kindly take your bag to a professional but if you can’t, use a recommended care product and follow the instructions religiously. Apply the care product on a small and unseen part of the leather and observe whether the product reacts or changes the color of the leather. Observe for a whole day before applying the care product to the whole bag.
Store in a clean dry place
When not in active use, do your leather bags the favor of storing them in a clean and dry place. At best, always put them back in the factory designed bag that it came with.Keep your bag stuffed
Do you want to maintain that desired shape that attracted you to the bag the instant you saw it in the fashion store? That perfect shape that inspired an immediate connection between your soul and the bag. Have your leather bags stuffed with soft and light weight materials while not in active use. It helps maintain the desired shape.Do not pick up your bag immediately after applying hand cream
You know as much as I do that such mistakes would attract grease stains and most times, you forgetfully hold on to the bags for long with your well greased palm. I’m sorry dear, it’s against the laws of proper grooming of leather bags.
Keep away from extreme weathers
Listen closely, the watch word here is “extreme weathers.” Keep your leather bags away from hot temperatures, particularly extreme heat. It has passed through enough heating process before finding its way into your care. Exposure to heat would result to easy peeling of your leather, especially bonded leather. For grained leather bags, exposure to heat for a long period of time would result to fading leather. Exposure to cold temperature for a long period of time also comes with an adverse effect. It has the capacity to cause the leather surface to crack excessively.
New leather bags come with a certain kind of smell that we like. Well, not everyone likes the odor. With frequent use, the smell will fade away but if you find this smell overpowering, there is a little tricks you could use. You can put a few drops of your favorite scent on a tissue paper and wipe the outside and inside of your bag with it. In no time, you will have it smelling nice. Alternatively, you can put a dusting of baking powder inside your bag and leave overnight. It will help minimize the smell afterwards.
I’m glad you made it through to end of this interesting piece of article. We would like to hear from you. How do you care for your leather bags? What is your experience with proper leather bag grooming?