Leather garments and accessories have the potential to last a lifetime, with the correct care. Neglecting a leather garment or accessory can result in weakened leather, that has the possibility to crack and break, which is a travesty considering the amount that is invested when purchasing good leather. Here are a few key steps in taking care of your leather garments and accessories.Care for it Often :
The longer the time gap between cleaning your leather, the more dirt and dust has had a chance to accumulate on its surface. This means that the cleaning process will be more difficult. Deep cleaning can be avoided by creating a cleaning regime. Every week do your best to take a few moments and wipe your garments down with a moist cloth. Regular cleaning keeps your leather looking great, without having to dedicate significant time and effort to keep it spotless.
It is important to remember that leather is not a woven fabric, it is an animal product and cannot be treated like cotton or silk. For a quick light cleaning, a damp cloth is appropriate. Harsh soaps must be avoided. This will help keep your garment looking its best.
Be as Mild as Possible When Starting Out :
Regular cleaning is critical for leather. Like other fabrics, it can be affected by outside stimulants, such as sunlight and airborne pollutants. Leather can also oxidize, which turns the leather darker and then causes it to crack and peel. The leather is also sensitive to ozone, nitrous, and sulfurous pollutants. Regular cleaning removes these pollutants from leather and keeps it looking its best.
Washing with a Detergent :
When your leather needs more than a simple wipe down, there are several brands of leather cleaner to get the job done. These are mild detergents that will not damage leather but will work to get rid of surface grime and will make your garment or accessory look as good as new. Sometimes, and very carefully, a soft bristled brush must be used to remove caked-on dirt. Use caution when doing this, and start with small circular motions, adding pressure as you go. Always treat your garment with care, while it is durable and resistant, day to day scrapes can leave marks. Being gentle and careful when using a brush ensures that you do not accidentally mark up the leather.
Spot Testing :
It is crucial that you follow the directions for whatever detergent is best for your leather garment or accessory. When using a new product, it is best to test the product out on a small and inconspicuous area to ensure it does not ruin the leather. Use a small amount of the detergent on the underarm of the jacket, where damage is likely to be missed. Wait a day in case any effects are delayed then you can use the detergent on the whole garment.
After cleaning your leather, you will want to moisturize it with a leather conditioner. Conditioning leather keeps it supple and helps it from cracking. Common conditioners simulate the natural oils and will add some colour and an added level of protection. Using just a bit of conditioner at a time, take a soft cloth and gently rub the conditioner into the leather. Doing this once a month will keep leather looking its best.
Seal it in :
Once your leather has been washed and conditioned, the last step is to seal it all in. Leather protectants keep moisture in, and things like damaging salt stains out. Most leather protectants come in a spray, and once applied, they also add to the water resistance of a garment or accessory.
Leather garments and accessories are investments, and improper care can lead to cracking and early wear and tear that can be otherwise avoided. Washing, conditioning, and protecting these items will help them last, while also looking their best.