5 Tips for Leather Care from a Master Craftsman

Jan 27, 2016Liza Mirelman

Pedro Fernandes is the Founder, Designer and Master Craftsman of Noise Goods, producing handmade artisan leather accessories in Portugal. Noise Goods was founded on the ethos of humane, fair trade and authentic manufacturing and Pedro has kindly agreed to share his quick tips on caring for your leather products:

Noise Goods Leather Care

Leather products are known to be tough and resilient. A product made out of real leather (top grain leather and full grain leather) is already guaranteed to endure. Even with reckless use, or with no use at all, it's already fairly resistant. But in reality, leather is not indestructible. Without the proper care, it will degrade like any other organic material. Many factors or adversities might ruin it. If you want to prevent some disappointments, you should learn some maintenance basics that should be behind a sturdy leather.

1. Use your leather product on a daily basis

If you include your leather wallet, for example, in your routine, you're doing it right. It's a good principle as leather will breathe just by exposure to air, and when using it, when touching it with your hands, you will help the leather in keeping its good shape. Your skin produces natural protective oils; these are also good for leather. As a result, the more you use your leather item, the more it will become pliable, easier to use, and it will look good. Use it. 

2. Apply cream or oil for leathers

If the climate around you is dry, you might feel some stiffness in the leather. It might even crack on the surface. To avoid this, apply cream or oil for leathers. Something to penetrate into the leather, and leave some oiliness inside. Do it regularly, probably not less than every two or every three months. It will depend on how much you use your leather product, but especially if it feels dry, almost like cardboard. 

3. Whenever it is wet, never force the leather to dry

If you live in a damp climate, you must also pay attention to the leather condition. Humidity will not ruin the leather, as long as you don't let it stay moist for more than a couple of days, and allow the water to dry thoroughly. Never force the drying process with heating machines or any other kind of heaters. They force the leather to burn and lose its oils, becomes stiff, and too dry too quickly. When the leather is back to normal, after drying naturally, apply the cream/oil on it.

4. Store your leather item in a dry and mild environment 

Use old papers and/or some clean cloths, in whichever format you wish, to help protect your leather product. Stuff recycled paper inside the leather item, for example, to keep its shape, and then put it inside a dust bag, or wrap it in a cloth. You can also simply put it inside a cardboard box, wrapped in some thin paper. Avoid folding or forcing your leather item to stay in an unnatural position, to avoid creases, or to prevent a warped shape after storage. Place your conditioned and protected leather product in a place free of moist, and preferably, well-ventilated.

Leather Dust BagAll of Noise Goods' Leather Accessories come with dust bags for you to store your wallets or coin holders in. 

 5. After storage, clean the leather and restore the oils

After a long time without use, you might find your leather product with some traces of mildew. Clean it with a liquid soap/detergent (without water), specially made for leather, and let it dry. Have in mind funguses travel quickly through the air. Use a lot of old cloths or rags to, separately, remove the mildew, wash the leather, and apply the cream; to avoid a re-contamination between these processes. Doing this outdoors is advised, so you don’t breathe the mildew in the air. After washing it, rejuvenate leather oiliness by applying cream/oil on the leather.

As you can read, using a leather item is easy, and its maintenance requirements are not really that demanding. The key is always to restore the oiliness inside the leather. Of course, no need to oil the leather constantly to the point that you get your hands greased just by using it. Keep the balance on how much cream/oil you put on it. You just need to apply a thin layer and let the leather absorb.

Whenever you need a new fashion accessory, invest in a leather item, and keep these simple tips in mind. They will extend the lifetime of your new product and will allow you to use it until its look is perfected, honed, and rightly adapted to your daily life.

For more information on Noise Goods and to take a look at Pedro's fantastic leather card holders and coin wallets, follow this link.

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