The most sustainable furniture, clothing and accessories are those that are built to last, and with leather being the robust, strong and long-lasting material that it is, treating your leather with love, care and attention will avoid the need for leather repair for as long as possible.
Leather, particularly when tanned using an ecological vegetable tanning method, can last a long time before it starts to dry out, look dull and start to crack, but here are some essential tips and tricks to ensure the longevity of your leather jackets, bags and furniture.
There are several different types of leather out there, each of which has different waterproofing properties depending on the nature of the product, its construction and its age, but the general rule is that leather is not entirely fond of water and can stain if exposed to a rather extreme storm.
Use an environmentally friendly waterproofing spray designed for your leather, sprayed at least 30cm away to avoid damage caused by intense sprays.
Leather clothes, furniture and other items should not really be treated with shoe polish, which is designed primarily for the rough conditions shoes ordinarily face.
Instead, opt for nourishing creams, conditioners or milks to both protect the material and restore its lustre, using a soft bamboo cotton wipe in small rotating movements to help the mixture soak in.
For clothes and bags, giving it a shake after it has had a few hours to work and polishing with the help of some worn gloves you do not mind getting dirty will help restore the leather’s shine.
As with other leather cleaning and repair methods, the key is not to over-clean or condition, but doing this once or twice a year can help extend their life further.
Leather is a natural material and thus needs to breathe in the open air to retain its look. As a result, it is better to hang up your leather pieces in a wardrobe than store them in a plastic box or bag.
As with many other natural materials, dust can settle and cause issues for leather, so ensure that you wipe down and clean off dust that settles every week.
Leather is very sensitive to sunlight, and one of the main causes of faded, dry and cracked leather pieces is being left out in the sun’s rays for too long without other forms of protection.
As a result, when you are not wearing or using them, keep your leather in a cool, dark place, which for clothing would be the wardrobe and for furnishing and furniture would be one of the walls perpendicular to the window where it is less likely for the sun to directly shine onto it.
As well as this, try not to put a leather sofa too close to a radiator or other source of heat; instead, make sure that there is at least a foot of distance between your heat source and your leather items.
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