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The A, B, C´s of Leather

store care and feed


In our last article, we talked about how to store and care for your bags. But it´s just as important to know how your handbag´s material can affect its condition, as it is to know how to clean it. So this time, we are going to be delving a bit deeper into what makes fine leather lose its original shape and suppleness. To start off, there is some vital - more technical information - about leather that´s important to know before you begin any treatment on your bag.
Leather can be damaged largely, in four different ways:

Oxidation
This issue is mostly seen in older leather, it can look beautiful if done properly (think those incredible LV bags you see down the streets) but it can destroy your bag if done incorrectly. Mostly seen in leather that hasn´t been cared for properly, oxidation shows up as dry, brittle, with cracks and flakiness, and it can eventually turn your bag to dust. Not something you would like to happen to a $2000.00 designer bag. The good news is that this is totally preventable! Ensure you´re always conditioning your bag (we would recommend having a professional do it), and do not leave it simply lying around, keep it inside its dust bag and box if possible. On the other hand, if what you´re looking for is an intentional oxidation, make sure you control how much air and sunlight your bag is receiving and be careful to rotate it constantly to ensure an even color throughout your whole handbag.

Chemical Damage
There is actually quite a high number of ways your bag can be chemically damaged such as the UV rays from the sunlight, and acid from pollutants in the air. Using tallow and neatsfoot oil, ingredients found in many leather protectants, can also severely damage your bag if not used carefully and in the right measure. Chemical damage may also happen much faster if your bag is exposed to too much heat, so be sure to store them in cool and dark spots.

Abrasion
Mainly external, it occurs when the fibers in the leather are rubbed raw. The outside of the bag becomes scuffed or scratched, making your bag look old and uncared for. Abrasion can also occur on the inside of your bag, by having dirt ground into the leather.

Chafing
It happens when leather, that hasn´t been conditioned properly, is bent and the fibers in the leather are flexed and broken. It´s very important that you always make sure your bag is lubricated properly, which will ensure the fibers in the leather slide against each other in a way that won´t ruin you designer piece.
Now that you know how your leather handbag can be ruined, there are a few preventive steps you can take to ensure damage is as minimal as possible. Make sure to always stuff your bag when it´s not in use, but don´t overdo it or you might ruin the handbag´s structure. Keep it inside the dust bag it came with as often as possible, and if you have its original box, make sure to utilize that as well. Be sure to not place your designer bag in direct sunlight or in a room that is too humid; and it should not be touching (or squished) by other items in your closet while it´s being stored.

If you have any more questions, doubts, or would simply like someone to look over your items, you can reach us at hello@beccasbags.ca.

March 30, 2016 by Becca Sand
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