Last week we talked about how to care for leather in wet and dry environments. This week we wanted to wrap up our leather care guide with a few notes on leather conditioning and aging.
Re-Conditioning: Is It Even Necessary?
Here at Hand and Hide we take great pride in the enduring quality of our leather goods. Our processes are carefully managed to ensure the longevity of our products, from our best-selling phone wallet to our bicycle bags. You might be wondering how often you need to re-oil your leather gear, and that really hinges on how frequently your leather is being handled and how old it is.
Intuitively you might think if leather is handled more frequently, that it will need conditioning more often. Surprisingly, it's actually the opposite! The oils found on our hands replace the oils in the leather that has been lost, in a completely natural process. So for frequently handled items such as one of our leather phone cases or wallets, you will find that you do not need to re-oil your leather to keep it supple.
All About the Bags
Leather totes and bike bags may be a different case altogether. We use an oil-tanned leather to make these items so they are oiled and sealed before stitching to ensure the leather is soft and supple. These items will only dry out due to specific conditions like long exposure to the elements or extreme age. If you do find that your leather case or bag has started dry out, whether from natural aging or exposure, then we recommend using a high-quality leather conditioner to keep your leather from cracking or becoming rough.
Make sure the conditioner you use is made specifically for leather and be prepared for it to significantly darken the color of your item. That is why it is important to ensure that you evenly spread it all over the surface or you may end up with some lighter or darker spots. Test a hidden area on the bag with the conditioner first so you know how much it will darken your bag. We use sheep’s wool to apply conditioner here at Hand and Hide which always works beautifully but you can also use a smooth cloth that you don't mind getting dirty.
Only re-condition if you notice that your bag is not as soft or supple as it used to be or if you see a dry spot appear. However, our leather products seldom if ever need to be re-conditioned so only do it if you really feel it needs it.Have more questions about how to care for your new leather phone wallet, bag, case or other accessories? Give us a call at 503.255.1172 to speak to our friendly staff. Hand and Hide is a leather goods store based out of Portland, Oregon. We love leather goods so give us a call to get any of your leather questions answered!
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