A leather bag isn’t just a fashion accessory, it’s a style investment. Leather is one of the most durable, long-lasting materials out there, which is why it’s so important to take excellent care of your leather bag.
Types of leather
The type of leather your bag is made of makes a difference on how you should treat and store it:
No matter what type of leather your bag is made of, it should be wiped for dust on a regular basis. Use a clean, dry cloth and gently go over every inch of the leather bag, making sure to get all the dust that can accumulate in corners, crevices, zippers, pockets and folds.
Suede is one of the most sophisticated-looking leathers, and matches well with a variety of coats, shirts and pants. But it needs to be tended to regularly, so use a soft suede brush or a plastic foam block to brush it. If there are any small marks or stains on the suede leather, use a fine emery paper or hard rubber eraser to remove them.
One of the things to watch out for with suede leather is water damage, and this can be avoided by using a fluorocarbon aerosol spray. As well as protecting it from water (no guarantees about other liquids, like wine or salty, slushy snow!), a fluorocarbon spray will also protect your suede leather bag from dust and grease.
One of the great things about patent leather is it’s so easy to clean and keep clean. The shiny surface affords it little work in the way of maintenance, with a cleaning consisting of a damp cloth and a bit of neutral detergent for spots.
To keep a pigskin patent leather bag looking great for a long time, treat it with a silicon preparation to protect it from outside contaminants. This helps create a barrier between the leather and the environment, leaving your bag looking as new as the day you got it.
This type of leather bag needs a bit more attention to usual, but the results are worth it. Once a week or so—depending on how often you use it—take a soft brush or slightly damp cloth and dust/brush it to keep it clean. For deeper cleans, follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly: don’t use more than they say, even if your bag is a bit on the worn or dirty side.
You’ll have to rejuvenate your grain leather bag twice a year to keep it looking good from the inside out. Wipe your bag with a cloth dampened in white spirit so any old or discolored waxes are lifted, treat it very lightly with a proprietary polish, and then rub everything over with a soft, clean, dry cloth.
Because leather is a “living” fabric, it shouldn’t be stored in direct sunlight or the surface can get affected by it just like how your skin would. Instead, keep it in a dark closet with good airflow when you’re not using it, and make sure it’s not in a humid place so mildew doesn’t attack. Avoid placing your leather bag beside heavy or sharp objects so it retains its shape, and don’t hang them from hooks so stress isn’t placed on the straps.