October 26, 2013

L I F E / Garment Care: Leather

 photo loveaestheticsleathercare0.jpg

For a little while it was a little dilemma for me when choosing between real or faux leather, considering the environment. Cows being the biggest producers of CO2 versus the chemical process it takes to make faux, plastic leather. Though no fake alternative comes close to having all the beautiful properties and qualities that real leather has. Keeping this in mind, I think it's important to take care of your leather goods and make them last as long as possible. Here's a super quick treatment that my most used bags get every couple of months.

/ cleaning
_ First off; determine what type of leather you are dealing with. Delicate leathers like nappa or calfskin should be handled by professionals. But if you've got a protected kind on hand (most bags and purses are), which doesn't absorb water, you can clean it yourself.
_ (For a quick clean without damaging the surface of your leather you can use (ph neutral) face wipes.)
_ Spray some of your leather cleaner or soapy water (ph neutral hand soap diluted with water) over the entire surface and very gently, without too much pressure brush it into the leather with a soft brush. Wipe it off with a dry cloth.
_ Repeat on stained areas, use the brush to get the dirt out or the pores and grains of the leather.
_ Lastly, rub a leather conditioner (I'm using this one from Tangent GC) onto the clean surface with a clean cloth. This will protect the leather and keep it supple.

Previous Garment Care post / Keeping white clothes white

/ leather cleaner -or-
/ soapy water
/ clean cloth
/ soft brush
/ face wipes


MILEX said...

pretty perfect.

Mia said...

Great advice, thank you!

Eva (Creativity and Chocolate) said...

Great advice ands a true story! xx


Anonymous said...

I don't think this is a little dilema, and the enviromental issue shouldn't be the only thing to keep in mind. We need to bring compassion to the discussion. Not only cows but pigs, calfs, etc, suffer through all their shorts lifes in order to give us milk and subproducts, and when they've been abused to their limit, we send them to slaughterhouse to get their meat and skin. We need to know that in order to make leather more supple, animals are often skinned and boiled alive. Let's keep in mind the pain of that animal before buying another beautiful piece of leather.


Sharon (Style-Chameleon) said...

Handige tips!

Ik bezit zelf veel leren items dus deze tips zijn erg bruikbaar voor mij ;)



At Sunday Desire; Yes, how animals are kept nowadays is terrible. But as harsh as this may sound, for me personally that isn't even the main concern. With the amount of water, land and grain used to feed all the cattle, you could solve world hunger. And on top of that is the CO2 which is bringing the planet out of balance, affecting so many more animals( and plants and humans), than only the ones kept in the farms.
I'm not trying to force veganism on anyone, nor am I against leather. I just think it is too excessive at the moment. The amount of meat people eat, often 3 times a day is just unnecessary. About leather, I think one should -like you- be aware about the production process and therefor value it more. :)

Olga said...

I did a little online research about the cruelty issues and it sounds like animals don't really HAVE to be skinned alive or subjected to any other suffering in the leather production process. The problem is that most leather is produced in developing countries like China or India where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced and animal cruelty exists in many other areas besides leather industry, just because. :( The way I see it is we eat meat anyway. OK, some of us are vegetarians but there will never be a time when the whole human race will live solely on produce, that's just not the way mother nature meant us to be. So there will always be skins to use. What makes the difference is how it's all done and that's what we should direct our efforts at. Well, not "we" literally, but PETA and other organizations like that - everybody can't spend their lives saving animals, somebody has to do other jobs too. :) Maybe we can help by donations, communications and raising awareness.
But Ivania is right, there's no artificial material that comes close to the feel and comfort of leather. To my defense I have to say that most leather I own (except for one jacket) comes from a thrift store, so it's something that would have been thrown away if not reused anyway. I even wash my leather finds to avoid the cost and the chemicals of dry cleaning (I see Ivania cringing at this point :) ) Believe it or not, leather comes out of the washer just fine (I use castile soap and rinse it twice). After air drying and conditioning my leather goods are as good as new. And as clean as new too. Of course I don't overuse washing and only do some topical maintenance once the initial thrift store gunk is gone. By the way, I just treated a beautiful pebble leather thrift store find yesterday with some olive oil and a whole bunch of essential oils mixed in it (especially those that have anti-bacterial properties) I read that it's good to apply oil to leather but very sparingly because if too much oil gets absorbed leather may retain moisture and start breeding bacteria and disintegrating. That's how I thought about antibacterial essential oils. Never tried it before but I don't think they would hurt. I guess I'll see. :)
Anyway, Ivania, thank you for this thought provoking post. I hope you don't hate such long comments like mine. It's just that leather or not and how to care about it is a big consideration for me too, so I couldn't help.
Your blog is always in inspiration! :)

Marjolein | NeverTooPolished said...

Zelf ben ik ook erg van het goed onderhouden van mijn leren items. Maar wat een horror verhaal van Sunday Desire... :(


Anonymous said...

I'm actually working as a reporter in the food/fur industry and cows aren't skinned alive for leather. For things like fur, they sadly do skin alive a lot of times. Leather luckily is just a remainder of the meat industry where skinning without etherization is not an option because skinning alive will cause a lot of stress which makes the meat less eatable.

Bike Pretty said...

That was fascinating. I'd love to hear more about your leather-washing techniques!

As a fledgling handbag designer, I am up to my ears in leather. I want to make durable products that get better with wear.

duckalicious said...

you only mention the environmental aspect, but it's also important to know that there's an immense deal of suffering involved in leather. here's an informative article about this (I strongly suggest watching the movie Earthlings, too): http://www.care2.com/causes/the-shocking-truth-about-leather-no-its-not-a-meat-byproduct.html


Great tips!


Alba Escuer said...

I though you maybe dig this:
in english

in spanish but better pics

long time i've been reading and watching you, keep it up! xx

Justino said...

Another great and cheap product for leather is a product called aquaphor it's a skin moisturizer but it moisturizer leather amazingly I have been using it on my napa leather bags such as my alexander wang bags for years and it makes them amazingly soft and moisturized!!! I recommend rubbing it with a soft cloth not the leather until dissolved into the leather!!! Just try it on a scrap piece of leather but I promise you it is the best product I have ever used on my bags

Lisa said...

CO2 from something that lives in the nature and always has, in this case a cow, is not the same as the CO2 that's being released from a chemistry-production. You can't compare a cow with an airplane. There's a difference between what's human made and what's coming from the nature. Although i agree with you, eating meat three times a day is not healthy for human nor the enviroment, and yes, the rainforest is being slaughtered to make space for cows to eat and wander. Yes to less meat!

Bike Pretty said...

Re: Justino
Aquaphor is whipped petroleum jelly. It's the same stuff in Vaseline, and its generic twins.

Be careful because it can change the color of lighter leathers.

Anonymous said...

Is everything you own black or white?

Ashe said...

Wow, that turned into an interesting discussion! Thankyou for the tips on the cleaning, definitely something I need to know.

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Check www.creasire.nl

Emily said...

I don't want to offend anyone, but i think it's quite weird if someone is vegan, or says that he lives vegan, but still buys leather bags. No one actually needs to decide between faux leather or real leather- you could also use cotton bags for example. It seems like looks are more important than all the reasons for being vegan. For me it looks like some people are vegan just because its cool and "alternative". I apologise for saying that but personally i don't think that someone who uses and buys leather bags is really vegan.


Hi Emily / Thank you for saying it nicely. First off; I never say I live fully vegan, we even still even eat sea food. Everyone has their own reasons for consuming the way they do, why judge or question someone's reasons instead of applauding a lifestyle that doesn't support the meat industry as much? Since I have a kid, I started to question what I put on her plate. Cutting out dairy, meat and eggs was for health reasons in the first place. Environmental reasons already had us eating vegetarian a couple of times a week. Though where we live there isn't always a big variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available, specially not in winter. Because we didn't want to take any risks in her having any nutritional deficiencies, but also don't want vitamin pills, we chose to bring back fish in our diets a few times a month. It are all carefully made decisions, it has nothing to do with being cool or caring about looks.

Anonymous said...

Erg handig inderdaad, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Global warming is a lie. Carbon dioxide is a natural by-product. When you breath in oxygen, you breath out carbon dioxide. The deadly form of carbon is carbon MONOXIDE which is what is produced from cars, etc. Even then, carbon is a HEAVY gas. Plants BREATH CARBON and release oxygen. If you deprive plants of carbon, the plants will not grow effectively. The earth goes through cycles and to believe that we or animals have any effect on the climate is ludicrous. Yes, we can effect our immediate ENVIRONMENT but we cannot change the climate. If anything it is the geo-engineering going on. Look up chemtrails and watch the documentaries "What in the world are they spraying?" and "Why in the world are they spraying?" Not everything is black and white and to believe any mainstream ideas is dangerous. There are only between 75-200 scientists out of the thousands there are that agree and push the agenda of "climate change" and "global warming." I urge you to do the research.

Tas Kulit Pria said...

Thank you for the very good tips. I also lover of fashion products from genuine leather.


Shah said...

I like this tips as I like to wear leather jacket. But i did it with Leather-Clean

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