Caring for Your Handmade Leather Goods

Handmade leather goods are investments that can last a lifetime with proper care. Whether you own items made from vegetable-tanned leather or chrome-tanned leather, understanding the unique needs of each type is essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to maintain and care for your prized leather possessions, covering various kinds of leather.  

Veg-Tanned Leather

Veg-tanned leather is known for its natural, earthy appearance and durability. It ages beautifully, developing a rich patina over time. Common types of veg-tanned leather include Buttero, Minerva Box, shell cordovan, and Alran chèvre. Here’s how to care for them: 

  • Buttero, Minerva Box, and shell cordovan
    • Cleaning: Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust.
    • Conditioning: Apply light amount of Columbus Mink Oil occasionally to keep the leather supple and resilient.
    • Storage: Store in a cool, dry place.  

  • Alran chèvre
    • Cleaning: Use a soft cloth to gently remove dust and dirt.  
    • Conditioning: Apply light amount of leather conditioner every 3-6 months. Alran chèvre has a natural sheen, so minimal product is needed.  
    • Storage: Store away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dry environment.

Chrome-Tanned Leather

Chrome-tanned leather is prized for its soft, supple texture and resistance to water and stains. Types include Togo, Clemence, and Epsom leather. Specific care they need: 

  • Togo, Clemence, and Epsom leather
    • Cleaning: Use a soft cloth to wipe down the surface.  Avoid using harsh chemicals.  
    • Conditioning: Condition lightly every 6-12 months with leather conditioner.  These leathers are more robust, so they require less frequent care.
    • Storage: Store in a dust bag in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.  

General Tips for All Leather Types

  •  Avoid water: If your leather item gets wet, wipe it dry right away with a soft cloth. Do not use a hairdryer or direct heat.  

  • Regular use: Leather benefits from regular use. The natural oils from your hands can help keep the leather supple.  

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your handmade leather goods remain in excellent condition, developing character and beauty as they age. Invest in proper care, and your leather items will reward you with years of service and style.