We tend to play with the comparison between leather and your own skin. And we are about to do it again. Because if you google “how to take care of a leather shoulder bag”, you get 2 page long instructions that make your head spin and have you questioning why would a bag need more care than a puppy?
But it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Think about leather as your second skin and apply the same principles of caring for it.
There are two main things you should keep in mind:
With time and handling, leather loses moisture and oils. As it dries out, the surface starts to break, flake and wrinkle. To replace those oils and keep the leather supple you should moisturize it regularly.
There‘s a wide array of oils, waxes and creams with beneficial properties. But we recommend keeping it simple and getting a quality leather balsam, which contains a blend of natural waxes and oils (such as Beeswax, Jojoba oil and Avocado oil) at once.
Dip the application sponge or a soft cloth into the balsam and rub gently all over the bag. If the leather isn’t absorbing it all – you overdid it. Wipe off the excess with a soft clean cloth. Do it once every month or two.
It is smart to pre-treat your bag this way before you start using it. However, Time Resistance does it for you – our bags arrive with a healthy coating of balsam.
Contrary to what would seem logical, water actually dries your skin. It is much worse for your leather. Especially the beautiful vegetable tanned leather, which discolors and wrinkles if drenched.
If you‘ve been dutiful with the moisturizer and picked a balsam that has beeswax in it, it will act as a barrier against moderate amounts of water.
But not if you go singing in the rain...
If your bag got soaking wet, think in terms of your skin again. You wouldn‘t dry your skin with a blow dryer or by sitting on a radiator. So don’t force-dry leather with heat as well (that includes direct sun). Wipe it with a dry cloth and leave in room temperature. Mind you - keep it in the shape you want it to end up in.
A few extra tips:
When storing your bag, keep it in the original dust bag and out of direct sunlight and humidity. Stuff it to maintain shape, but don‘t use newspapers - they will smear. Air every few weeks to avoid mold.
Alcohol and acetone are the two most commonly used chemicals that will damage your leather. Steer clear of products that contain them.
Leather stretches out, but not back. And humidity speeds up the process. So do not overstuff. Especially for the tropics.
If besides signs of life your bag also gathered some smells of life, turn to the simple tricks of housekeeping - put an open container of baking soda carefully inside and leave overnight. It will absorb the odors.
And watch in awe as your bag gets more beautiful with age.