Looking at this topic, some people may see it as irrelevant.
This is a must-read for everyone that uses and appreciates leather bags and to some extent leather shoes in order to preserve them for a long time. Some people tend to forget how sensitive leather bags are, and count on just purchasing high quality bags.
Many women have emailed me, asking the best way to store and maintain their highly expensive leather bags. I must confess that I did not make much effort to assist them. (My apologies to Jumoke Ibikunle, Angela Anigbo etcetera). This article will answer all your questions. Actually, a recent heated argument I witnessed between two ladies at the ‘Shop Exclusive’ at Ikoyi galvanised me into action.
The very fruitful research opened my eyes to the many mistakes we have been making thinking we are actually caring and preserving our much-cherished leather bags, not knowing the damages we are inflicting on them. These are things most of us learnt from our mothers, for example drying leather bags under direct sunlight, hanging them, etcetera.
Storing them in a safe place in your home is the best way to go if you want to use a bag over and over again. Along with the knowledge of the cleaning, polishing, restoring them and taking care of them, storage will help you maintain them in their original condition much easier.
Why is storing your leather bags important?
Leather has the tendency to oxidise after some time. By storing your bag properly, what you are trying to do is prevent the factors that make this process take place appear sooner. Although it is certain that at some point after a long time, it will happen no matter what you do. That is how nature works.
How soon the oxidation of the leather is going to happen depends on you, and how much you care for your bag.
The weather is very important when it comes to deciding how to store your bag, as they are part of the environment that causes the oxidation.
For instance, for those us in tropical countries with high humidity level like Nigeria we need to be extra cautious with the storage of our bag. Humidity is amongst the biggest dangers as far as leather is concerned, and it gets only bigger if the leather quality of your bag is high (for example, Full Grain Leather).
Direct sunlight. We must stop drying our bags under direct sunlight. Position it in a logical distance from all heat or humidity sources, such as radiators, fireplaces, air conditioners or windows with direct sunlight. Such factors tend to destroy the leather of the bag pretty fast.
Contact with people. It is strongly advised that you know how much contact with people your bag is going to have, when placed in a certain location. For instance, if you store your bag in a place where your children play, then it is more than likely that at some point it will become part of their games.
If people use the room in which you plan to store your leather bag, make sure that you place it somewhere high, where they can’t reach it unless they try to.
Dirtiness. One thing you should always keep in mind is that you should store your leather bag in a clean place. This way, you make it difficult for dust to reach your bag, and ruin its leather surface.
Dust and general dirtiness are two of the most dangerous enemies leather has to face. They tend to wear down your leather bag, causing it to crack more easily and become tighter and less pliable because they destroy the quality of the leather.
Polishing leather before storing it is an essential process if you want to achieve maximum results. Conditioners not only clean the surface of your bag, but they also tenderise it and protect it, especially during the periods of no usage.
If you want to avoid wrinkles or flakes, then you need to acquire a high quality conditioner and apply it on your bag.
A nice home remedy (in case you don’t have a leather conditioner), is to use vaseline. High quality vaseline product does an excellent job regarding leather bags, like it would on the human skin. Make sure that you try them on old leather bags, and watch them get polished and soft as if they were new.