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How to care for your leather wear

When winter comes around, there are few things I look forward to more than chunky knits, hot cocoa, and my leather boots. "Luckily" for me, Vancouver's climate allows for a rather long and wet wintry season, so I'll have plenty of time to wear my leather boots in all sorts of ways. Although leather may have a tough reputation, it's actually quite delicate, and without some TLC your leather lovelies can quickly sour. Here are a few good tips I learned recently on how to keep your leather supple and soft season to season.

  • Always hang leather garments on wide or padded hangers to maintain their shape. Use shoetrees in footwear and stuff empty handbags with tissue to help retain their shape.
  • Never store leather goods in plastic or other non-breathable covers. This will cause leather to become dry.
  • Allow wet or damp leather to air-dry naturally away from any direct heat source. Leather can be treated with a conditioner to restore flexibility while suede can be brushed with a terry towel to restore its look.
  • In winter, promptly remove salt deposits from garments and footwear by sponging with water; follow with the above treatment for wet or damp leather.
  • Avoid very humid and dry environments as well as direct sunlight.
  • Do not use waxes, silicone products or other leather preparations that will impair a garment’s ability to breathe.
  • Wrinkles should hang out. If ironing is desired, set iron on rayon setting, use heavy brown wrapping paper as a pressing cloth on right side of the garment and a quick hand to prevent overheating and shine.
  • Avoid spraying perfumes or hair sprays while wearing your garment and do not apply pins, adhesive badges or tape. Wearing a scarf at the neckline will help keep hair and body oil away from the collar.
  • Hems may be fixed with a tiny amount of rubber cement. For best results, see a leather care professional.
  • All products formulated for at-home use should be tested on an inconspicuous part of the garment.

Thank you to the Professional Leather Cleaners Association for the info!

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