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How to store leather bags at home - Guide to keeping your leather safe

How to store leather bags at home - Guide to keeping your leather safe

Leather (finished product/tanned hides) needs careful storage and, if done correctly, will last for decades in mint condition, ready for that special application you've been saving it for, so let's get started on learnign how to store leather bags. But first, you must understand your leather. Vegetable tanning and chrome tanning are the two most popular and widely used methods of tanning leather. We'll concentrate on vegetable tanned leather because what applies to it is largely the same as what applies to chrome tanned leather.

How to store leather bags
The Bard Weekender | Handmade Leather Duffle Bag

Vegetable tanned leather is very brittle. When exposed to light, especially sunlight, it burns like a sunburn on your skin. The leather can darken in areas exposed to any kind of indoor light or sunlight, but the rest will remain unaffected. Depending on the amount of light obtained, the preserved areas would be paler, while the exposed areas would be darker. The exposed area stiffens and dries out, making it a little more difficult to operate on. The other two main risk factors are heat and humidity. Humidity is particularly troublesome because too much of it promotes the growth of mold and mildew on the leather surface. Insufficient moisture, on the other hand, causes leather to dry rot and become useless over time.

Heat often combines with high humidity to accelerate mold formation, and heat in drier environments often accelerates the drying out process. Colder temperatures pose less of a challenge, but you don't want to freeze leather, which will stiffen and make it difficult to work with.

It is important to note that any damage to leather caused by improper storage is often permanent. Prevention is far superior to treatment!

When handling your own leather, wear gloves or have clean hands. Leather should best be kept away from sun, at room temperature (about 65o-72o F.), with about 55% humidity, and ideally in a breathable protective covering.

The Welch Briefcase | Vintage Leather Messenger Bag

Leather storage recommended rules:

1. formal introductory phrase Leather goods should be stored in a lightproof or low-light environment. AVOID DIRECT LIGHT AT ALL COSTS, since it can also permeate protective wrapping paper.

2. formalized paraphrase To keep ambient light at bay, wrap the leather item in thick dark-colored protective tape.

3. formalized Maintain a humidity level of 50% – 55%. Basements or closets that are wet can never be used.

4. NEVER EVER WRAP LEATHER IN PVC. It can't breathe, and the tightly sealed plastic wrapping can lead to mold growth. Mold damage is often permanent. The use of paper helps leather to breathe while still keeping it clean. To keep dust at bay, drape wrapped leather with a freshly laundered white bed sheet.

5. NEVER store leather on bare cement floors, or even cement flooring with carpeting on it. Cement acts like a water magnet, releasing considerable moisture at will! So, keep leather off the floor and place it on elevated shelving high enough off the floor to prevent moisture from creeping up into the leather.

6. NEVER EVER fold leather. Always roll it up to avoid creases and to maintain its smooth look. Leather can be rolled up either inside out or outside out. It might be best to roll it the way it came from the shipper, as it has most likely already developed a "pack" by the time you receive it. Roll it from the neck to the butt because the butt is the stiffest part of the hide and may not survive a sharp bend to begin the rolling process.

Alternative leathers (such as faux leather) should be wrapped around a clean cardboard tube in the same way as carpets or paper are. Then wrap the roll in protective paper, tucking the ends in around the leather edges. Tie firmly but gently to avoid leaving a mark with a soft string or a thin colorfast feather thread/cord/lace/strip that will not bleed through the paper wrap, as oils or colors will bleed through and leave a permanent stain.

7. Roll saddle woolskins with the wool on the inside, starting at the neck and working your way down to the butt. Tie the knot gently with a gentle string. Paper wrapping woolskins is unnecessary for short-term storage since any light burns on the non-wool leather side will be covered when the saddle is made.

Prolonged exposure to any form of light (direct or indirect) should be avoided for longer-term storage by using safe paper wrapping.

8. Separate oily leather products (such as belt, bridle, or latigo) from non-oily leathers with an impenetrable barrier to avoid the oils from staining the non-oily leather irreversibly.

The Vernon Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Minimalist Backpack

9. Place an impenetrable barrier between colored leather that can bleed its color (e.g., some Latigo leathers) and everything else.

10. Insects, livestock (including pets), and rodents should be kept away from leather. Nesting, bug and animal droppings, and urine may all be damaging to leather.

11. Keep careless people, especially bothersome children, away from leather at all costs. Fingers that are itchy can leave permanent fingerprint stains.

12. Avoid metal contact with leather; tanning agents used in both vegetable and chrome leather often react with most metals, especially ferrous metals such as (iron and steel), brass, nickel, silver, copper, and bronze. Metal stains are often permanent, reducing both the aesthetic and commercial value of leather.

13. Rawhides can never be stored on their own. The salted surfaces discolor all around them and attract rodents. Before storing it, always make sure it's completely dry. Never roll up wet rawhide; instead, wait until it is completely dry. Form them into a big loose roll when they are still reasonably flexible.

Keep an eye on the rawhide as it dries to ensure it shapes into the shape you need for storage. Maintain low humidity and moisture levels so that rawhide does not smell like rotting flesh. Rawhide has not yet been tanned and can putrefy in a moist climate.

14. NEVER STORE DIFFERENT LEATHER TYPES IN THE SAME BIN, SHELF, OR AREA. Always keep the same types of leather together: same tannages, same color(s), same levels of oiliness, and so on.

15. All of the above also applies to the handling of leather scraps. Keep them in their own boxes or containers. Wet leather or rawhide should never be placed in scrap boxes because it can stain or mold other valuable scraps. First, allow to dry. Sorting scraps by size and leather style is good housekeeping practice.

16. Construct a heavy commercial steel shelf frame with large wooden shelves that can support a lot of weight. Leather is extremely heavy, particularly when there are several rolls on the same structure.

Make the top shelf no higher than you can comfortably reach with a 25-pound item. Side of leather above your head (the top shelf would be between 5-6 ft tall for most people). Bridle, belt, and latigo may also be stored on different shelves in this manner.

Leather is a high-priced product with many applications. Proper storage is key to prolonging the life of your leather and keeping it as good as the day you purchased it from the tannery or shipper, allowing you to make the most of it and maximize your income.

How to care for your leather bags?

  • Prevention is important. So hold lipstick, pens, and other things that may leak in a separate waterproof pouch to avoid staining the bag's lining.
  • Don't over-clean your boot. Over time, leather develops a natural and beautiful patina that is not considered dirt or harm. Over-cleaning causes product buildup, which can hasten the degradation of your bag.
  • When there is a chance of rain or snow, try not to use your leather bag because water is extremely damaging to all types of leather.
  • Unfortunately, light can slowly harm leather or cloth over time. The UV part of the light spectrum will be the most harmful. If at all possible, avoid direct sunlight exposure. Because fluorescent lights/CFLs emit more UV than LED or incandescent lights, it is preferable to stop using CFLs in your closet. Reduce the amount of light in your closet and turn it off when you're not using it.
  • Avoid putting your bag on concrete floors, as this can encourage fungal growth in some bags.
How to care for your leather bags
The Wainwright Weekender | Round Vintage Leather Weekender

Why is it important to store your leather shoes and handbags properly?

Leather is animal hide and therefore a natural product, It is very malleable and therefore quickly changes shape and form, Leather shoes and handbags that are stored in a damp environment can become infested with mold. Similarly, if leather gear is exposed to sunshine and dry weather for an extended period of time, it will begin to lose its color. As a result, it is important to learn how to properly store leather purse, handbag and shoes.

It may be tempting to tear open the package, throw away the tissue paper, and throw away the receipt after purchasing a handbag, but it is critical to keep all of these things intact if you want the best resell value. Collectors can overlook rare and collectible handbags with significant condition issues and missing pieces, making it difficult to sell your prized possession when the time comes. However, maintaining the appearance of your handbags for several years is relatively easy.

How to store leather handbags?

If you want your bag to last and look good for a long time, it must be properly cared for on a regular basis. Here are some pointers:

  • Wipe your leather bag with a soft cloth to clear any dried dry dust/dirt that has accumulated on the floor. Then, using a dry cloth and a small amount of leather cleaner, clean away the excess.
  • Apply a thin layer of a good leather conditioner to the leather and let it age for 30 minutes. Then, using a dry muslin cloth, wipe the bag's surface clean, We suggest reconditioning your leather at least once a year because rehydration opens up the pores and allows the leather to breathe.
  • To help the bag maintain its shape, fill it with crumbled butter paper, bubble wrap, or plastic cushion air bags. Newspapers should not be used because the ink appears to rub off on the inner fabric. In addition, crumbled newspaper often shrinks, distorting the form of the pocket.
  • Leather handbags are extremely stain resistant. Color rubbing off from denim and other darker tones is popular. As a result, store the bag in a dust bag or pillow cover. Avoid placing the handbag in a plastic bag or sealed container because it needs to breathe and even a small amount of moisture will cause mildew/mold.
  • To keep moisture at bay, keep handbags in a pouch or two of silica gel.
  • Keep the bag in a cool, dark spot. The leather discolors when exposed to sunlight. Hanging the bag stretches out the handles, so avoid doing so.
  • If the bag has a metal chain or strap, make sure to store it inside the bag! Alternatively, you can protect the metal handle/chain from scratching by wrapping it in foam or butter paper.
How to store leather handbags
The Endre Weekender | Vintage Leather Duffle Bag

How to store leather shoes?

  • To remove dirt from your shoes before storing them, clean them with a damp cloth.
  • To recondition the shoes and make the leather comfortable and supple, apply a thin layer of a good leather balm. Apply this conditioner liberally and consistently to keep the leather from cracking and to make the shoes last longer.
  • Leather shoes should be kept in a temperature-controlled environment that is cool and dry, as high moisture and extreme hot and cold temperatures will damage the leather.
  • To help shoes maintain their shape, stuff them with acid-free tissue paper. You may also use shoe trees, just make sure they are the correct height.
  • Before putting the stuffed shoes in shoe racks or storage boxes, cover or seal them with muslin cloth or acid-free butter paper.
  • Because patent is vulnerable to dye transfers, it should be kept in cloth bags! It is also needed to keep them shin, new, and non-sticky.
  • If room allows, keep shoes in their original shoe boxes. Each season's shoe racks should be separate.
  • To keep leather boots in shape, use a boot stand to store them upright.

As we can see, leather is a very delicate material that requires constant treatment. The manner in which you store your leather bag will decide its health and longevity. It is recommended that you concentrate on finding the best place to store your bag and keeping an eye on it on a regular basis to ensure that all is in place for better leather care.