Leather Care

Leather is both durable and flexible and can be used for a variety of products from wallets to armour.  It has played an important role in the development of civilisation and has been dated as far back as 1300 BC.

As your product ages it may become harder, rougher or softer – depending on how it is used.  Like wine though, it develops character over time! 🙂  Using common sense and proper care, your leather product should last for many years.

There are a number of leather cleaners, conditioners and waterproofing substances out there however I have only used two products – one is Dubbin and the other is Beeswax.  These products do not need to be applied on a regular basis and you should always do a test on an inconspicuous area first.  You may also want to wait, perhaps a week to see if it changes the colour or finish during that time, before doing the rest.  If you do decide to go ahead, please be careful and use the product sparingly; a little bit goes a long way.  Rub the Dubbin or Beeswax over the area then use another dry cloth to wipe off the excess.

“Normal wear and tear” consists of using/wearing your product under what is considered to be ‘normal’ circumstances and general daily life.  Please AVOID:

– Leaving your product in the sun.  This will darken the leather and dry it out.  (See photos below)

– Wearing your product when doing physical contact sports.  * (See below)

– Liquids being spilt or splashed on your product.

– Placing your product in an area where it is likely to get scratched.

– Using products to clean or condition the leather unless you have tested it and know it is safe!

* Many of my customers are Viking re-enactors.  If you are too, and are wanting a pouch, belt or sheath that you will be wearing in combat, please let me know so that I can make it as strong as possible.  In saying this however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that occurs to your product during such conditions.

 

My first leatherwork piece - Made in 2007

My first piece of leatherwork – Made in 2007. This was left natural and was not treated with anything at the time.

The first bag I made - 7 years later ...

This is the same bag – 7 years later! I use this almost every day. It has moulded perfectly to the shape of my hip. I’ve had it on the beach, in the sand and sun, I have run in the rain with it over my head and used it as a pillow – all the things that I tell you NOT to do! I have used Beeswax on it twice (I think). I am constantly getting compliments on it and people are always asking me if it’s for sale when I’m at Festivals. I love how it’s aged but you can definitely tell the difference in the way it’s aged (because of the level, or lack of, care) between this bag and the next.

 

The 2nd handbag I made - in 2008

This is the second bag I made – in 2008. As with the first, I left it natural and didn’t treat it with anything at the time

My 2nd handbag - 6 years later ...

This is my second handbag – 6 years later. I don’t use this one every day but it has still been through a lot. As with the first handbag, I think I’ve only ever conditioned this (with Dubbin) twice however I have taken much better care of it and it shows!