What to do if you get caught in a storm?
As a general rule, for any type of leather you have the rule is: Avoid excessive amount of water.
Problem: What if a rainy weather caught you off guard? Or well, in my case I live in Seattle and only have leather bags, so what to do!
Solution: Always first clean and remove water with a soft cloth (or old t-shirt) to maintain it dry. Let it dry naturally inside:
X No direct sun as it can damage your leather.
X No other heat source -don’t use heat to dry out wet leather because it can get too dry or crack.
Just let it breathe and depending on the leather use a leather conditioner.
How the water affects the leather?
First, when leather dries after being soaked, it holds whatever shape it is in. Second, water can potentially dry out your leather good so that's why it is recommended to use a conditioner on some cases.
I will try different brands of leather conditioners and spray protectors and will get back to you with recommendations!
Remember leather is permeable and can never be entirely waterproof.
Why is important to know the type of leather?
Every hide goes through a tanning process to become leather. It can be veg tanned or chrome tanned mostly (I'll make another blog post to explain the differences in detail). They both are different, from the way they look and feel to the way to take care of them. Let's see a some of their characteristics:
Vegetable tanned leathers:
Less resistant to water. Will need a conditioner if it got caught after rain.
Will need to apply wax or conditioner regularly.
Color can vary in the same hide (as part of it's natural character) and will change over time developing a patina.
Comes in rich and earthy tones.
Thicker and stronger in durability, stiffer than chrome tanned.
More susceptible to stains and marks that can become part of patina.
-Veg tanned leather bag today (Made in Jan 2018)
Chrome tanned leather:
This type is more resistant to water and won't leave trace of water marks. Can use conditioner if it got soaked, but not necessarily at all times.
Low maintenance, will need to be cleaned with a soft cloth every 6 months and can use conditioner or spray to protect leather.
Color is uniform and won't develop a patina as fast as veg tanned.
More variations in color and finish (e.g. metallic, embossed).
Thinner and softer makes it easier for fashion industry to work with.
Less susceptible to stains or marks.
-Chrome tanned leather bag today (Made in Jan 2018)
This is my experience with them and I hope you find it useful!
What do you do with your leather goods if they get wet?
Flor from Florecer