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Care of Leather Goods

Care and Maintenance

Leather goods are generally expensive, whether a garment, an accessory, or an item of home décor. Leather requires good care and maintenance for it to last a long time. When purchasing a leather item, inquire about the proper care and repairs, as its beauty may be only skin deep. Point-of-purchase sale should provide this information.

Most leather goods are somewhat water resistant, but will grasp and hold hand oils and grease. Any soil can cause leather to darken quickly and could cause permanent damage. As soon as soil is noticed, care and treatment is quickly needed.

Leather cleaning and conditioning products are available at shoe repair shops, leather good stores, and some super markets. Some products are to clean only; and others serve as a reconditioner. Always read the label carefully and directions to be certain that the product can be used for individual leather goods.

Suede is a leather product that will absorb water and may leave water marks. A do-it-yourself cleaning is not advisable. Consult with a professional textile specialist, or specialty dry cleaner.

An expert tailor or shoe repair technician can repair and restore leather. Vintage leather repair or restoration can be expensive, but worth the effort if the item has sentimental value.

Storage

A leather item should be thoroughly clean before placing in storage. Avoid use of plastic as a cover to avoid discoloration and drying out of leather. Surround the item with fabric such as a cotton shirt, pillow case, or sheet.

Leather needs to breathe, so any closet or container should not be airtight.

Leather will easily mildew. The storage area must be dry and ventilated. Do not store in attic or basement.

Leather absorbs odors, and should not have mothballs in the environment.

For specific information regarding leather goods, contact textile specialist Evelyn S. Kennedy at 860-464-2001 or by e-mail sewtique@aol.com

 
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