First of all, you should know that Natural Shrunken is a finishing process that creates grain that looks like pebbles on top of the leather by process of shrinking the leather to enlarge and improve the grain of the leather. The process pulls the surface closer together subsequently, resulting in a more visible and deeper grain. This leather often has a highly textured surface. A special tanning process creates a very stable structure. You can remove slight dirt with leather cleaning foam and a soft cloth. The use of a wax spray is recommended for care.
The leather whose grain side is processed on the outside is called smooth leather. Calf leather, goat leather, lamb leather and cowhide are used for women’s leather bags. Lighter dirt can be removed with a lint-free cloth and a little leather cleaning foam. For care, you can treat the bag with wax spray, alternatively with care milk or a leather care lotion. You should follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Leather grease is rarely suitable for the care of handbags.
What distinguishes this leather from others is its water-repellent and airtight property. In the manufacturing process, the leather is painted on the grain side or covered with a film. Mainly polyurethane varnishes are used, which give the handbag a glossy surface. Only cleaning agents from specialist dealers should be used to clean bags made of patent leather. Greasy care substances cannot penetrate the leather and are therefore unsuitable as care products. In the case of light soiling, a soft, damp cloth can help.
Chrome-tanned and full-grain leather of various animal species is referred to as Nappa leather. The unique thing about this leather is that the grain and structure of the skin have been completely preserved. Handbags made of Nappa leather feel very soft and supple. You should take care of your Nappa leather bags to ensure that leather is protected from moisture and intense sun. Light dirt can be removed with leather cleaning foam. The classic in terms of leather care – the wax sprays are also the right choice here.
Bags made of high-quality nubuck leather are very robust. It is not surprising that the currently trendy shopper bags are often made from this leather. Usually, cow, sheep or goat leather is used. The surfaces of the nubuck leather bags have a unique look thanks to the grain on the grain. The material is pleasantly velvety and soft. You can use a nubuck eraser to take care of your nubuck bag. This is available from specialist retailers for leather goods. An impregnator for suede is recommended as an additional care product.
Pull-up leather and oily leather
Pull-up or fat leather is characterized by a coloured layer of fat on the top. Over time, handbags made of pull-up leather get a unique patina and thus the desired look. Slight signs of wear can be repaired with a sponge and leather grease. For the care, you can use appropriate agents for fatty leather from specialist shops. Note that the formation of signs of wear is a property of oily leather. This gives your bag the desired uniqueness.
Cowhide leather the classic among leather types and owes its robustness to its versatile use. Whether shopper, shoulder bag or briefcase – models made of cowhide are represented in almost all pocket directions. A distinction is made between full cowhide (the top layer of skin) and cowhide (the layer underneath). Both types of leather are high-quality natural products, with full cowhide scores with its dense fibre fabric, excellent strength and resilience. Thanks to these properties, the appearance of the bags made of cowhide is retained for a long time. When it comes to caring, the following applies: Again, you can polish out slight signs of wear with a sponge and leather grease. You can find additional care products for fatty leather in specialist shops.
Suede leather is very roughened, open-pored and therefore very breathable. In the case of suede, the inside (including the meat side) is turned outside. For the care, you need a nubuck eraser, with which coarse dirt can be removed easily. You can treat minor impurities with a leather cloth and a little leather cleaning foam. So that your bag made of suede remains an eye-catcher for a long time, you should care for it regularly with wax spray or lotion for leather. Leather grease is unsuitable for roughened leather as it leaves residues.
Don’t forget the impregnation
It is understandable if you want to use your new handbag right away. Before that, however, you should take a precaution and take care of your new purchase with a leather product. This keeps the leather protected from rain and moisture. If there is no care, unsightly water stains can form. In the case of very soft models, it may be useful to fill the bag with cloths before treatment to enable uniform access to the surface.
Important note: Impregnation sprays should not be used in closed rooms. The fumes that are released should not be inhaled. You can do the impregnation outside in the fresh air. If the sprayed protective layer has dissolved after six to eight weeks, then simply repeat the whole process.
This is how you can store your leather bag
Are you planning to put your leather bag away for a while, for example, due to the time of year? The first thing to do is empty the bag and wipe it lightly with a soft cloth. You can then treat the bag with a care product that matches the leather. Before you pack the bag away, it must be completely dry. To be on the safe side that the shape remains one hundred per cent, you can stuff the bag with tissue paper. Never store your leather bag in a plastic bag. A fabric bag or a cardboard box is ideal for this. The place of storage should be cool, dry and dark. As is well known, leather that is exposed to heat becomes brittle, the sun bleaches it, and moisture can cause mould to form.
How do stains appear on the leather
There can be various causes for the appearance of unsightly stains. These include sun exposure, moisture, dirt and grease. But everyday use of the handbag can also cause stains, for example, when the bag comes into contact with the body. Greasy spots or brightly rubbed areas can arise from frequent handling of the bag since the hands are never free of grease or perfectly clean.
If your leather bag has got damp and now has unsightly water stains, you should take special care when drying. Heating and UV light must be avoided. When placed on the hot radiator, the leather case can permanently deform. There is also a very high risk of leather breaking due to the heat. UV light can cause the leather to fade and also have a lasting impact on the quality of the bag. The best way to dry the wet bag is to stuff it with a lot of paper (e.g. newsprint) and move it to fresh air.
Did you spot a stain on the expensive designer bag?
First of all: keep calm. Leather stains can be removed. Simply try to remove the stain with a leather eraser or a special sponge. Please don’t experiment with unsuitable home remedies. In this way, a leather stain treated with nail polish remover is not removed but emphasized even more.
Minimize the risk of water stains
An insider tip for everyone who wants to be on the safe side: with a fabric bag or a foldable fabric bag you are on the safe side should there be a sudden downpour or a hail shower. In this case, simply stow the leather bag securely in the bag and protect it from water stains. Incidentally, should there be any significant damage, the possibility should not be forgotten that you can put your leather treasure into professional cleaning.
Shoe polish for the leather bag
Can you take care of leather bags like leather shoes? The application of shoe polish in the appropriate leather colour is a popular classic. High-quality shoe polish can indeed also be used to care for handbags, but caution is advised here. Some products from shoe manufacturers are specially designed for smooth leather and can lead to a reduction in quality in natural leather handbags. Therefore: always pay attention to the care recommended by the manufacturer and consult the specialist dealer if anything is unclear.
How to clean the interior of a leather bag
It is amazing what accumulates in the interior of the bag after a while: crumbs, hair, scraps of paper, etc. It makes sense to completely clear the handbag at regular intervals and clean it from the inside. Alternatively, you can carefully vacuum the bag with a handheld vacuum cleaner. A good side effect: With the proper cleaning of your bag, you can also spot small cracks or holes faster and act accordingly.
Taking care of your leather bags
The diverse range on the market makes it challenging to find the right leather handbag. Optics and functionality must please and fit the character or occasion. Once the decision has been made, it should be borne in mind that a bag made of genuine leather requires appropriate care. After all, a good piece should remain a loyal companion for a long time and shine with a great look. You should read through the care instructions and of course, follow them. The manufacturer’s information on care can often be found on the label.
Bags made of natural leather generally have specific requirements for care and cleaning, but they are easy to implement. Coarse soiling, for example, caused by mud, can be removed with a brush after drying. For bags with a smooth surface, cleaning products specialized in leather from specialist dealers are the right choice. Products that are geared to the particular type of leather are to be used for the care. It is recommended to leave the leather case to rest for a day after the treatment. The protective elements are then entirely absorbed into the leather.
Written by Elena Taylor