The Two Best Ways to Keep Your Leather Beautiful

Side view of this classic brown leather tote bag

One. It’s simple. Keep leather beautiful by using it.

This is the best advice to ever be given concerning leather and fortunately the easiest to follow! Leather develops and is enhanced with use.

“Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.” —Unknown

There is something enchantingly magical about the way leather entwines its way into your daily carry and makes itself indispensable. Each of our bags are hand-crafted from a single piece of full grain saddle leather. Each piece of leather has variations in color tone and markings. This is nature’s way of telling you that your leather bag is completely authentic.

The honest simplicity of leather juxtaposes with luxury indulgence in a truly original way. Formal or casual, simple or over-the-top, jeans or silk, a leather piece will constantly give your outfit that “touch of luxury.”

I was never completely sold on leather, although I thought it was beautiful. Then I married a leather craftsman and my view on leather, saddles and boots was turned on end. He creates things with leather, a medium that takes on a personality of it’s own. The art that emerges is truly unique.

As I carry my leather pieces daily they feel more and more personal (cheesy, I know, but true!) and the character of the leather develops as it takes on daily wear.

Tip: If your leather feels too stiff to you when you open your Urban Southern box, don’t worry. Know that it will soften as you use it. You may want to massage and roll it with your hands to initially break it in. 

Two. Conditioner is your leather’s BFF.

Don’t even think of tossing your leather bag in the washer, or scrubbing it out in a sink full of soapy water! Water will shrink and tighten leather, and if leather never gets moisture the collagen structure will dry out over the years and tend to break easily.

But if you get caught in a rain shower, spill a soda on your leather, or the coffee you are smuggling into the movie theater tips over, don’t immediately check the return policy. Spot clean with a damp cloth, dry slowly in even heat, (nix on the hair dryer) then use a leather conditioner to massage moisture back in.

Recommended Leather Conditioners

  • Oakwood Leather Conditioner contains natural ingredients, including tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, emu oil, beeswax and lanolin. It won’t permanently darken leather or come off on your clothing.
  • • Skidmore’s Leather Conditioner is a product we have used for years and highly recommend. Note: applying this conditioner will darken your leather.
  • • If you just want to use something you already have, applying a very light amount of regular, light olive oil will do the magic. Olive oil will also darken your leather a little bit. Do not use any other types of oil since some other oils, such as vegetable oil, will turn rancid.

Tip: When you use any leather conditioner, always apply very small amounts on the whole piece at once to avoid darker spots.

The patina that develops over time is always completely original and unique to you which will make your piece even more personal.

2 Comments

  1. Lora Wimer on December 31, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Have you ever used or even heard of Leather Seal made by Outback Survival Gear? It says that it contains no lanolin or mink oil, will not rot stitching, contains no chemicals, and is totally organic. I have that and am wondering if it would be alright on the leather. I have only used it on a pair of leather gloves that had turned moldy. After cleaning them in white vinegar I rubbed them down good with this stuff. I don’t want to ruin anything so was wondering if you had an opinion on this stuff.

    • Regina Bauman on January 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Lora, I haven’t heard of it but I will definitely be looking it up! It sounds like it would be perfect for any real leather. Does it darken the leather at all?

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