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Taking Care of Leather Bags and Luggage

March 24, 2018

Taking Care of Leather Bags and Luggage

Leather luggage is handsome and durable; always a great idea for a memorable gift. You may also be packing your own leather bags for a trip during the holiday season or a vacation and wondering if you are doing all you can to preserve the elegant look and feel of your leather luggage. Here are some tips to keep your leather suitcases and carry on bags ready for your current journey and many more in the future.
Leather Treatment for New Leather Luggage
When you purchase new leather luggage or receive it as a gift you will want to protect it with a high quality leather treatment or conditioner. Resist the temptation to skip this step since the leather already looks great due to of a protective finish applied at the factory. Get into the habit of reapplying your preferred conditioner at regular intervals, perhaps every time you return from a trip or at least three to four times a year if you travel often. Leather that is cared properly will last for your lifetime and may take your heirs on many an adventure in the future.
Waterproofing is a good idea, especially in climates where snow and rain are common. When applying a protectant or waterproofer make sure not to forget the straps and the bottoms of the bags -- precipitation falls directly on your shoulders and you may need to put the luggage down on wet or snowy pavement when waiting for transport. Remember it is much better to be prepared for the inevitable wetness your leather luggage will encounter as you travel than to try to repair the damage after it happens. If your leather bags do get wet, be sure to wipe off the surface moisture as soon as possible and dry bags in a warm area, but away from direct heat.
Practical Cleaning and Care Hints for Leather Luggage
After unpacking from a trip use the crevice tool on your vacuum to thoroughly clean the interior of each leather suitcase and bag. Carryons are particularly important to rid of debris as you may have stashed food or drink in them at some point and you want to be sure no deterioration of the leather occurs because of any “leftovers.” Open every compartment and pocket meticulously as you clean and use a slightly damp rag to remove the last bits. Air the bag out to ensure it is dry before storage, and stuff with non-acid paper if you will not be using again immediately.
Storage for Leather Luggage
Just like your other leathers, be sure your leather luggage is kept in a dry place, preferably without direct heat or sun when it is not accompanying you on your latest voyage. If your storage area is a basement or attic inspect it carefully for leaks or seepage as moisture is the primary reason for mildew on leather. Guard against too much moisture loss during storage by conditioning well beforehand.


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