We all have that one bag that we admire in our closet. After all, it is painstakingly produced, crafted to perfection with legacy and heritage in mind, and designed fabulously to suit your every need. But how often do you care about your favorite leather bag?
At the 35th anniversary of Hidesign a few weeks ago, we had a chance to see the unveiling of the Hidesign classics - eleven of its staple designs revived and ready to hit the stores, aptly called the Icon Collection. As we examined the rugged leather and solid brass buckles, we started thinking about the art of preserving and reviving leather.
The Hidesign Icons Collection
How To Take Care Of Leather Bags
Now, if treated well, a leather bag can last forever. And that is why we give you 11 ways in which you can preserve your investment piece.
1. Leather Care Basics
Leather needs constant care. So when you buy a leather bag, make sure you ask the store assistant about how to clean the leather bag. Different types of leather call for nourishing of different kinds. Know your leather before you do anything with it.
2. Basic Cleaning Ideas
Do you know what the most basic thing about how to clean the leather bag is? Remove dirt build-up by wiping the leather down with a cleaner (ask the store about a leather bag cleaner they recommend). A soft dry cloth or a good brush can help too - just wipe your bag with it every once a while to take care of leather bags. Naturally dyed leather must never be near water; moisture can make it shrivel up or become dull. Do remember that marks made by certain items are stubborn and never come off: oils, ball-point pens and eggs
3. Conditioning The Leather
What really is conditioning? Just take a dollop of hair conditioner and rub gently all over the bag with a soft cloth. This moisturizes the leather and makes it look fresh. Or look for oils that work well with your leather - just make sure you rub them on the leather and dry them out. Or ask for the Hidesign Leather Care kit, which contains a cream that protects the leather and allows its richness to shine through. Conditioning your leather is a very important part of taking care of leather bags.
4. Bag Them Up
How do you store leather bags? In dust bags, silly. Do make sure you wrap them in butter paper so that they stay supple. Fill the bag with stuffing (paper) so it maintains its original shape. Don't ever use plastic bags!
5. Airing the Bag
That silica gel that your bag comes with - let it stay so it can prevent dampness. To prevent mold and to take care of leather bags, just air the bag every once in a month.
6. Weather Leather
Avoid direct sunlight on your bags. At the same time, high humidity can lead to mildew. Tricky, eh? Sunlight can also fade out leather and make it look dull. So store the bag in a place that has good airflow. Remember this fact: leather will develop fungus in the rainy season. Rub it off with a soft cloth dipped in a mild solution of vinegar or Dettol.
7. Protect The Leather
Use a leather protection spray and use it twice a year to make sure the bag stays young in any weather. It doesn't take much to keep your bag well-maintained, even if it's not on a regular basis. For everyday needs, use baby wipes as an effective leather bag cleaner.
8. Inside and Outside
Maybe your bag looks stunning on the outside but is filled with ugly marks and spillage on the inside. That does not a pretty picture make. So from day one, make sure you carry pens or lipsticks in protective cases or tiny makeup bags. The ink marks will make your bag look awful - so make sure you clean up the inside lining regularly.
9. Maintain The Shape
Leather bags don't usually lose their shape. But that doesn't mean you overload them with everything and watch those straps stretch. Make sure your bag only holds your essentials and maintains its shape. Keep it filled with newspaper stuffing or butter paper so it stays in shape. Also, never stuff it into a closet - it can crease the leather.
10. Caution Care
Mistakes happen. So if your leather gets too wet, here's what you got to do. Just air it out, wipe it and let it dry slowly on its own. Trying to dry it forcefully with a hair dryer can be damaging to the leather. Heat can change the structure of your bag, so dry it in room temperature. And don't put it out to dry in direct sunlight either. Know that direct heat can make your bag develop cracks and turn the leather stiff.
11. Professional Care
If you manage to get your bag too wet, too stained or too dull, seek professional help. Hidesign organizes leather-cleaning drives at their stores often and has a neat leather care kit that will take care of your bags which includes a leather bag cleaner (it's priced at Rs 1,295). Try Pressto, a premium laundry store all over India that repairs, cleans and restores bags. The Glow Shoe Laundry in Mumbai and The Color Spa in Delhi are your best bets.
The Hidesign Icon Collection relaunches the earliest bags of the brand that maintain the same ideals - vegetable-tanned leather, solid brass and cotton lining and designs that have stood the test of time. The collection ranges from duffel bags to doctor bags and everything in between.
The Icon Collection is available here. Hidesign is a premium leather brand from India based out of Pondicherry and known for their quality leather products.