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October 20, 2021 6 min read
Are you going away on a long trip? Do you have leather accessories that you only take out on special occasions? Is it currently too hot outside to wear leather?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s very likely that you’ll need to store some of your leather to keep it in tip-top shape.
But storing leather isn’t as simple as putting it in the back of your closet. Since it’s a natural material, some storage tactics can do some serious damage to it. On the other hand, the correct storage of your leather can keep it looking as good as the day you got it.
So, with that being said, here are some of the most important things you can do when storing your leather:
Before we get into the best ways to store your leather, let’s think about all of the leather goods that we might want to put in storage. This will help tremendously with thinking about the best ways to store our leather goods.
Here are some of the leather goods you might want to put away:
A leather bag is a staple in anyone’s wardrobe. By and large, leather is considered the most desirable material for an everyday backpack, an evening purse, and even luggage. When it comes to storing these items, the material isn’t the only thing we’re interested in preserving. Maintaining the shape and form of the bag is incredibly important, as well.
If you recently upgraded to a new wallet, you might have some qualms about parting with your old one. But since leather wallets can last you such a long time, there’s absolutely no need to get rid of it.
Fortunately, storing leather wallets is relatively painless as they don’t take up a lot of room. Additionally, if left as they are, they tend to hold their shape pretty well.
Hanging your belt by the buckle is probably the best way to preserve its shape. But if you’re trying to make room in your closet, then putting them away is the next best solution. The main concern here is doing all you can to prevent any unnecessary bending and creasing.
If you’re working from home, then you might not be using your laptop case as often and might want to put it away for when things change. Well, just like a bag, the important factor here is preserving its shape.
For this reason, a laptop case should be stored in a way that doesn’t cause folding, wrinkling, or compression.
This is a classic wardrobe staple that we couldn’t possibly leave off the list, considering its popularity amongst almost everyone we know. Because it’s such a huge chunk of leather, you might be tempted to fold it before putting it away.
Well, that’s a risky thing to do as folding it improperly can lead the jacket to deform in shape. For this reason, proper knowledge of how to store a leather jacket is a must before taking on this task.
When it comes to storing leather, we can roughly break down our strategies into what we should do and what we should avoid doing.
Here are 15 of our best tips for storing leather:
Maybe you want to make a display of your leather wallets. Maybe you’re all out of closet space. Maybe you left your leather bag on the porch and forgot all about it. Either way, too much direct light—natural or artificial—can dry out your leather and cause it to develop cracks.
Leather is a natural material and, just like our skin, it has pores. For this reason, it needs its fair share of oxygen. Plastic is definitely not a breathable material and won’t give your leather the circulation that it needs. Plus, it can increase the chances of your leather goods developing mold.
We won’t get too science-y on you here, but as a result of the tanning process, leather takes on unique chemical properties. Because of this, leather can react with common metals (such as those used to make jewelry) and develop unsightly stains that will be incredibly hard to remove.
It’s tempting to roll up large leather garments and accessories for the sake of saving space. Unfortunately, this can cause some serious creases to form in the leather. This not only doesn’t do much for your leather’s aesthetic but can be irreversible if stored for a long enough time.
While stuffing your bag is a great way to maintain its shape over time, newspaper poses one serious problem. If you’ve experienced newspaper ink rubbing off on your hands, then keep in mind that the same thing can happen to the delicate lining of your purse.
While we’d try our best to avoid this, if ink ever does make its way to your leather, then we got your back.
If you have a variety of leather items that need to be put away—let’s say a leather bag, belt, and jacket—it’s best to keep them apart. This is because their differences in color, oiling, and tanning process can lead to some unpleasant interactions that we’d prefer to avoid.
Your leather and strong, harsh light don’t mix well at all. So, as much as you can, minimize how much light exposure your leather gets while in storage. We prefer rooms that get minimal sunlight, and that won’t have artificial lights on all the time.
If your leather bag came with a dust bag, you’re good to go with a manufacturer-approved way to store your leather. Just make sure to stuff your bag with something that can help it to keep its shape.
If your leather accessory didn’t come with a dust bag for storage, there’s another great option: paper. Paper is a natural material that’s highly porous. This will allow your leather to breathe and minimize the negative effects of high humidity.
If you know your basement gets muggy, it’s a good idea to keep your leather out of it. Instead, go for well-ventilated rooms that have low humidity and—preferably—climate control.
Top-grain leathers need to be oiled fairly often to maintain their shape. This is in contrast to certain other types of leather that don’t need to be oiled as often. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep the different types of leathers separate as the oil can transfer between them and lead to stains.
If you’re storing leather accessories you barely use, it’s a good idea to take them out every once in a while and do some maintenance. This will prevent you from coming across any unsightly surprises when you decide to take your leather out for a spin.
There’s a good reason why manufacturers use these little packets all the time. To keep moisture and bad smells far away from your leather, store your leather with these deodorizing pouches.
To maintain your bag’s intended shape, it’s a good idea to stuff it with something. A natural material like paper—preferably one that doesn’t have any color that can stain the bag—is the best way to go. And if you can get your hands on some bubble wrap, then more power to you!
To prevent any folding or creasing, hang up your leather bag, belt, or jacket. Just make sure to wrap your leather in a dust bag first. And when it comes to leather bags, make sure to use the loops on the dust bag instead of hanging your bag up by its handles.
You clean your leather gently with a microfiber cloth, keep it out of direct sunlight, and keep it looking great with regular conditioning treatments. But all your hard work can go away if you store your leather improperly.
To keep your bags, belts, and jackets in the best condition, make sure to follow our tips for proper leather storage. Along with the effort you put into caring for your leather, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your leather is taken care of even when you’re not using it.
How the Leather Jacket Became Iconic | Business Insider
Study of the Effect of Temperature, Relative Humidity, and UV Radiation on Chrome-Tanned Leather Aging | Research Gate
What Is Silica Gel and Why Do Packets of It Come With Everything You Buy? | Discover Magazine