British fashion designer and TV personality Tan France knows more than just fashion design. He’s also got some great tips on how to care for what’s in your closet. When it comes to quality leather items like shoes, jackets, and handbags, knowing how to take care of them properly is a major part of keeping them looking good. And that’s the point, right? After all, as France says, “A leather jacket always makes you look cooler, sometimes more chic, and it elevates your look … to set yourself apart” (via Browns Fashion). Read on for his best tips, as featured on MasterClass.com.
First of all, you have to know what kind of leather you’ve got, because that will determine which cleaning method to use. Is it finished or unfinished? If you’re not sure, try a water test. Place a drop of water on the leather, let it sit for a few seconds, and then gently blot it with a dry towel. If the water beads on the leather, and then is easily blotted dry, leaving no visible marking, it’s finished (aka — it’s covered with a protective coating). If, after blotting, there is a visible mark left where the water sat, you’ve got unfinished leather — with no protective coating (via Advanced Leather Solutions).
Proper care can keep leather looking great for years
Finished leather can be cleaned with a little saddle soap, but that may be too harsh for more sensitive unfinished leathers. Test your leather cleaner in an inconspicuous spot before using. And, stick to water or specially formulated leather cleaners, instead of DIY cleaning products, which could damage the leather or make the existing problem worse.
Also, treat spills as soon as they happen. Blot the area with a soft absorbent cloth to draw out as much of the moisture as possible. Then blot again using a cloth that’s been dampened with warm water or leather cleaner, and finally, blot again using a dry cloth. After cleaning, moisturize using a leather conditioner.
The best treatment for leather is prevention. Wipe down leather items regularly to remove dust, dirt, and grime, and store them in a dry place, away from direct sunlight. With good care, your favorite leather items can look great for years to come!
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