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Basic Leather Care

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY LEATHER GOODS?

The natural nature of vegetable tanned leather requires a protectant of some sort. The chrome tanned leather I use will need care as well, but likely not as much. Dry looking leather needs conditioning. It should not get to the point of cracking, at that point it definitely needs care.

I recommend Smith’s Leather Balm. Every batch of Smith’s Leather balm is handmade in Maine from 3 all-natural ingredients. They start with 100% organic cocoa butter. Organic cocoa butter is not commonly used in leather treatment due to its high cost. It has become one of the most highly sought after ingredients in natural cosmetic supplies and skin conditioners. Cocoa butter is rich in vitamin E and contains natural antioxidants that help fight premature aging and deterioration. Next, they add 100% organic beeswax. Organic beeswax is safer and more effective than other barrier creams like petroleum jelly which contain harmful chemicals that can damage stitching. It acts as a natural water proofer, sealing the leather and protecting it from harsh elements. In addition, beeswax functions as a moisturizer, softening stiff, rigid leather. Finally, they introduce 100% pure sweet almond oil. Pure sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins A, E and B.  It’s a preferred ingredient in natural health and beauty products. It’s hypoallergenic and safer than less expensive alternatives.  It has many wonderful health benefits and works to improve the overall look and feel of leather goods. That’s it, all they use. No animal fats, synthetic compounds, preservatives or petroleum-based products. Just the safest, highest quality natural ingredients.

Once or twice a year, use a coat of leather balm on your leather goods. It is good practice to keep your leather goods away from water and dirt, while making sure the leather doesn’t dry out, which can lead to cracking. The drying out process takes a long while, but it is helpful to be mindful of the possibility.

Application of Smith’s Leather Balm: Start by making sure your leather goods are clean and dry. Next, test a small amount on a hidden patch of leather to preview the results. Start with a very small amount- a little goes a long way. The leather conditioners are best applied by hand and massaged into the leather, but a rag or brush will work also. Leather is porous and will begin absorbing the natural oils in Smith’s Leather Balm immediately. This means that lighter shades of leather may naturally darken some. Most leather goods will not darken beyond their original shade and return to a lighter shade in time. Minimize darkening by making sure you start with a very small amount.  A little really does go a long way. Buff with a horse hair brush or rag if desired. Reapply Smith’s Leather Balm as necessary to restore, protect and extend the life of your favorite leather goods. For a serious talk about application strategy click HERE.

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