How to Properly Store Leather

6 January 2015 by

We all have valuables that are too good to get rid of, but possibly don’t require daily use. Whether they are treasured family heirlooms or a specialty purchase you can’t part with, knowing how to store your items so they stay in the best condition is important.

Perhaps you’re a handbag enthusiast or you’re trying to preserve classic treasures form your daughter’s rodeo days. Either way, leather can be tricky to store because it does have the potential to weather if exposed to the elements.

Be sure to keep your luxury leather goods in perfect condition by following these storage tricks.

Elements That Damage Leather

Before you pick a place to store your leather, it’s important to know what can do it harm.

Sun and Heat – Leather is just one of the many elements that can be damaged by sun exposure or heat. These elements can discolor leather and also dry it out.

Water and Pollutants – Water is a majorly erosive element and although the leather seats on your boat or a pair of your favorite boots may have survived this seemingly innocent byproduct of nature, it can do a lot of damage. Keep in mind that the destructive properties of water are not only H2O itself, but also the pollutants that can be carried in everything from rainwater to harsh tap water.

Critters – There are insects out there that can infest and destroy your leather products. Creatures like book lice can go unnoticed until they have all but ruined that beautiful designer bag.

Neglect – Leather is a somewhat needy material that has a tendency to deteriorate naturally with time. Oils, treatments and fresh air are often a must for keeping this product in beautiful condition.

Tips for Storing Leather Safely

Now that you know what can damage leather, you may be thinking that a safe place for it just simply may not exist. To help keep your treasure protected, Jennie Engelhardt, the handbag designer and owner of HARE+HART offered these three tips for keeping leather safe and pristine during storage.

No Airtight Containers

Airtight containers are often poised as the end all be all of storage, but when it comes to leather, breathing is a must.

“It is important to remember that leather is a skin and needs to breath. Leather should never be stored in air-tight containers, but, rather, they should be kept in a cloth bag or even pillow case,” says Engelhardt.

Keep it Conditioned

As mentioned before, good leather care involves treating the material. Just because you’ve safely stored your leather doesn’t mean it is preserved for all eternity. Make sure you pull out your leather products from storage to apply the proper treatments.

Closets Are Key

Though you may want to reserve closets for more frequently used items, Engelhardt says these really can be the best places to keep your treasured leather.

“Any closet that does not get too hot or cold, or receive too much moisture will work.”

Make sure your leather stays beautiful for years even if it is kept in storage by knowing what elements can harm it and how to avoid exposure.