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LEATHER SOME LOVE

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Does the thought of ruining your leather goods scare you from using them regularly (or without plastic wrap)? Pearl Mathias gives you tips to deal with leather

Don’t wait till after the monsoon to care for your leather products, because although our temperatures don’t drop much, leather clothing is always a good go-to option to stay a little warm, not forgetting our elegant handbags and shoes, which we can’t wait to use once the downpour settles. But, it’s quite a false notion that this luxurious material is intimidating to take care of, even though sometimes it’s this fear that makes us walk away from leather items we’ve been eyeing for a while. So, if you’ve wanted to flaunt your love for leather for the longest time, but are scared that you might ruin it easily, we’ve got some quick tips for all your leather woes.

Too wet
If leather gets too wet, dry it out slowly. Leather that’s been put through vegetable tanning reacts in the same way to water as any other natural thing would — just let the excess moisture evaporate. “If your leather bag gets damp, empty it out and leave it in a dry, airy place for a few days or in an air-conditioned room, which is the best way to de-humidify leather,” says Dilip Kapur, the founder and president of Hidesign.

Too dry
If leather gets too dry, rub something moist on to the surface. “Never leave your bag near a heater or under direct sunlight, because this will dry out the natural oils in the leather, leaving your bag looking dull,” Dilip says. In the long run, this could make the leather turn hard and develop cracks on its surface.

Too shrivelled
Leather needs moisturising the same way your skin does. Leather can have paints, waxes, oils and other things applied to their surface, so you should pick something similar to how it was made. You can try leather cream if you have a vegetable tanned bag. Rub your bag gently with a little bit of the cream and a soft cloth, which will replenish its natural oils and prevent the growth of fungus, especially during the monsoon.

Too dirty
If leather gets dirty, don’t go ballistic and try to use housekeeping tricks on the luxe piece. At the same time, avoid using soaps and foreign substances; a damp cloth should work just fine. “Use a good leather protector, preferably the Michael Kors bag and shoe silicon protection spray, to protect leather from getting stained,” suggests designer Rajdeep Ranawat.

Too stretchy
Remember that leather can stretch out, but it doesn’t shrink to its original size. If you overfill your wallet, don’t expect it to regain its taut shape when you unload your belongings, even more so in places with wet and humid climates. All you need to do is to carry the right amount and you’re good to go. Or go plastic; they say it’s uplifting.

To store
Never wrap your leather products in plastic because it will suffocate the fabric. In order to stop the growth of mildew and give your leather item some ventilation, store it in a cloth bag. This will protect it from dust and moisture, especially in a humid environment like ours. However, don’t leave it in there until it’s time to use it again. It’s important to remove it from the bag and let it get some air from time to time, even when you’re not using it.

SHOP SMART
Unless you regularly shop for gold-laced shirts and ruby- encrusted underwear, a leather product is going to be one of the most expensive wardrobe investments you’ll ever make. Whether it’s a bag, a jacket or a pair of shoes, splash out the cash on a good quality leather item and your grand kids might end up using it someday. Here are five things to keep in mind while scouting for the perfect leather product.

Style Since every jacket style has been recreated in leather, we suggest you go with something versatile. A black leather jacket goes with almost anything and it is the perfect choice for a first timer.

Fit A good jacket or a pair of shoes should fit so right that it feels like a part of your body — and it should suit your frame as well. Remember that leather is extremely difficult to get tailored or altered and so it is advisable to try it on before you buy it, in order to get the right fit from the start.

The right skin Choosing the right skin will dictate everything from looks to comfort, and from performance to long-lasting durability. So do not take it lightly. Goatskin is supple and durable, while sheepskin is much lighter. But, remember that the lighter the hide used, the less durable it will be, making it more susceptible to wear.

Finishing touches Buying leather is a major investment and you’ll want it to last. While it’s possible to replace zips, buttons and buckles, it will cost you heavily. Check the lining thoroughly because if it rips, getting it fixed is not going to be easy. Notice that a good quality jacket will be stitched evenly with strong polyester thread, and won’t have loose ends that come undone further down the line.

Your budget You’ll have to navigate through a sea of options to find an item best suited to you. And, although you’ll find faux leather pieces at prominent shopping marts, we suggest investing in quality leather product so that you can use them for much longer rather than throwing them away when the season ends.

BRANDS WE LOVE

  •  Da Milano
  •  Hidesign
  •  Franco Leone
  •  Jitrois
  •  La Roma
  •  Tortoise
  •  Viari


 

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