leather care and love

So it's finally time to get out that favourite leather bag/shoes!
This post is about some serious DIY leather care, I love leather especially vintage bags!
In  former working life I sold shoes, I love shoes and learnt a lot whilst doing, like how to treat certain leathers and what products are best to use.
I wanted to share some tips.

Firstly the most important thing about leather is that it's skin. I know this is stupid to mention because its obvious!
Unfortunately people forget it is skin and don't treat it properly, it dries out and get ruined.
I have several vintage bags all of which I love but due to their age they need TLC and proper treatment.
My first vintage bag is a French tan 1970's leather satchel style handbag, bought from a vintage fair and recently repaired after the clasp broke.

This particular bag is one I am fond of because it was the first and because I like projects. When I got this home I spent ages with a lustre tan polish and leather cleanser cleaning and softening the leather to bring it back to some kind of use.

The leather is dry but after a while it worked!
I have a pair of Topshop vintage effect leather boots and learned from a great cobbler how to look after them and this in turn helped me learn about other leathers.
If you have any leathers of certain colours or finishes use a neutral polish and leather cleanser to keep them looking good. Foe instance don't just put black polish over a marbled affect leather you will ruin the finish.

The basics for cleaning and maintaining leather are.
Saddle soap
leather cleanser
lustre polish
neutral polish (wax based)
Water proof spray.

(I know its a lot but it works!)

Step one:
Saddles soap (foam based) (Timpsons sell it for under £5, it lasts ages)
apply to surface with clean cloth and allow to dry, this cleans and softens the leather.

step two:
leather cleanser cream based
apply in small circles and once applied allow to dry this moisturises the leather like your skin and renews the surface and also cleans (its restores that buttery softness to leather)

step three:
Lustre polish (depending on your finish/colour)
add in small circles evenly leave 5 minutes then buff. This restores colour and shine

step four:
repeat step three but with neutral polish seal and gives it shine

step five: spray with protective spray (Schuh and Topshop sell good suede/leather protector spray both under £5) it waterproof your bag

These are a good way of maintaining your leather in its best condition!
I love buying leather second hand and doing it up. It really works and you have amazing items for a long time!

Some other pieces I have lurking about are
my latest charity shop find £7 (I have a post about this one lined up!)

and last but not least my vintage satchel it had some cracking due to use but the leather cleanser and polish fixed this. I have to regularly treat this one (like every 2/3 months) because I use it so often (it is a lovely chestnut brown)

I also regularly treat my leather jacket and shoes in the same way.

I hope this helps!

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