Seasonal leather clothing care is a very simple process and it’s during the warmer months when an extra effort should be made to properly care for leather-made goods. Why? Just because the air conditioning is on doesn’t mean leather won’t deteriorate, but let’s start at the beginning.
About every two weeks, look over your leather articles for loose seams and tears, and check for worn bottoms on footgear. This measure helps prevent moisture and dirt from becoming trapped between the lining and the leather skin. If no repairs are needed, the next step is to clean the leather, as many times as you believe is warranted, but on average, about once a month during normal wear, then recondition the leather to restore its suppleness.
As far as leather garments are concerned, it’s best to have these items professionally cleaned. You can clean leather apparel at home, but it can be a cumbersome task, and unless you’re prepared and understand the various steps involved, it’s usually better to allow a skilled professional to perform the work.
The next step is to shield leather articles from the elements, namely severe wet weather, and it’s relatively easy. With the exception of footgear, the only product needed to protect your leather-made goods is a rain and stain repellent. It’s easy to use, provides maximum protection, and there’s no messy clean up.
And what type of weatherproofing product should be applied to footgear? That answer depends on the conditions you work, live, or play in. For instance, for those individuals who work in the food service industry or work with a construction firm, where water can be a constant threat, a choice between a beeswax or mink oil waterproofing product would be the best bet. The tougher the environment, the tougher the protection needed.
Finally, all leather items, especially leather garments, should be stored in a cool, ventilated area during the warmer months. All leather desiccates when exposed to any form of heat and if the tanning agents bonding leather fibers together begin dispersing, the material starts to decompose. Also make sure your leather goods are free of excessive moisture before storage. This prevents mold from attacking leather, which can stiffen and stain the fabric.
As an added note, all leather garments should be supported on a broad plastic or wood hanger. A wire hanger doesn’t have the strength to sustain the weight of leather jackets and coats, and they may lose their original shape over time. Skirts and pants are also susceptible to unsightly creases if hung in a folded position from a wire hanger. If you decide to cover your leather apparel during storage, don’t use synthetic clothing bags of any type; plastic doesn’t allow the proper air circulation leather needs. If dust is a worry, cover with an ink-free paper. If you’re unable to properly stow leather garments during the warmer months, there are facilities offering seasonal storage. A fee is usually charged, but an investment worth the cost.