Leather. Probably some of the oldest type of clothing we have. And for the fetish community historically also a garment of high and historical importance. It’s armoring and intimidating feel can be really sexy. And it’s really durable. But because most people think because its so sturdy, they also think you don’t really need to care for it. But that’s not true.
If you don’t treat it right, it can very quickly become hard to wear stiff, and damaged. And as leather is an especially expensive garment, it hurts double. So to prevent that from happening and keep you happy and able to have fun, we gathered some Tips and Tricks for you.
Storage Tips & Tricks
Use a padded clothes hanger: Generally a good idea with fetish clothing (latex, neoprene etc). Will keep them from getting wrinkles and too much stress on one pint (as it’s the case with metal hangers etc.)
Keep leather clothing out of the sun/heat: Also a good idea with fetish clothing. Too much heat will dry the natural oils out of them over time. Then it will become brittle, stiff and can crack.
Store them in a cold and dry place: If they are kept somewhere wet, mildew could grow, which would damage it. You want to go for somewhere dry and cold.
Don’t vaccum-store leather: It’s an organic material and to make it last better and longer, needs to “breathe”. So also when you store it in a bag, regularly open it to give it some air.
Keep it away from pesticides: If you got any insect problems and use that stuff while leather is nearby, it could absorb it. And it could be almost impossible to remove from it. That goes also for mothballs btw.
Dry cleaning: To clean leather that’s mostly your best option, and when wanting to store it for longer periods of time, its best to go there first to eliminate any harmful substances and odors on it.
Keep it from getting stretched: Kinda your jeans kind of problem. Once it’s stretched, it won’t go back to it’s normal again. So maybe also don’t lend it to someone bigger your size.
Keep it away from sharp objects: Pretty self explanatory. Although leather is a wear n’ tear material, please keep in mind that once it’s damaged, you can’t really repair it anymore.
Waterproof your leather: When impregnating your leather there are a few things to look out for.
- Which one do you use. There are various ways to waterproof your leather. For jackets maybe go for silicone or acrylic spray, that will keep its shine 🙂 Wax and grease may protect better, but will make the leather fade over time more.
- Waterproofing doesn’t last forever. You need to redo it in regular intervalls. So best read the label on the bottle and maybe put in a reminder on your phone.
- Air dry: Even if you make your leather water resistant, when it’s drenched, it can still get wet. If it does, don’t heat it to dry it. As we said above, heat is the enemy. It will make it brittle. Just put it somewhere dry and shadowy. It’s hard and inconvenient, I know, but please do it. Else you may have that much fun with it. And if it got absolutely soaked use conditioner after drying to replace the the washed out oiles.
Moisturizing your leather: As leather is an organic material/skin, it will become brittle crack when it dries out. So it is a good idea to moisturize it regularly. You do that with a leather cream, oils and waxes. Which one, well, that kinda always depends on the leather. Often it’s best to contact the manufacturer for that, as he is an expert for exactly that.
- When moisturizing, please clean it with a wet cloth first. Do not use soap or similar on it. It will take the natural oils out of the leather that keeps them preserved. And chemical ones are even worse.
Leather conditioner: Sounds more like something for hair. But it’s actually very important. Over time the natural oils inside the leather will dry out. And those need to be replaced. That’s why you apply the conditioner. But please be careful not to drench your leather too much, or you’ll actually achieve the opposite effect and damage it. Just apply it when you see it’s becoming dry and stiff. As for which conditioner to go for, well…
- Often the best option mentioned is to go for natural oils. But careful. Those can darken your leather. That also goes for black. there are different kinds of black 😉 and often if you got a combo it has stripes etc on it.
- Wax/silicone is cheaper and won’t change the leathers colour, but please bear in mind that over time, even though it’s a conditioner, it will dry out the leather. So don’t use it too much.
- Leather Polish is not conditioner! It’s Polish. Read more in the next point.
Which one to go for is your choice. Maybe go for a combo of the two. Just do it, and be careful to never buy any with minerals or petrol. That will destroy your leather.
Leather Polish: If you got a nice and smooth black leather jacket, you want to keep it shiny. That’s what leather polish is for. But be careful, depending on the polish you could discolor it or dry it out. So if you do that before an event or so, best test it under the armpits maybe or another hidden area to make sure your product is compatible.
Also: Shoe Polish is not a general leather Polish! Don’t use that on your harness or jacket! Goddammit….
First Step: Read the clothing tag. Always a good idea. Especially true for leather gear. Most of the makers who take pride in their work will have instructions specific for their sort of leather and product printed on them. If they don’t, the things below are generally a good bet.
Dust off: When dusting off, use a dry cloth . Never use hard brushes or similar. if your leather’s dry in some corners, those can rip off pieces of the surface and damage it.
Wet cleaning: When cleaning your leather always test the water resistance first. Soak a corner of the cloth in water, let a drop fall on the leather. If it pearls off, use a damp cloth to wipe. If it gest absorbed, don’t.
If it was just to have a general “keep it well” cleaning, dust it of, condition it, wait a little, then waterproof it. If it’s dirty, best go to a specialist then. They should be able to help.
Google a good address for that. Dry cleaners often say they do, but not all of them really know how to treat leather. Ask them if they know your leather type etc.
Leather Cleaners: If you got your leather dirty, there are leather cleaning products. When using them, you should be careful only to use these that are made for your leathers type. Some cleaners don’t go well with other types of leather. They could discolor or even damage it.
Again, test them on a small hidden area before applying them all over your leather. Leave it over for a few minutes, then wipe it off.
Wrinkles: Keep your leather on a hanger, don’t stuff it in a bag or so. If you got big, unsightly wrinkles, again a professional dry/leather cleaner is your best bet. A cheap alternative that might help in short moment is to iron it on the lowest setting under another piece of cloth.
Go over it very quickly, don’t press too much and take it away again after a short moment. Be careful with that method as both heat and water is used here.
That’s it guys. We hope this Guide was helpful to you, and that you will have lots of fun with your gear 🙂