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There are a huge range of products available for the care of your leather products, but you should be careful to ensure that you buy the correct product for the type of leather you have.
Typical leather care products include cleaning solutions, cleaning kits, conditioners, polishes and colour touch-up kits for concealing scratches and scuffs. Some companies also have specialised products for removing ink or grease, or for restoring the smell of new leather. You are advised to test any care product in an inconspicuous area first and only use products which are intended for the type of leather in question.
Specialised leather care products are formulated to clean and protect without damaging the finish. A leather protector is also available to protect leather from colour staining. Avoid using household cleaning products, solvents, or cleaners intended for materials other than leather as they are liable to damage the finish.
Before selecting a care product you should determine what type of leather you are dealing with, for example, aniline or semi-aniline, pigmented, nubuck or suede.
How to take care of leather bag
Leather is a very durable material and good designer bag can last for long. Proper care will ensure and preserve good looks and beauty of the handbag. Designer leather handbags are expensive and need extra care. Try these tips for keeping your leather handbag forever young.
Maintain Bag shape:
Unlike Hard shell handbags, leather or any soft exterior handbag needs some extra care to maintain its shape. Stuff soft tissue papers or any clean and soft cloth pieces. This will maintain the shape as well as prevent wrinkles.
Condition and Polish
To condition your expensive leather handbag, treat it with Leather Lotion. It is formulated to gently clean as it replenishes the oils for all finished leathers. After use, it leaves behind a soft luster. It keeps leather looking new longer, and helps prevent leather from dying and cracking. For special occasions, use suitable leather polish to give glossy look to your leather handbag.
Designer bags Specialist
For Repairs and stubborn stains, approach handbag professional than dry cleaner or shoe repair shop. Costly designer bags could damage from wrong machines or tools.
Designer Handbag Liners
This is a great companion for your designer handbag. Handbag liner will effectively shield the inside of a bag from the messy items.
If a handbag is tanned, and pigmented you can try to wipe the stain with a soft damp cloth. If this doesn’t work, try a leather cleaner specifically made for the type of leather you have.
Storage:Empty and store the handbag in a breathable cloth bag when not in use. Leather is a natural material, so do not use plastic bag for storing. Leather handbags need extra protection from humidity. Fungus, mildew, molds easily form over leather due to humidity. Always store it in a cool, dry place away from heat.
Separate Pocket for makeup products
Do not put Makeup products in your handbag. It could cause for stains. The best way to store makeup products is put them in a small pocket or pouch which can easily fit inside your purse. It will keep the interior clean and protected from stains. Other advantage is you will get all the makeup items in one small pouch.
Organize your handbag
Use handbag organizer to keep the handbag well managed and clutter free. All important things like credit cards, wallet, glass case, keys, mobile, pens, cosmetics and miscellaneous items will get their fixed places and it will cut down the time wasted on digging inside the purse. Also, you will able to transfer all the handbag contents to another handbag in one move.
Designer handbags are costly, so handle them carefully and avoid to carry them to crowded places like bus, trains where there are high chances of damages. In grocery stores, scratches due to carts and spillages from foodstuffs can Occur. As the leather is a delicate material, take extra care at workplace. Keep your special leather handbags safe from drawers, closets, sharp edged tables and chairs. Do not keep them on the floor where they can easily catch the dirt.
The most common stains to remove from handbags are finger marks, but simple regular treatments will stop them from building up into unsightly stained areas.
The kind of cleaning treatment you should use depends as always on the type of leather the bag is made from. Here are a few tips to handbag care...
Regularly dust or brush with a soft brush, or wipe clean with a slightly damp cloth.
Treatment with proprietary cleaners or polishers should be carried out sticking strictly to the manufacturers' instructions. Never use excessive quantities - the less the better.
Once or twice a year the handbag should be wiped with a cloth dampened with white spirit to thoroughly cleanse the leather surface from old and discoloured waxes, etc. It should then be given a very light treatment with a proprietary polish, and finally rubbed up with a soft clean cloth.
Patent leather bags
Clean with a damp cloth, plus a little neutral detergent if needed.
Pigskin leathers should be treated with a silicone preparation to protect them.
Minor contamination on all grain leathers can frequently be removed by gentle rubbing with a soft India rubber eraser.
Brush regularly with a soft suede brush or rub gently with a plastic foam block.
Minor stains and marks may be removed with a hard rubber eraser, or by touching up the surface with a fine emery paper.
The leather should retain its colour and appearance if it is regularly treated with a fluorocarbon aerosol spray product. These make the leather water repellent, and offer protection from grease and dust.
There is a wide range of suede cleaning and colouring products on the market, and these will give excellent results - provided that the product manufacturers' recommendations are strictly observed.
Handbags awaiting display and sale need to be kept in a cool, dry, well ventilated stockroom and be protected from direct sunlight. They should be wrapped in acid free tissue paper and kept in their boxes.
Storage of leather handbags in plastic containers isn't advisable because this can lead to discolouration of the leather.
If you have enough time, high quality grain leather bags such as crocodile, lizard and pigskin bags should be given a light coating of silicone wax and polished with a soft dry cloth to protect them whilst being stored and during initial use.
Bags on display should be protected from heat and direct sunlight because both can cause colour changes. Alternatively using ultra-violet light absorbents on windows will help protect the leather from these harmful influences.
Buying tips for garment leathers
Leather is a unique natural product with many highly desirable characteristics. However, it is important to apply an awareness and understanding of the different types, properties and variations in the raw materials to ensure satisfaction with the end product.
1. Leather Selection
Raw material - selecting leather that is fit for the purpose is crucial. For example; cowhide is not the most appropriate leather to make a lightweight ladies garment. If you need a strong, lightweight leather then a large mature sheepskin may be weak when cut down to a substance of 0.7mm. Seasonal variations and animal breed will affect quality and size, and potentially cutting values and costs. There are no hard and fast rules but a basic understanding of the types of raw material and their inherent characteristics is a good starting point.
Leather types - different finishes are available and once again the end use needs to be uppermost in the mind. Pigmented and semi aniline leathers will have better fastness properties than anilines, nubucks or suedes. However, pigmented leathers are more likely to have a less natural appearance. Aniline leathers and oily nubucks have a tendency to soil easily and are more difficult to clean. Colour rub off problems may occur with waxy, greasy leathers and nubucks.
Leather quality - the old adage applies here ‘you get what you pay for'. It may be better to pay more for the leather than push the margins. If price is squeezed on a garment the most likely place for savings is the leather and this can mean different qualities of raw material from that sampled!
Sampling - make sure that the quality of the leather is clearly agreed at an early stage, specifying what is and is not acceptable on a finished garment. If you pay for top quality nappa that is what you expect to receive. It is advisable to keep a good-sized sample of the leather and fingerprint test for reference.
Quality - when buying or specifying leather, you need to be aware that leather can either be graded or bought as a mixed selection. If the leather is graded then you can set the standards and agree which grades should be used for each garment panel.
Variation - leather is a natural product and depending on the type of leather selected a degree of variation must be expected. This variation can be minimised and controlled through efficient process controls during manufacture. Once again be aware that some raw material may be subject to seasonal variations in quality and size. Clearly set the type of variations you are prepared to accept and check each delivery against samples prior to despatch to stores.
2. Performance Specification
Standards - understand and set realistic standards for leathers to ensure that the terms of reference to your supplier are clear. Rejecting a batch of garments because of weakness, fastness or water spotting a month before Christmas can cause stress!
Test- verify the performance of your leathers before they are made up and then re check each individual batch. Essential tests include: strength, fastness, dry cleanability and flexing on pigmented leathers.
Restricted Substances- these are increasingly important to the consumer as awareness grows. A regular check may be prudent if you are uncertain of the processes used by your suppliers. Typical tests for first time suppliers would be PCP, Azo, Chrome VI and Formaldehyde.
Aesthetics - these are not as difficult to measure as they may seem. Touch, thickness, softness, colour, brightness and smell can all be measured scientifically against specified standards.
Bloom or Spue - this is a white substance that appears on leathers. It is catalysed by temperature and humidity changes and is often evident on garments or leathers after shipping. This is a processing problem due to either natural fats or free fatty acids as a result of an inappropriate combination of processing chemicals or even salt migration.
Shipping - many problems can occur during shipping. Leathers will crease and finishes may stick together in humid conditions. Therefore it is important to specify how the leather or garments should be packed during transportation.
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