5 TIPS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR LEATHER HANDBAG
When it comes to taking care of your things, handbags usually fall under the radar. They are so unassumingly durable that it’s hard to imagine they would need any sort of care-taking. But in the long run, the wear and tear will start showing if you don’t take look after your leather bag. Here are 5 simple tips to maintain the pristine quality of your handbag.
1. Use a pouch to hold your pens and liquids
I can’t tell you how many times I accidentally spilled water or lotion, or a pen leaked in my bag. It's so frustrating when it happens. That's why I designed an interior pouch to go inside our medium and larger sized bags. It’s also a pain moving my essentials from one bag to another whenever I switch bags. I always seem to forget something. Putting all my essentials into a pouch helps me find them easily, and now when I switch bags, all I need to move is my wallet and my various pouches (yes, I have more than one!).
2. Stuff your bag to maintain its shape
All handbags, no matter their size, will benefit from stuffing. It's the best way for them to keep their shape over time. Especially if you won't be using them for a while. All our bags are shipped with paper stuffing. Remember to keep it after you unwrap your new bag. If you have already tossed it, tissue paper or newspaper also works but the ink may stain the inside of a bag so be careful to wrap newspaper in tissue paper before putting it inside your bag!
3. Keep your dust bags
Most handbags come with a dust bag – make sure you keep it! Our bags all have dust bags no matter the size of the bag. Dust bags are there to protect your bags when you’re not using them. They can get ruined and lose their shine from dust or from touching other items in your closet that could mark or stain your bag. I store all my leather bags in their dust bags to keep them looking as pristine as possible. Air them out once every two weeks to stop the growth of mold and bag rotation is key. Everyday use of your bag will wear it out, so switch things up every month.
4. Store your bags on a shelf
Never, ever hang your bag in your closet. After a while this will cause the leather to stretch where it is hung from (especially if you didn’t take your things out of your bag). If you can, store them on a shelf or a chest of drawers to avoid gravity pulling them down. Yes, gravity can also affect the youthfulness of your bag, they are made of calfskin after all. Keeping them far away from your make-up, pens, and lotions will also keep them safe from accidental spills!
5. Use the right product for the right leather
The general principle is simple: remove dirt build-up by wiping down with a cleaner made specifically for the leather in question. Every other day, give your bag a brisk sweep with a soft dry cloth—this won't take more than a few minutes, but will go miles towards preserving the appearance of your leather. Leather is permeable and can never be entirely waterproof, so avoid toting your favourite bag in bad weather. Nonetheless, there are beeswax creams which function as a barrier against water, but always do a test on a little hidden part of your bag to see the effect on your leather.
I'm not a big fan of leather cleaning products because I don't believe they actually work as well as they say. Believe me, nothing will get a pen mark off leather, no matter what it says on the box. However, suede is another matter. I would recommend buying a leather cleaning product to spray on your bag before wearing it to offer more protection against staining and water damage.
PRO TIP: For our smooth leather bags, I recommend using a soft baby wipe to clean off any dust or dirt from your bag.
And don't forget the hardware. Some bags have precious metal-plated buckles or chains which can tarnish over time. For our bags, I would recommend a metal & silver cream based product when you see the hardware is starting to look a little darker. All you need is a tiny drop of cream and a cotton swab. Be careful to cover the leather around the hardware before you clean it as the cream will stain the leather.
Always ask the shop assistant for their care recommendations, every brand will have their preferred products or tips.
Do you have any tips for me on how you take care of your bags? Please share them with me if you do.
Ciao for now,
I’m Alexandra, founder and designer of Alexandra de Curtis. I love to share my passion for quality, Italian-made products and effortless style. Sign-up to my newsletter and join our exclusive tribe of fabulous women around the globe. You’ll be the first to know about our new arrivals, pop-up events, private sales and special discounts, so you too can live Italian, no matter where you are!