Leather is one of the most coveted materials out there, unrivalled in its texture and longevity. It’s very easy to assume that leather can withstand just about anything, but there are steps you can take to preserve your leather and you can even learn how to soften leather hide. As you can see from our kangaroo leather and cowhide leathers, your leather accessories can be vastly different in touch and look.
Now let’s discuss how you can safely soften leather at home and what you need to consider before getting started.
Understand the leather you are working with
Nappa leather is going to require a different approach to kangaroo leather, as the former is soft and almost ‘untouched’ whereas kangaroo leather is durable and sleek. This is why it is so important to first understand the leather you are working with. Harrison Australia stocks kangaroo leather and cowhide, and these leathers can take products if they are applied correctly. If you are after something softer you may like the cowhide leather products, or if you want something still soft but a bit more structured - kangaroo is the way to go. Getting the right leather from the outset may save you time and stress in figuring out how to soften the leather.
Find a reliable leather product
There is no point in spending money on quality leather products, only to let the condition slip by the wayside due to poor leather care. You can keep your leather soft by applying leather conditioner as well as water-resistant spray. The conditioner will work to moisturise the leather hide keeping it soft and bright, and the water-resistant spray will act as a barrier if and when it gets wet. Harrison Australia does not stock leather conditioners, but we do like the Oroton and RM Williams leather conditioners.
Always spot test
You never know how your leather is going to respond to a product, which is why you should always spot test your leather. Choose an underside area or a part that is not exposed and apply a small amount of product to the leather. You will soon see how your leather responds to those cleaning and softening agents and whether it will result in soft leather goods. Leathers are not made equal as they come from different animals, are treated or non-treated, and can even be too old or new to take that type of product.
How to soften leather after it gets wet
It’s inevitable that our wallets and leather goods eventually get wet, after all, life happens! That doesn’t mean that your leather will not get soft and it does not mean that your leather will get soft automatically. If you find that your leather gets wet, apply a leather conditioner to the wet portion and leave the leather out to dry for several hours. The type of leather will depend on how quickly the water penetrates the leather, and so you want to keep the leather in a safe spot to dry so that it does not take on any indentation or discolouration when it is vulnerable.
Of course, you do not have to wait for your leather to get wet to condition it, and you should be aiming to do this every 6 months to a year - depending on the frequency of use of that product. Just like skin, leather can get dry and dehydrated.
When you purchase a leather wallet or a leather belt from Harrisson Australia, you receive a five-year warranty on all products. If you have any questions about leather care or how to treat wet leather, you can always contact our team of leather designers.