Protect your Handmade Italian Leather Bag
and lengthen its life with just a few simple steps
Careful attention to the storage and cleaning of your Italian leather purchase will enhance and lengthen the lifespan of your bag, handbag, briefcase or leather accessory.
It is important to remember that the storing of your leather bag in a suitable environment such as a soft flannel bag will enhance not only the appearance of your purchase but lengthen its life span. These storage bags allow for air to freely circulate around the stored item so that strong odors do not remain attached and so that mold is less likely to grow in addition to protecting them from dust and exposure to sun or other harmful elements. The storage bags that are provided for free with your Pierotucci purchase are soft, so as not to scratch the surface of your leather item and are in a color that will not transfer.
When selecting a bag to use for storage purposes, it is important that:
1) the storage bag is a neutral color or a permanent color which will not transfer over time
2) the mouth of the storage bag is large enough to insert the bag without bending or deforming the bag, handbag or briefcase
3) the storage bag is a soft material which will not scratch the leather
4) the storage bags need to be penetrable, allowing for air to circulate freely
The first thing to do before storing your bag is to clean and empty the bag
Be sure to extract all items that are inside the bag, especially pens, markers, make-up, food items, candies, chewing gum, perfumes and other items which can potentially leak and leave a stain or odor in the bag during storage. Leather is highly absorbent and anything left inside the bag becomes a potential risk for transfer this includes not only colors but also smells.
Once the bag has been thoroughly emptied then it is important to dust it off and remove any exterior dirt which over time could leave an impression or mark on the leather. Take a soft cloth which is slightly damp and wipe all exposed leather parts. DO NOT use excessive water on the leather because this will leave a stain. In the case of small scuff marks it is possible to use a small dab of neutral colored shoe polish. In the case of dirt from common use, a little bit of face cream (neutral, no color - white is acceptable - and no strong perfumes.) Dab this cream on the mark or dirt and use a dry soft cloth to buff out the mark. This will not work on ink stains.
After you have completely cleaned and emptied the bag, handbag or briefcase, you will want to stuff it. Use tissue paper - or any other type of paper with no transferable colors. Ball them up and lightly stuff the item so that it takes its natural shape. The paper should be loosely rolled up and fitted into the bag so that it fills in the folds. If the bag is stored in a form that is not natural then it will adopt the new form. Do not use newspaper, because the ink can transfer to the lining of the bag or the leather - leaving a permanent stain.
Proper storage will maintain the original form
The protective cloth bag that is used for storage should have an opening large enough to comfortably fit the bag or briefcase. Do not fold or bend the bag, causing creases or un-natural lines in the bag, this could damage the bag or leave marks that will not fade. The handbag or briefcase needs to breathe in the bag, so plastic is not recommended. For short periods of time, one can use plastic but be sure that air can circulate by placing several small holes in the bag and closing it with a loose knot.
When selecting a place to store your leather item, look for an area that is not exposed to direct sunlight and large temperature differences. You want to select an area that allows for a constant flow of clean, dry air and maintains a constant temperature. It is important that the bag is not stored in a place that is exposed to humidity since leather will commonly absorb excess humidity and endanger the bag to potential molds.
In most cases, unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer or the craftsman, it is not necessary or recommended to use any type of leather treatments. In many cases these chemicals will be absorbed by the leather and shorten the life by clogging its pores. Unless noted by the producer, leather items should not be waterproofed. Depending on the type of leather, such as chrome dyed leathers, patent leathers and leathers with a shiny finish if exposed to rain or excessive water they should be dried off immediately and left in an area with plenty of air circulation so that they dry out thoroughly. In the case of vegetable tanned leathers, excessive water can leave a mark. It is not possible to remove this mark - however if dried out immediatley one can limit the damage.
If you have any specific questions about caring for your leather bag, handbag or briefcase, please don't hesitate to contact us for more information on how to care for your Italian leather investment.