How Does Leather Breathe?

When most people think about leather, they think of it as being thick and tough, they don’t think about it being something that allows for good airflow. But the truth of the matter is that leather breathes, and it breathes better than any of the synthetic leathers or plastics that you might otherwise find in bags. Fabric can breathe well but it doesn’t have the durability or the look of leather.

How Does Leather Breathe?

So how does thick, rugged leather breathe just as well as thin fabric?

Well, think of your own skin, it allows air and water through and it’s relatively thick and durable. The reason is that your skin has pores that allow for air to flow into your skin. A cow’s skin works the same way and is filled with pores. The pure, quality leather that you get when you buy our Yukon Bags, retains those pores and allows air to flow through the bag. You want to buy things that are 100% leather because if you buy synthetic leather or bonded leather then you are getting leather that doesn’t have these pores. That leather has no ability to breathe and therefore is more susceptible to mold and rot.

How Does Leather Breathe?

Now when we say leather breathes, we don’t just mean that it allows air through. There is a bit of a process that occurs when leather “breathes.” When leather inhales it absorbs moisture from the air around it and draws this in deep into the fibers. As this moisture seeps in, it pushes old oils in the leather out to the surface. By clearing out this old oil, the pores become open for new oils to seep in.

When the leather was part of a cow, the cow would produce oils to lubricate the skin and replace the oils. Since your leather bag is no longer part of the cow, proper care of a leather bag means that you’ll have to be the one to provide the new oil. This is why regular conditioning with leather oil or cream is essential to the long life of your bag.

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