A full-grain leather bag can be a worthwhile investment, as top-quality leather will last for up to a lifetime with a minimum of care. Genuine leather starts as a living, breathing organ. This is a plus - as top-quality leather, just like skin, will remain soft and supple, year after year with the proper cleansing and conditioning routine. Full-grain leather can stand up to a ton of abuse – Crazy Horse full-grain leather has been beloved for centuries thanks to its durability and beauty. Vintage leather like you see on the Yukon Avalanche duffle bag will stand up to the toughest hike while keeping its beautiful patina, shape, and softness when properly cared for.
There are three basic steps you need to follow to keep your leather bag soft, supple, and looking as magnificent as the day you bought it. Clean, condition, and protect (polish) your genuine leather bag and it will last for decades.
The first step in caring for your bag is to clean it – always wipe spills away immediately using a soft cloth, and wipe dirt and dust away before conditioning your bag.
Leather conditioner should be used a few times each year, more often if your bag or backpack leads an active life. The Harper Large Leather Backpack is a perfect example – it will handle hike after hike and retain its striking sheen and shape when properly cared for. The leather conditioner works to lubricate the leather fibers, keeping the leather soft and supple. Conditioners also help to enhance the patina and luster and create a barrier to help repel stains. There are several good leather conditioners available for purchase, or you can get crafty and make your own.
The advantages of making a D.I.Y. leather conditioner goes further than merely saving a few pennies – crafting your compound allows you to play with the ingredient ratios and create a custom conditioner that is perfect for you! There are plenty of great DIY leather conditioning recipes. Here are two of the best:
D.I.Y. LEATHER CONDITIONER:
Most soaps cannot be used on leather due to their harshness and additives. Baby soap is the exception and can be combined with a couple of ingredients to make a good DIY conditioner. Be sure to select a pure, natural baby soap with zero additives or coloring agents that could stain. Always clean your bag and make sure that it is free from dirt, dust, and spills before applying the treatment. To make a leather conditioner with baby soap - mix 1 cup water, one tablespoon of baby soap, and a couple of drops of white vinegar. Dip a soft, clean cloth into the mixture and wring out excess – cloth should be damp, not wet. After conducting a patch test on a tiny, hidden area (to check for any adverse reactions), you can apply the wax to the entire bag. Gently massage the conditioner in, then wipe away any excess. Always allow leather bags to air dry.
Beeswax can be used to make a terrific leather conditioner. Combined with coconut or shea butter and a few other inexpensive ingredients you can create a rich, nourishing leather conditioner that will preserve your bag’s beautiful vintage patina. Here is an easy D.I.Y. recipe:
- Solid beeswax (to protect the leather).
- Coconut or shea butter (to condition the leather).
- Sweet almond oil (to soften and moisturize the leather).
- Castor oil (to add shine to the leather).
- Melt the butter and beeswax in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning or boiling.
- Continue stirring as you add almond oil.
- After the almond oil has fully blended add the castor oil. Stir until the castor oil is well -blended.
- Continue to heat the mixture for another 5-10 minutes. Do not allow the contents to come to a boil.
- Allow the mixture to cool before using and storing it.
- Pour the mixture into tin or glass containers for storage. Use the same way as a commercial leather cleaner.
You can create your ideal conditioner by adjusting the ratio in the compound. For a firmer conditioner with a more paste-like consistency adjust the ratio to contain more beeswax or coconut butter. For a softer mixture use more almond oil.
Always spot-test a tiny piece of your bag before applying to the entire surface. As different leather conditioning agents create varying reactions, it is always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous patch (from the bottom of the bag is a well-hidden spot) before applying to the entire bag.
A top-quality authentic Crazy Horse leather bag like the Yukon Leather backpack will hold its stunning luster and appeal for decades to come with just a little bit of care. Clean, condition, and polish when needed to get the most out of your genuine full-grain leather bag. Be sure to check out our other articles to learn how to make the best D.I.Y. leather polish and how to protect and clean your leather goods
Come visit us at yukonbags.com for the finest selection in 100% authentic full-grain Crazy Horse leather bags, briefcases, backpacks, and more.