“My favorite leather jacket I got for 40 bucks at the Fairfax Flea Market, like, eight years ago. Leather just gets better over time. There's something about a jacket that you have over years and years - just fits like a glove.” Jack Falahee
Back in 2010 archaeologists unearthed a 5,500 year old leather moccasin in a cave in Armenia. The shoe was made from a single sheet of cowhide, a technique now commonly known as “whole-cut”, and was likely custom made for its owner who was the equivalent of a UK size 5 today. The designer moccasin is held together with a leather cord which is laced along the seams around the shoe. The director of the dig reported that the shoe was made from leather that had been cut into two layers and tanned, which would have been a pioneering technique in the Copper Age. The shoe was so well preserved because the cave had been sealed with packed sheep dung, as natural materials like leather would normally be expected to have disintegrated after such a long time.
“My favourite leather jackets are timeless." Chiara Ferragni
So what does this have to do with our Vintage Child bags and what can we learn from this finding? Well number one is that, with the right conditions, handling and care, leather can last a really long time and number two is that there are a lot of treatments out there today that will smell nicer than sheep dung. The reason the shoe was so well preserved is because the sheep dung had kept away the elements, as any extreme heat or humidity changes would have slowly decayed the leather. Therefore lesson one is to keep your modern leather items in as much of a temperature controlled environment as possible, away from any moisture in the air.
In Hollywood we acquire the finest novels in order to smell the leather bindings.” Ernst Lubitsch
Leather is a naturally porous material, which means it is breathable, supple and malleable making it perfect for clothing, shoes and bags. However this also means that it will absorb water, so if it is kept in a damp or humid environment, or is at all waterlogged, then it will eventually begin to rot. Likewise if it is exposed to extreme heat it will lose natural oils and ultimately dry out and crack. Choosing a full grain leather, like one of our bags, and treating it with love and care, will ensure your bag lasts a lot longer. Full grain leather does not like to be overly treated, it is, after all, a natural substance and has its own oils which should be supplemented rather than replaced. So an occasional spot clean, wipe down with a cloth and oil will do the trick.
For a pair of often used leather dress shoes you will probably want to polish them regularly to keep the shine. For a traditional leather weekend bag, like one of our vintage inspired holdalls, most people like to let the natural patina develop over time so you should hold off on treatments to get the full effect of the characteristics of the wear and tear your bag goes through every time you take a trip. Just remember not to totally neglect your leather as it will dry out and crack, particularly with heavy use, so a treatment at least every six months will keep it in check.