Genuine leather is not hard to care for as long as you follow a few simple tips. These tips apply to both cow leather as well as pig and lamb skin leather.
- If your leather item gets wet, dry it slowly at room temperture - do not use a hair dryer or other heat source to try to quickly dry it as leather can shrink or crinkle if dried quickly. If the piece is water saturated, stuff it with newspaper or other filler to maintain it's original shape while drying. This is especially important for leather hats and boots. Skirts and other clothing items should be laid flat.
- Genuine leather can dry out, especially if left in the sun or in a hot vehicle. Leather conditioners can be bought at many shoe repair shops or department stores. Follow label instructions and test in a small area before applying to the entire item.
- Dirty leather can be gently cleaned with a soft brush or a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid using soaps that can be drying to the leather.
- Leather stretches when wet or when exposed to high humidity, so don't overload leather bags. Corsets should not be overly tightened immediately - lace them progressively tighter on each wearing to allow the leather to mold itself to your body. Leather can rarely be shrunken so be careful not to stretch it too much.
- Genuine leather should be allowed to breath - do not wrap leather items in plastic bags or in a tightly closed cabinet or drawer. Leather shoes and boots should be stored on open shelving to allow air circulation and not in plastic or cardboard shoe boxes.
Properly taken care of, your investment in genuine leather shoes, boots or clothing will last for many, many years.