Don't lose hope if your precious leather bag or jacket has started showing signs of aging by cracking. You can most definitely fix it and bring it back to glory with minimum effort. However, tempering with leather can be a bit risky so you need the right products, tools, and absolute attention for the perfect outcome. There’s nothing like a leather accessory in its natural and perfect condition. The damage that we’re hoping to fix might be too deep and leave some scars even after the treatment. Hence, it’s always recommended to take care of your leather jacket or bag to avoid any damage. Regular cleaning and conditioning followed by moisturizing are highly effective to guard against any future damage. Nonetheless, here are some amazing tips and tricks to help you get through this leather trouble.
Why Does Leather Crack?
Before we get into fixing the leather, it’s better to get deep into the matter and know the root cause of the issue. Leather is a delicate material that is prone to dryness leading to cracking and tearing if not taken proper care of. We all know that leather comes from animal skin that is made up of unlimited tiny interwoven fibers packed tightly together. They are even denser near the surface so, after a while of being exposed to the outer atmosphere, these fibers can dry out leading up to cracking and visible signs of damage. The tanning agents in leather help keep it moisturized for a certain amount of time, but depending on the type of leather, it may need oils and wax treatment. Just like human skin, leather needs constant moisture to maintain its outer layer and stunning texture.
Fixing The Cracked Leather
This might break your heart a little bit but the damage that leads to cracking is often permanent. A number of cracks are easy to hide using modern techniques or traditional methods i.e. conditioning the leather for rehydration. However, deeper and more complicated cracks need to be filled in or treated with a dye to blend them into the leather color. Let’s go through some methods that may be helpful in revitalizing your precious leather accessory.
There are plenty of leather fillers available in the market that can prove to be effective in getting rid of prominent cracks. But first, you need to make sure that the leather surface is clean,
- Use a leather cleaner to wash off any dirt particles. Dip a piece of cloth of cotton pad n the cleaner solution and start rubbing it on leather in gentle circular motions. Wipe it off using a clean towel.
- Use super-fine sandpaper to smooth the surface out at the cracked spots. Continue until you get the smooth finish to the touch. Use a paper towel to wipe off any dust. Do not use harsh, coarse sandpaper as it will do more harm than good.
- Fill the cracks with the filler using a palette knife. You can use a soft brush to make sure that the filler has completely covered the cracks. Remove the access filler from the surface using the knife.
- Let the leather dry naturally overnight. Avoid using a hairdryer or putting the leather in direct sunlight because that can shrink the leather. Once fully dry, check if another layer of filler is required.
Using a leather filler might not give the perfect result and create a visible color difference at certain spots. But you can continue with the process using the leather dye because for deeper cracks, it works pretty well when combined with leather filler.
- Once you’re done with using the filler, make sure it is dry before sanding the surface for even texture and smooth touch. Be gentle and use circular motions to avoid any further damage.
- Pick a leather dye that matches the color of your leather accessory. Always begin by applying a thin coat of the dye and keep on adding more layers if needed. Cover the cracks with the dye using a sponge or a brush.
- Let it dry naturally for an hour or two.
- See if you can get your hands on a good leather sealer. If not, simply use waterproofing spray to add a protective layer on your leather accessory against any water or heat damage.
Bottom line, no matter how many treatments you come across, prevention will remain at the top. It’s better to avoid carrying your leather accessory in rainy weather or exposing it to too much heat. Regular cleaning followed by conditioning and moisturizing will help you prevent dryness and cracking.