Leather gloves are fantastic, they are flexible, fashionable, practical and MADE OF LEATHER. There's a lot of leather types like, deerhide, elkhide, sheepskin, goatskin and of course our favorite Peccary. These leathers typically have something in common, they are very soft and flexible.
Also, leather gloves are extremely durable when made of full grain (you can read about all the leather grades here) and we can assure you that there's a good chance that whatever you throw at your leather, it can take it and then some more. Oh, and this isn't an excuse to abuse your leather gloves. However, to prevent any damage on them you need to practice proper leather glove care.
Keep An Eye Out
Before we spend time talking about to keep your leather gloves in pristine shape, let’s talk about a few things you don’t want to happen to your leather like: parched out leather, rot from the inside, and catastrophic chemical damage.
When is Dry
Your leather gloves can dry out for a lot of reasons as leaving them out in the rain letting water soak them through and run off with all its vital oils and nutrients that keep it healthy, or you can neglect them by no conditioning for a long period of time. Another way is to clean your leather glove without conditioning it again afterward. Most of the time, dry leather simply comes down to a single, unifying variable: your leather does not have the oils it needs to keep it healthy.
How can you know when your gloves are dry? how this will look like? you might be wondering at this point right? Well, the answer is your leather gloves will feel rough and look dry. If the gloves had been neglected for a long period of time the leather might be even cracked.
When there's Rot damage
There’s an opposite effect your leather can develop, rot. This can occur when oils or water are trapped inside your leather, usually due to excess conditioning, or trapping moisture inside your leather. This can even cause your leather to rot away from mold or mildew. This latter problem usually comes up when leather has prolonged exposure to moist, warm, and shady environments.
However, all you need to know is that when leather loses its ability to breathe, stale moisture and oils trapped inside the leather can slowly begin to eat away at your leather’s fiber matrix, and before you know it, you’ve got a slushy, drooping leather blob where one you had firm and supple leather. This is something you need to avoid at all cost.
When there's chemical damage
Chemical damage can happen when there's direct exposure to sunlight or direct heat. Also it can occur when commercial cleaners not designed for use on leather come into contact with your leather.
Alright, let's get with to the juicy part of this blog: How to protect our precious leather gloves. Learn and use this tips, they will help you to take care of them and who knows maybe they outlast you. :)
6 Steps to care for your leather gloves
Let’s be honest. Your gloves are probably gonna be kinda icky by the end of the day. Layers of sweat and salt build up and absorb, dirt piles on, and the whole thing gets sopping wet, one way or another. When your leather gets exceptionally dirty, it’s a good idea to clean it.
Follow these instructions:
- If the leather is wet, let it dry naturally first. You can dab excess moisture up with a soft, dry cloth if necessary, but don’t rub.
- When the leather is completely dry, apply Straight Cleaner No.2 (a special cleaner made exclusive for cleaning leather gloves) This deep cleaner penetrates your leather’s pores and pulls out all the gunk other cleaners can’t, with a soft, gentle touch that can’t be rivaled. It’s best to note that the sooner you treat an impurity, the easier it is to remove. Latent impurities, or impurities caused by harsher substances, such as ink, may need frequent cleaning and time to fully come out.
- Clean your leather when exceptionally dirty, or at least 2-3 times a year.
It’s also a good idea to turn the inside of your gloves by turning them inside out. As these parts are often not made of leather, they will usually require their own cleaning treatment. Usually, a lightly damp cloth and perhaps a bit of rubbing alcohol will work well, but follow any leather glove care instructions from the glove’s manufacturer, and always test treatments in a discreet area first. Allow your leather to dry in the fresh air, away from sunlight, for best results.
Of course, you can avoid most messy situations by conditioning and protecting your leather beforehand. Leather conditioners like Leather Milk not only keep your leather healthy, nourished and strong, they also protect your leather from impurities like mud, dirt, water, and more. Considering the kind of work most leather gloves dig into, good protection can be important.
Leather responds best when it gets to flex and enjoy the outdoors. Letting your gloves move around and stretch helps them to breathe, and helping them to breathe helps them to absorb moisture, move air through the pores, and grow healthy and strong, not to mention keep the shape. Your leather retains its shape best when it remembers your hand. Give it a hand to remember.
Keep your leather in cool, dry places away from sunlight and direct heat. A drawer or wooden cabinet is best, something away from the dust, but breathable. When you store your gloves, also make sure they are laid flat to avoid wrinkling or discoloration. Also, don’t store your glove wet, take the time to dry them first.
Leather gloves can often become a bit stiff after a while. Every so often, make sure you give your leather a gentle, lengthwise wise stretch across the edge of a table, and stretch each finger individually. Leather’s a tough material, and this stretch, gentle and firm, keeps the leather flexible and strong for the long haul.
Leather deserves a break once in a while. Because of the tough work leather gloves can get, it’s wise to keep multiple pairs and switch them around every few days. This will keep the gloves from dealing with too much tension, and give them a chance to breathe and work through the oils and impurities in their system before tackling another day. In short, your leather deserves a weekend too!