Leather Care Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal May 2021, Care of Leather Goods

Steven Ferry Care of Leather Goods, Part 7

by Steven Ferry

Conditioning Leather

Leather should be conditioned occasionally (depending on how dry the climate is) to
maintain its suppleness; or as a remedial action when the leather starts to dry out and crack; and certainly when the item has been neglected for a while. This is a two-step process that involves dusting the item first and then cleaning it with a gentle and natural cleaner without harsh chemicals. Next, apply a conditioner made of natural oils (to soften, moisturize, and shine), butters (to condition), and waxes (to protect). Use a cloth or soft sponge to apply and a dry cloth to remove any excess. The oils will soak into the leather fibers, enhance the shine, protect the surface from stains, mitigate cracks, and restore colour, while helping develop the patina.

Photo credit: Alf van Beem

Saddle Soap combines cleaner and conditioner for leather saddles and any other leathers that need to be cleaned as well as conditioned, waterproofed, and preserved.

Lanolin is an ingredient in leather care products that can be used where a soft, supple leather is desired, such as jackets or handbags. Avoid using lanolin-based products where a stiff feel is preferred, such as for some shoes or boots.

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.