Leather Care Newsletter Steven Ferry

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

Steven Ferry Care of Leather Goods, Part 4

by Steven Ferry

Nurturing the Patina

Cosmetics companies keep telling us that skin wrinkles and sags if allowed to become dry and lose its elasticity/collagen; full-grain leather is no different, being the skin of an animal. Obviously, the more exposure to the elements, the more care is required, and vice versa. This is not to say that all leather must be highly polished, no more than all paint must be high gloss. The patina (the way something looks as a result of natural wear and tear over time while being properly care for) of a well-used leather bag or jacket is half of the magic of leather—one hand-made leather cowboy belt dating back to 1976 was proudly hung onto by the author, with its scratches and blemishes, and served as the catalyst for tall tales told to eager ears half the age of the belt. The same goes for silver—the patina of antique silver well-cared for is in character compared with it being highly polished and unblemished, like chrome.

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.