Taking care of your luxury bags and accessories is an art. We know how frustrating it can be to purchase an expensive item and not knowing how to properly taking care of it. After years of experience in the second-hand luxury market, we at Affordable Luxury have developed a few simple methods that could help you prolong the life of your luxury bags. Different leather types and materials require different care instructions.
So what exactly is leather?
Leather is a natural product as old as mankind itself. It is obtained from different types of animal skin and produced through a large number of complex treatments to become durable and prevent decay. Unlike many materials, leather is a living material that changes over time. Leather can also be artificial and is usually produced with layered of treated paper, often combined with different types of plastics.
So what kinds of leathers are there and how do I take care of my bags? Below is a list of the most common leathers, as well as the best care instructions.
Vachetta leather: More commonly known as cowhide leather, is durable and mainly used in Louis Vuitton bags. Its most caracteristic feature is the pale color and tendancy to develop a patina over time. No matter how well you take care of your vachetta leather, it is prone to darken overtime. There are however a few steps to follow if you want to prolong its lifespan and natural color.
1. Avoid moisturisers and skin products, right before use.
2. Protect it from bad weather.
3. Use a clean, dry cloth without chemicals to clean regularly.
4. Wrap a twilly scarf around the handles, to protect them from aging.
5. Keep it away from sunlight to avoid patina.
6. Avoid denim and non-colorfast materials.
7. Store your bags in a dustbag.
Calfskin: This leather is made from a young cow or calf. Calfskin is soft and features tiny grains and pores that creates a durable and luxurious texture, making this one of the most appreciated leathers in the luxury market. Cowhide and calfskin are two different types of leather. Though originated from the same animal, calfskin is softer than cowhide, which originates from a full grown cow´s hide. Cowhide is a bit rougher than calfskin and more prone to dry overtime, if it isn´t well taken care of. To prolong the life, you can follow some easy steps below.
1. Clean it regularly
2. Use a dry or damp cloth (non-alcoholic and without chemicals) for cleaning.
3. Store it in a dustbag.
4. Avoid dark clothes to prevent discoloration.
5. Avoid strong sunlight.
6. Avoid products with chemicals before use.
Calfskin does not develope the same patina as cowhide leather, and is more resistant to rain. However, we always recommend you to avoid unneccessary exposure to bad weather, as it will affect the leather overtime. Some of the brands have developed their unique leather care products, but we always recommend you to consult with us or a professional before using any leather product, as this could affect the warranty of your item.
Caviar: Caviar leather, also known as grainy calf leather, is made from processed calfskin. This leather type undergoes a special treatment that produces a pebbled grainy surface and is typically used in Chanel, Prada and Saint Laurent bags and small leathergoods, but can be found elsewhere. Caviar and grainy calf leather is extremely firm and scratch-resistant. Bags and accessories made from caviar or grainy calf leather are more likely to hold their shape and structure, but can soften overtime. It is water resistant and can be cleaned with a dry or damp (but chemical free) cloth. Do not over-exposure your caviar/grainy calf leather bag to bad weather or any liquids as this can damage or affect your bag overtime.
More care-guide-instructions will be updated shortly.