The older, the more charm leather bags exude
However, this only applies to briefcases, weekenders, laptop cases and other leather bags that have been well cared for and properly stored. Taking care of beautiful leather accessories and repairing them when necessary makes sense. HRH, Prince Charles, is being hailed as a trendsetter by VOGUE right now for exactly this, even though he himself thought no one would ever call him hip.
The first impression
The new colleague was introduced with a tour of the office. Of course, he wore a winning smile on his lips, appeared open, friendly and seemed promisingly competent according to his flawless resume. Just as we had already experienced many times.
But one detail immediately caught his eye: the leather bag he was carrying. Large enough to fit a small laptop and a few papers inside.
Recognizably, she had already seen quite a bit. The leather showed signs of use, but looked well cared for. The bag had style and character, possibly it was an heirloom or purchased as a vintage piece.
With one look at the bag, everything was said within fractions of a second and everyone was curious to soon work with the new colleague, who obviously knew something about style and appreciated values .
The five most important tips on how to keep leather bags in top shape
1. in use
Patina is a bonus with a nice leather bag. Strong, prolonged exposure to the sun will prematurely age your beautiful leather piece (just like your skin) . Heavy rain and dirt, if the bag did end up on the ground, better not happen too often.
If possible, do not overload – even the best bag will not last long. Frequently, if not daily, total clear out and reduce the contents to what really needs to be there and not everything that you feel good about having with you.
Always store fountain pens in a separate case, because ink stains are among the most difficult stains to remove .
2. in the evening
In the evening, remove the dirt that has accumulated almost imperceptibly during the day on the leather bag with a gentle brush and a soft cloth.
Light, superficial scratches can be polished out on most types of leather with a soft cotton cloth or a micro-fiber cloth. If the scratches are so deep that the entire color surface of the leather is destroyed, a specialist should get to it, who has the appropriate colors and knowledge.
Small smudges can usually be carefully removed from the most common leather colors with a clean, reddish eraser. Never use vinegar-based cleaners or other harsh detergents. Pocket experts recommend trying it very carefully with clear Franzbrant wine. However, here a test is called for in a place where a possibly failed experiment is not visible. Too different are the treatment of leather products in the course of production.
3. once a week
Once a week you should give the bag a care with a special non-greasy leather conditioner . These agents are neutral in color and not very greasy. Sometimes you are lucky and can buy a suitable product right when you buy the leather bag.
From time to time, the leather is also happy about a treatment with the mostly imported from Brazil Carnauba wax. The leather blossoms after a treatment with this natural wax literally and shows itself in daily use against moisture and dirt somewhat more resistant. With a jar of colorless Carnauba wax, you’ll be well equipped for most types of leather , with the exception of patent leather, which requires a special patent cleaner to preserve the patent shine.
Before waxing, clean the leather bag well again, apply the wax with a cotton cloth and massage following the structure of the leather. Better too little than too much. Then leave the wax on for at least ten minutes or overnight and then finely brush off the excess wax. Connoisseurs then reach for a cashmere goat hair brush and polish the leather with it to give it extra shine.
Colored leather loses its original color over time and compared to shoes, which can be treated with appropriately colored shoe polishes, color treatment is not recommended for bags. The danger of dyeing the clothes with it is too great.
Careful care of the leather gives it a character that looks great even when the base color is fading . Most leather dyes are relatively durable. Just remember that even an old-school English gentleman will first wear new shoes in private before showing the first signs of wear on the shoes with them in public .
When purchased, the bag is usually filled with paper and provided with a protective bag. Please be sure to keep both. Once you change the bag or return home from a nice weekend trip, clean the bag and polish it smooth, you should stuff the bag with the paper again and store it in the protective bag.
If the paper or protective bag is no longer available, it can be replaced with neutral tissue paper. Please do not use old newspapers for this; the printer’s ink leaves its mark over time.
If the protective bag is no longer available, an old white pillow performs equally well. A plastic wrapping through which the bag cannot breathe is not a good idea.
Leather bags do not like it too warm and therefore should not be stored right next to a heater.
5. it used to be called bagger, today it is called pocket clinic or return to sender.
If you know of another bag maker, consider yourself lucky and please let us have the address. Unfortunately, the specialists in bag making and repair are hard to find today. Bags made of plastic and throwaway mentality have this profession almost completely disappeared. Those who still know how to practice this apprenticeship today work mainly for the manufacturers of fine leather accessories.
Bagmakers understand how to repair zippers and locks, professionally remove stains, resew dissolved decorative seams, replace the lining, and use their skills to ensure that bags can retain their charm. One or the other cobbler has taken over this work and in some metropolises you can find a so-called pocket clinic to which you can entrust the good pieces.
High quality bags producers usually offer repair service . Since bag makers are also rare here, you sometimes have to estimate months for a repair or general refurbishment . It is always worth it with good leather bags .
The alternative backpack
Definitely useful in the mountains and on the bike. And, of course, so does leaving the official residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a cardboard box, personal items from his desk and a backpack on his back, like Dominic Cummings, the former chief advisor at No. 10 Downing Street, to the media.
At that moment, everyone feels sorry for the man who, according to media reports, never felt sorry for everyone else.
Our recommendation is to use the time in the home office and the various lockdowns to do something good for the leather bags. Unlike good wines, which, stored in optimal surroundings, are best left alone, leather bags do not forgive simply being ignored for long periods of time. Good leather bags also need to get fresh air and be used from time to time, just like all of us.
The time of travel will come again and a charming Weekender always makes a good figure. And when face-to-face meetings become rarer, every impression and the next first impression count all the more. You wouldn’t want HRH The Prince of Wales to pass you by as a trendsetter, would you?
By the way, here you can see a good-humored Prince Charles interviewed by the editor-in-chief of English VOGUE in an engaging interview on the subject of sustainable fashion and his reluctance to throw away clothes and accessories that can still be repaired. (HRH The Prince of Walks Talks Sustainable Fashion & His Timelss Style). His motto: “Buy once, buy well”.
Naturally, the interview is also a charming example of the finest British English and the perfect combination of tie and pocket square in contrasting styles. Read more about this in our article on Pocket Square. You would almost think HRH, Prince Charles had read it.
Photographs © GloriousMe | Leather care products seen at Diehl&Diehl “Footwear and wardrobe” in Frankfurt am Main