Debunking Leather Myths Once & For All

Debunking Leather Myths Once & For All
Leather as a material is often subject to unwarranted criticism, with common misconceptions revolving around its durability as a product. Throughout the years, myths and old wives’ tales about leather have given the gorgeous commodity an unfortunate reputation.
The truth is, many of these myths are just that — beliefs that aren’t rooted in facts. If you’re considering getting a leather bag for that special someone, or a unique leather gift for him or for her, read on as we debunk the myths surrounding leather goods to help put your mind at ease.

Myth #1: Leather cannot get wet

One frequent myth discussing leather is that it cannot get wet, lest it falls apart and breaks. Not quite.

Although leather itself is a porous material, it carries a certain level of water resistance. In other words, you can get leather wet, just not excessively. In the case when you get caught off guard by unexpected rainfall or splashes and your leather bag takes the brunt of it, simply towelling it off should do the trick. Contrary to what many might have you believe, it won’t just fall apart or start peeling.

The textile is highly durable when treated with waxes and coatings to prevent extreme water absorption. Whether sentimentally unique or otherwise, owners of prized leather goods should make it a point to maintain their leather goods by regularly maintaining them and ensuring they don’t dry out.

Myth #2: Leather is troublesome to clean

Myths about leather material

Myth number two: the idea that leather is troublesome to clean is also false. As we might have alluded to earlier, when your leather bag gets stained or subject to environmental factors, it is best to just wipe it down with a damp cloth. This applies to almost all leather products, as a rule of thumb.

Rumour Mongers will have you believe that you need overpriced and specialised creams to keep your cherished leather goods clean, but that isn't inherently factual. A simple washcloth dipped in warm soapy water will do the trick for most stains, while trickier marks and blemishes such as wine or ink stains can be treated with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. 

Myth #3: The colour of leather fades over time

Now, there is a grain of truth to this. The colour of leather does “fade” in a sense, but not in the way you would think. Like how vintage watches develop a cream-coloured patina on their dials, leather goods will generally develop a gorgeous patina as it ages too. This leather patina becomes a visual indicator of the material’s reliability, and adds character and history to each bag, wallet, and purse.

The type of fade that you should aim to avoid with leather occurs with prolonged exposure to sunlight. In this instance, the material isn’t so much fading as it is wearing away from the sun's ultraviolet rays. A combination of the textile drying out and continuous punishment by UV rays can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on leather goods. Hence, it’s always best to store your leather goods away from direct sunlight.

Myth #4: Leather is easily damaged

Of course, the term ‘easily’ is relative. A piece of paper is ‘easily’ shredded when compared to aircraft-grade titanium. Leather, in and of itself, is an organic material derived from cowhide. When tested against man-made materials such as PVC or plastic, surely the former loses out.

That said, as far as organic materials go, leather is one of the most durable out there. There is a reason the human race has been utilising this textile for centuries as an essential part of life, from using it as clothing to carrying potable water in waterskins. Not to mention leather jackets being THE iconic accessory for film action stars from the Terminator to Tom Cruise’s Maverick! The durability of leather is even more true for modern-day leather bags crafted by expert leather workers and handled with care and respect.

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Leather has so many intricacies and quirks that keep it relevant as top choice for the modern individuals, even in the 21st century. If you want to learn more about this fascinating material, check out our blog to brush up on your leather knowledge and discover our storybook-inspired leather gifts at our online store today! Gnome & Bow is the premier place for quality leather goods crafted with style and smart functionality, while also offering customised options for leather wallets and bags.


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