Monday, 28 July 2014

The Godiva Guide to... looking after leather

We always treat our leather products as an investment. Whether it's a pre-loved pair of vintage leather cowboy boots, a brightly-coloured recycled leather bag or a swoon-worthy leather jacket, we want you to be able to love it and wear it forever!

And the best way to ensure that your new leather purchase will last a lifetime is to spend an extra few minutes every now and then looking after it.

Leather Bags

At Godiva we stock three different kinds of leather bags: Yoshi satchels and wallets are made from leather; Paperthinks shoppers, totes and purses are made from recycled leather (leather offcuts that have been ground down and moulded into a new material); Rebecca Jane bags are handmade from reclaimed leather and vintage fabrics. These different kinds of leather all have their different merits, but their care and maintenance is essentially the same.

Care & maintenance

When you first get your leather bag, you should treat it with a beeswax cream or a spray protectant to act as a barrier against water, such as spillages or rain. These products can sometimes alter the colour of leather, so make sure you test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Lightly brush over the bag with a soft dry cloth (microfibre ones work great) to keep it looking bright and shiny. Every month or so you can use a leather conditioner to help prevent the leather from drying out.


Store your bag in a dustbag whenever you're not using it, and fill it with stuffing to help keep its shape. Otherwise, make sure you keep it in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. 

We always advise rotating your bags in the same way that you should rotate your favourite shoes and coats - wearing the same one every day will wear it out much quicker!

Leather Jackets

We stock Nonchalant's beautiful leather jackets in store, in classic black and dusty pink colours. At £375 they're an investment piece, but with a little care and attention a Nonchalant jacket will last you a lifetime!

Care & Maintenance

Leather jackets are very hardwearing (that's why motorcyclists wear them!) but you should still look after them properly to make sure they keep looking their best for as long as possible. Before you wear it for the first time, treat your leather jacket with a leather guard, usually a simple spray, to help protect against spillages and dirt.

We wouldn't advise wearing a leather jacket in a torrential downpour, but you should be able to remove rain spots with a dry cloth, or a spot of leather conditioner. If your jacket does get wet, let it dry on a hanger at room temperature, away from direct heat like radiators or airing cupboards that will dry out the leather.


Whenever you're not wearing it, hang your leather jacket on a decent wooden hanger in a cool, dry place. Leather tends to stretch, so try to avoid hanging it on a hook or with clothes pegs. If you're storing away your leather jacket during the warmer months, keep it hung up in a clothes bag to protect it from dust.

Vintage Leather Boots

We always have a good selection of leather boots in our vintage room, whether that's cowboy boots, ankle boots or knee-high boots! Sometimes people can be a little turned off by the thought of wearing second-hand shoes, but remember that a good cobbler will be able to mend any heel or sole damage, and a sprinkling of baking soda inside the boots and left overnight will get rid of any nasty odours!

Cleaning & maintenance

First of all, use a clean dry cloth to remove any dust from the boots. You might always want to remove and replace the laces, if there are any. Then use a saddle soap to clean the vintage boots thoroughly and get rid of any dirt or stains. You can then condition them to get that supple leather texture back again. 

If there are any stubborn stains you could try cleaning the boots with a mixture of one part rubbing alcohol and one part water, then let dry overnight at room temperature.


Always clean your leather boots thoroughly and condition them before storing them away for a long period of time, such as over the summer. Store boots upright, using either shoe trees or stuffing them with acid-free paper to help keep their shape. As with all leather products, store boots in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight.

Where to buy

There are a number of cobblers in Edinburgh who can clean and repair your leather products for you, as well as selling a range of leather care and maintenance products, such as H Robertson in the city centre and Gorgie Cobblers in Gorgie.

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