Fantasies in Leather – Leather & Toys for Bad Girls & Boys


Leather Care – It’s More Than Skin Deep

Skincare is a responsibility that starts at birth. Babies are washed with special soaps and shampoos and slathered with lotions. As young children we are reminded to “clean your face before bed” and “be sure to wash behind your ears”. Teens, especially girls, are taught a myriad of ways to avoid acne through proper skin care and showered with endless advertising for various skin products. Throughout our lives we are reminded of the damages that sun can cause our skin. Skincare is a never-ending cycle…important responsibilities to keep our skin healthy and alive.

If we give so much attention to the skin on our bodies then why do so many of us tend to ignore skincare we wear? Leather is just skin but unlike the skin we are born with, leather does not regenerate. For that reason alone we need to take care of our leather sometimes with more attention than our own skin.

There are other reasons for taking care of your leathers. Leather has been a valued trade commodity since early times. In ancient Egypt, one of the most developed early civilizations, leather was as an important item of trade. The ancient Greeks valued leather so highly that leather artisans (shoemakers, tanners etc) were among the eight basic guilds of artisans.

Cost is an important factor for proper leather care. While inexpensive boots, jackets, belts and other items are available, the price is usually indicative of the quality. Basic economics: superior leather hide processing is more expensive than cut-rate leather and even production of raw materials into finished garments is more costly for higher quality goods. Buy good quality, well-made leather items, take care of them properly and they will last longer.

Your leathers can also be a scrapbook of memories of your own personal history. Were you wearing that pair of harness boots on your first date with your partner? Did you splurge on a leather jacket when you got a work bonus? Milestone events and special occasions can often be connected to a certain piece of leather and keeping that item in superior condition will help you keep that tangible memorabilia. In the leather S/m community, leather clothing often delineates a timeline of personal history. Earning leathers is considered a personal rite of passage. Interestingly, learning how to care for leather was and still is a common activity to learn in order to earn boots or another leather item.

So how does one care for their leathers? There are many types, conditions, colors and ages of human skin and the same can be said of leather skin. There is no one method to care for all leathers as each individual item is dependent on many factors. There are two overall guidelines that apply to most all things leather:

Preventative Maintenance

Keep items clean! Sweat, blood, oils and other body fluids can harm leather. Even ordinary substances such as alcoholic beverages, sodas and juice, gasoline and body lotions can damage leather clothing and shoes. Thoroughly clean leather after each use. Wipe down with a clean, damp cloth and let items dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area before storing.


Leather is porous and needs to breathe. You should store your leather in an airy, dry area that is not too hot or cold and certainly not damp. Do not impede air circulation by hanging toys and clothing in a tightly packed closet. Do not store in direct contact with the flow of heating vents or near heating units and avoid direct sunlight as this will dry and fade leather. Always use sturdy, padded hangers to help preserve the shape of your leather clothing and if you choose to cover leather items use a breathable material like a cotton sheet. Avoid storing any leather items in plastic bags, plastic containers, tight drawers, car trunks, bathrooms or packed tightly into a toybag or toybox.

Cleaning, conditioning, polishing and shining your leathers are probably the most knowledge and time intensive aspects of leather care. A skilled bootblack can offer top-quality advice and instruction on how to care for specific items. Bootblacking is the art and skill of caring for leather. It is more than just polishing a pair of boots: it can involve the cleaning, conditioning, dyeing and polishing of all leather items. A Bootblack has often devoted many hours to training, product evaluation and practice. He is able to give knowledgeable suggestions about leather care.

Get in touch with a bootblack and learn how to keep your leathers in tip-top shape. Leather care is more than skin-deep!

© Elegant 2006



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