Caring for leather

Leather is a living material that time will embellish and enhance with a patina, provided that it is cared for at regular intervals, using appropriate treatments.

© Carriat


To preserve its appearance and colour, leather should be protected from direct sunlight, heat and water, as well as from sebum, which may cause loss of pigment and staining on its surface.

Leathers requiring water-resistant treatment: vegetable-tanned leather, plonge lambskin, suede, nubuck.

Aniline-finished leather is porous, and needs to be protected prior to use, with a special care treatment.

Leather care techniques

As a rule, all smooth and waxed leathers can easily be cleaned with a soft, slightly damp cloth, impregnated with a gentle shampoo or soap (such as household soap). Applying a protective wax-based product, such as polish, then allows the material to be fat-liquored. Before making your selection, it is best to establish the exact end-use of the leather. Polish, in the form of paste or cream, is particularly well-suited to footwear and leather goods, whereas bottled leather milk can be used to treat the larger surface areas of a garment or chair, for example.

Aniline-treated leather: Wipe with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.

Patent leather: Wipe with a soft, damp cloth.

Suede: Clean with a soft brush to preserve its velvety appearance. If it becomes stained, rub the surface with a crêpe brush.

Impregnated leather: Wipe with soapy water before applying a specific grease.

Exotic leather: specific products and treatments are required for the care and renovation of this type of leather, and it is recommended that the services of a professional be used.

Recommendations on how to keep exotic leathers in perfect condition:

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and keep them away from any heat sources.
  • Also avoid exposing them to very low temperatures, and to water, notably rainy conditions.

Renovations & repairs

It is advisable to call upon an expert when renovating leather garments and furniture.

The Fédération Française de la Tannerie Mégisserie will be happy to provide you with the contact details of professionals who can offer advice.