How to prevent damage to leather goods while in storage.
Follow a few simple guidelines on how to store leather bags, belts and shoes and they could last a lifetime.
Damage from storing leather goods incorrectly
Leather goods will deteriorate if they aren’t stored the right way.
For example, they may dry out and crack, or colouring may fade. Pressure or weight on a leather item may lead to weak spots that eventually tear or to general loss of shape.
Leather can also be damaged by mould or pest infestation.
General storage tips for leather
Before storing leather goods, ensure they’re clean and dry. Wipe down leather with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Dry it immediately. Leather must be completely dry before being put in storage.
Where possible, treat leather with a conditioner or leather food. This will keep it hydrated and protect it against drying and cracking.
Always store leather goods in a clean, cool and dark area with no direct sunlight. Use silica gel packs to prevent moisture build-up.
Storing leather bags
Leather bags can be a lasting investment.
Certain designer-brand bags may be worth thousands, or even more. For example, did you know that Hermès Birkin bags have outpaced the price of gold over the last 35 years?
In 2017, a Himalaya Birkin bag broke the record by selling for £236,750 (R4.4 million rand)!
Whether you have a valuable designer handbag or simply a convenient leather carry-all, it pays to keep it in good condition.
Follow these tips if you need to store a leather bag:
- fill the bag with clean, crumpled tissue paper to maintain its shape
- don’t hang a bag by its handle – it may cause stretching
- store a handbag in its original bag or a soft pillowcase
- don’t store in a plastic bag, which can cause condensation
- don’t store items on top of a handbag.
Storing leather belts
Storing belts might seem simple but you can do a surprising amount of damage if you’re not careful.
Tips for storing belts:
- ideally, hang a belt by its buckle
- if you don’t have hanging space, roll a belt loosely
- to prevent scratching, wrap metal buckles in tissue paper, especially if rolling
- never fold a belt or store it under heavy items
- separate dyed leather belts with tissue paper to prevent colour transfer.
Storing leather shoes and boots
Guidelines for storing leather shoes are the same, whatever the style.
- stuff shoes or boots with balled up tissue paper to retain shape
- use a roll of flexible cardboard to maintain the shape of long boots
- store in original soft storage bag
- alternatively, use a pillowcase or muslin cloth
- wrap leather shoes in tissue paper and store in original box
- stand long leather boots upright to maintain their shape
- If this isn’t possible, store in a box loosely wrapped in tissue paper
- remove laces while shoes or boots are in storage.
Also see our previous article on how to store leather boots, including suede and leather boots. Treat them right and they’ll serve you well through multiple winters!
Storage units at XtraSpace
At XtraSpace, we offer clean, secure self-storage units that are ideal for storing leather bags, belts and shoes until you need them again. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.