How to Care for Your Leather Goods

| Words by Bryson Smith | Photos by James Huston

If you have any vegetable tanned leather products, you have items that can last a lifetime, given proper care. In this article, we are going to break down the proper way to care for your leather goods, including your Nomad iPhone cases and Apple Watch Straps, so that they look great and last a lifetime. We will also show you how to apply leather conditioner to your goods to keep them in excellent shape.

Taking Care of Your Leather Goods

100% Vegetable Tanned Horween LEather
Vegetable Tanned Horween Leather from Nomad

When it comes to vegetable tanned leather goods, like our phone cases, wallets, and Apple Watch Straps, one of the qualities that truly sets them apart is that they patina over time. When high-quality leather takes on a patina, it darkens and develops a rich luster. This is because, over time, it absorbs oils, sunlight, and other natural elements. An easy way to think about patina is that it is like developing a suntan. When you tan, your skin darkens from continued exposure to sunlight. However, if you are exposed to too much sun, you get burnt.

Similarly, when leather products are exposed to the elements, they can display some properties similar to sunburnt skin, namely cracking and peeling. Leather conditioner is the equivalent of sunscreen for leather products like your Nomad iPhone case. In the video below, we show you how to apply leather conditioner to your Nomad products to restore them.

How Leather Conditioner Works

Leather conditioner works in two ways. First off, when applied to leather, it helps remove accumulated dirt and grime without harming the leather. Secondly, it helps renew the natural oils in your leather, preventing cracking and peeling.. The leather conditioner we recommend, Tanner's Blend from Ashland Leather Co. , is made from oils used in the tanning process as well as lanolin, a byproduct of wool production. Leather goods absorb the conditioner, taking on new oil and restoring the leather sheen. It's worth noting that applying a leather conditioner to your Nomad Rugged Case or Horween Leather Apple Watch Strap will darken the leather color. While you can apply leather conditioner as often as you like, once a month will be more than adequate to keep your gear in top shape.

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