At Honest Crafters, mouldy leather handbags are one of the most frequent types of bags we've had to restore - and for good reason. Most people just aren't aware of the proper way to store handbags, treating them as objects that can be left in the open without proper care.
However, this creates a problem. The leather used in making luxury bags does not work well with moisture, and in a humid environment like Singapore's, leaving bags out in the open serves as a perfect recipe for the formation of mould. Case in point:
Not the best look for your luxury bag.
How does this happen?
Leather, like plenty of other organic materials, absorbs moisture when exposed to humidity in the air. In not-so-humid climates, a certain amount of moisture is ideal to keep leather supple and soft - but in more humid climates like Singapore's, a higher concentration of moisture can cause pores in the leather to disintegrate over time, allowing for spores from mould to grow on your precious bag or shoe.
It's important that you take proper care in storing your favourite leather products to prevent the formation of mould.
How do you store leather products properly?
There are a few things that can be done to slow down or prevent the spread of mould when storing your leather products.
1. Store your leather products in a dust bag
Storing your products simply to keep it 'dry' just isn't going to cut it - such as in its box, a plastic wrap, or keeping it away from wet surfaces. Moisture will still be trapped and present around the bag, ready to promote the growth of mould.
Rather, store them in a dust bag! Most luxury bags are usually accompanied by a dust bag when you purchase them, so if you're a handbag owner, you're in luck. Dust bags are moisture-proof, creating a mould-free environment for leather storage. To make sure there's no growth at all, place your dust bags at an elevated, well-ventilated area away from warm areas, sunlight, and air-conditioning units.
This is how a dust bag (with a handbag inside) looks.
2. Use dehumidifying solutions!
There exists a wide variety of solutions to help reduce the amount of moisture getting into your leather products. A cheap solution would be to buy moisture absorbers such as those using silica gel or activated charcoal. These come in small packs which can be placed near your leather products to absorb the moisture around them. It's important to look out for the ingredients that make up moisture absorbers - calcium chloride is known to permanently damage the shape of leather bags when leaked, so we'd highly recommend not buying calcium-chloride based absorbers.
A more expensive solution would be to use electric dehumidifiers! Electric dehumidifiers are large, electrical appliances that serve to reduce moisture in a larger environment, such as a room. These appliances can help reduce the humidity level to under 40% - a fine investment considering the money you save from not destroying your leather goods.
You may have seen this before... turns out, it actually does a lot to prevent mould growth!
3. Air it!
To fully ensure that mould isn't growing on your leather products, avoid leaving it in an enclosed environment for too long. When it's the hottest (think noon), air your leather products in the hot sun at least once a month to kill any potential mould growth in your products. It's important to note that it's still better to store your products in a sunlight-free environment - airing is simply a measure to kill off any possible traces of mould.
It's important to take proper care of your leather products, such as luxury bags or leather shoes - and it all starts with proper knowledge of how to store your products properly. By preventing the spread of mould, you'll be able to extend the lifespan of your leather products and keep them looking fabulous!
Need your leather keepsakes restored? Contact us via WhatsApp at 94870688!
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