If you’ve ever owned a leather jacket or accessory, you’re probably well aware of what happens when it’s exposed to sunlight for any prolonged length of time. Its neutral tan color will begin to fade into a lighter, more beige-like color. Granted, some people prefer the look of faded leather, but others want to keep the original look of their leather products. So, how can you protect your leather from sun fading?
Limit Sun Exposure
Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that limiting the time your leather product is exposed to the sun will protect it from fading. In order for leather to fade, it must be exposed to sunlight for a rather long period of time. You can wear a leather jacket outside day after day without noticing any change in its appearance — assuming you store it indoors. But if you leave the leather jacket outside where it’s exposed to sunlight every minute of the day, it will inevitably begin to fade. This is why it’s a good idea to get into the habit of bringing your leather products inside rather than keeping them outdoors.
No, I’m not referring to the same condition that’s used to wash your hair. There are actually conditioning products made specifically for leather. These products contain essential oils that moisturize and protect leather from common forms of damage, including sun fading. Applying a small layer of conditioner to the surface of your leather product will create a barrier between it and the sun, preserving its natural color and characteristics.
So, how often should you conditioner your leather product? It really depends on its current state, the type of product, the type of leather, and a few other factors. However, a good rule of thumb is to conditioner your leather product no more than once every couple of months. While essential in protecting against damage, conditioning too often may actually do more harm than good. The excess moisture will seep down into the pores where it promotes the growth of mold and mildew.
The Bottom Line…
To recap, you’ll want to limit your leather product’s exposure to sunlight while also using a conditioning product on it. Following these otherwise simple steps will make a world of difference in the look, feel and overall quality of your leather product.