Careful, “things” can grow on leather

Leather has a mind of its own. The reason I say this is because its not at all like fabric. Leather can hold moisture which you can pick up from the air not necessarily from rain. When storing any leather garment take care to make sure that it hangs “freely” in a dry room before putting it away. By this I mean don’t stick it in the closet or leave it rolled up in a saddlebag until spring. You’ll know that you have a mold problem by the smell and color of the leather, it looks kind of dusty almost greenish.

Depending upon the area of the US that you live in, you need to be aware of what can happen to leather in a damp environment. Keep in mind that leather consists of fibers that have been chemically treated in order to preserve the “skin”. These fibers can hold moisture and within them mold can start to grow. If left for long periods of time mold can ruin leather or leave it with a smell that you can’t get rid of.

There are commercial products that will get mold off of leather or you can do it yourself. Here’s how: first using a damp rag wipe the mold off of the garment, preferably outside so you don’t breath the mold. Clean all areas which include both the lining and the leather itself. Frequently rinse out your cleaning rag. It does not hurt to use a mild soapy solution like Woolite or even Fiebings Saddlesoap (its the best) then wipe again with another clean rag. After wards, condition your leathers with a good quality cleaner. If using Saddlesoap you get to skip this step.

The most important part is that once you clean the garment you must let it dry thoroughly. A word to the wise: Don’t let leather hang too close to a wood stop or furnace…you can fry it like bacon. It then become really ugly! Good luck and remember spring is just around the corner!

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