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by Jennifer Smith February 13, 2020 5 min read

If there existed such a thing as the perfect clothing material, we can bet that it would have been leather. The feel, the look, the color, and the versatility, everything about leather is unbeatable. No wonder they make everything from clothing to footwear to furniture in leather. But what about leather woes, like how to stop leather from cracking? This guide is the answer to all your leather concerns.

Leather and its afterlife capability

While leather grows ever more graceful for most people, some people observe their leather cracking with time. And if you know the pain of seeing your leather accessory cracked, we understand that you have suffered greatly.

What Causes it To Crack?

How to stop leather from cracking?

Before we explore this, we need to understand what causes this painful process to occur!

While our condolences are always with you in case you lose out on this graceful textile, we take it upon ourselves to teach you how to handle the king in fabrics.  That involves understanding why this spectacular textile may sometimes develop cracks. Here is how and why these cracks may form:

Dry Surroundings

The cracks may form as a result of the fundamental breathable nature of leather.

  • Leather consists of tiny pores that are invisible to the naked eye.
  • These pores will absorb moisture in a humid environment and release it in a dry environment.
  • If the surroundings of the leather are too dry, it will continue to lose moisture as time goes by.
  • When kept in such surroundings for too long, the leather will lose too much of its moisture and crack up.

Dirt and Oil

Another reason for leather cracking also stems from its fundamental breathable nature.

  • The pores contained in the surface of the leather may result in it becoming dirtier than usual.
  • This happens when the leather pores trap the dirt and oil particles as you use it.
  • With time the dye and texture of the leather may break down.
  • However, sometimes your leather may be covered with a layer of synthetic leather that may prevent the pores from trapping the oil and dust particles.

Manufacturing Fault

Buying substandard leather may also mean that your leather has a very low lifespan. So, one of the best tips at maintaining your leather is to ensure that you use good quality leather. How does this work? here is how:

  • Before the leather is actually put into use, it is to be coated with a layer of dye and protective covering.
  • Every piece of leather has applied the dye and protective covering; it must be adequately stretched.
  • Failure of the manufacturer to do this properly means that when the leather stretches during usage, the dye will be unavailable to handle the stretch.
  • This causes the coating to crack.

If your beloved leather does form cracks, we are afraid it may not always be restorable to its original spectacular self. But a professional leather company may still be able to repair and patch it up for you in some cases.

How to Keep it Safe from Cracking?

However, nobody would want to wait and watch while their leather cracks up.

 So, here are a few essential tips at keeping your leather good as new and an answer to the most pressing question:

How to stop leather from cracking?

  • Regular Cleaning

Of the most essential tips in maintaining your leather is to clean it properly.

However, properly cleaning it does not mean you attack it with your everyday detergent and sponges every month. With leather, less is more. All you need to do is clean your leather thrice a year, and you will be keeping it clear of most oil and dust particles that may crack it up. According to upholstery professionals, the use of specialized products for maintenance and rejuvenation can go a long way in keeping leather strong and crack-free. 

Here is how the cleaning works:

  • Get your saddle soap or glycerin soap or leather conditioner– whichever you choose to clean your leather with. This forms the most essential supply.
  • Use a damp cloth to apply these to your leather, ensuring gentle rubs to the leather to absorb it.
  • The procedure to apply these is to rub and lift off with your cloth so that all the grime and dust inside the pores is removed.
  • Once you are done stripping your leather of all the harmful substances that it accumulates over the years, grab a soft shoe polishing brush. The brush is to ensure the leather is thoroughly cleaned.

While cleaning, take special care to put extra effort into areas that are most used. These include the armrests on leather sofas, elbow joints on leather jackets, and bottom areas on shoes. In case a crack or two does show up, use a soft sponge to apply leather balm over the cracked areas.

  • Optimal Usage

Perhaps the biggest reason for cracking is overusing.

No matter how carefully you look after it, if you abuse your leather rather than simply using it, it will gather enough dust and grime to cause it to crack. Here is what you can do:

  • Avoid sleeping on your leather: if you use a leather sofa, ensure that you do not sleep on your sofa.
  • Similarly, ensure that you do not clean your hands over your leather. This involves cleaning oily hands or cleaning excess sunscreen on the leather.
  • When it comes to jacket, try not to wear a backpack over it that rubs over the surface continually and causes cracks.

Of course, one might wonder what the point of buying the luxury of leather is if you cannot even use it. Well, the idea is to ensure that you keep the luxury intact for as long as possible. And hey, nobody is restricting you from using it entirely. Just remember to draw the line somewhere.

  • Humidity

Recall that a significant reason for your leather cracking is when it dries up excessively.

So, one of the most important guidelines in keeping your precious leather intact is to expose it to the right humidity.

But the primary concern is determining how much humidity exists in the surrounding? It isn’t as simple as just monitoring the surrounding temperature. So, here is what you do:

  • Buy yourself a humidity reader – yes, that is a thing! You can buy one for as little as $10. Not a lot of money to keep your gorgeous leather beautiful perpetually.
  • Use this humidity reader to monitor how much humidity is around your leather. The rule of thumb is to store your leather – be it a jacket, boots, furniture, etc. – at 40-50% humidity.
  • While humidity lower than that could be detrimental for your jacket’s health, humidity higher than that could be too. If the humidity goes above 60%, your jacket could grow mold.
  • If humidity is not suitable, get yourself a humidifier. Not only will it be good for your leather, but also you.

Final Word

Enjoying the luxury of leather is not directly buying it.

Leather deserves all the respect you can give it, and it pays back handsomely by staying with you for a lifetime. If you do look after it properly, it will grow better with time, just like your favorite wine.

So, keep up with our guide, and you and your leather will always stay happy.


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