Leather is a fabric extracted from an animal or vegetable that, thanks to its flexibility, resistance, and durability, is the ideal material to create riding articles. However, it is a material that also requires a series of care in order to always offer the best performance. Today we will talk about leather maintenance and some tips to make this task easier.
Despite the fact that leather is one of the most resistant and durable materials, it requires daily and specific care to maintain its vigor and quality.
Normally, articles made with this material have a long life that will end when friction and use end up wearing the surface excessively, but the condition of the equipment should not deteriorate over the years if proper cleaning, nutrition, and maintenance are carried out. maintenance of the leather that makes them up.
Constancy is the key
This material does not need frequent deep hydration but daily cleaning with very specific nutrition. The leather has to maintain a midpoint between flexibility, vigor, and health with a slight point of dryness maintaining its natural state.
Excessive hydration with fats that leave residues does not allow the material’s pores to breathe, favoring the appearance of mold or hyper-flexibility. On the contrary, the lack of hydration will leave the leather stone colorless, accelerating the wear process.
Perform daily leather maintenance
The leather articles that the rider uses are usually Jackets, Gloves, Riding Boots, Saddles, etc. They are in constant exposure to sweat, humidity, and dirt, both from the horse and the rider. For this reason, it is very important to carry out leather maintenance on a daily basis (and after each use).
Being products for daily or very frequent use, they produce sweat and dirt residues that crystallize inside the leather when they dry, causing dryness and deteriorating the condition of the material. To avoid this, you only have to apply water or soap to the areas where there has been contacted with the horse and the rider, apart from cleaning any remaining dirt and sand.
The most nutritious leather maintenance
With the sanitizing system, cleaning sweat and dirt, the leather is kept intact daily for a period of time. Punctually, the day before a competition or once every one or two months, it is advisable to apply a light nourishing product to keep the leather hydrated, fresh, and flexible.
In addition, it is advisable to apply nourishing creams or balms instead of fats as they are absorbed more quickly without leaving greasy residues, providing optimal nutrition and hydration for leather in good general condition.
A light layer of the product should be applied and the material massaged until smooth and shiny.
Maintenance of new leather
The new leather material still maintains its natural moisture state so it does not need to be moisturized with balms or creams. Excess nutrition could alter the color of the skin and provide a counterproductive hyper-flexibility.
On the other hand, newly manufactured leather has a certain stiffness that expands and molds to the surface through use.
When starting to use the material, it is very important to start basic daily cleaning from the first day of purchasing the leather product.
Starting to work the leather from the first day prevents the inlay or infiltration of sweat inside the material. It will also make us get into the habit of performing leather maintenance so that we will already be used to it.
Can older and deteriorated leather be maintained?
When this material is not observed and cared for, it deteriorates over the years, becoming a dry, stony piece, lacking pigment, dirty, and cracked. You have to carry out two very simple steps and repeat them for as long as necessary until the leather is flexible and healthy.
First of all, you have to carry out deep cleaning to remove dirt and open the pores clogged by dust and the dry layer itself.
Secondly, it will be necessary to apply products with a higher level of hydration than balms and creams, such as fats and oils. Thanks to their smoothness and extremely dense and moisturizing properties, they are ideal for recovering this type of material.
It is important that, after the application of deep hydration products, the product is left to rest for a minimum of 12 hours to be able to absorb them. The next day you will have to remove the excess product and repeat the process.
Conservation of wet leather
It is very common to shower the bike with the boots on or to train in the rain, among other situations related to the contact of leather with water. It is not recommended to expose the leather to water if maximum durability of aesthetics and health is sought.
This material has a high absorption capacity so that when it gets wet, moisture can remain inside, producing hyper-flexibility or mold.
The first step is to remove excess water from the surface and leave the leather material outside, preferably in the sun, to dry and remove moisture. During the next few days, it is recommended not to apply any type of product so that it can fully absorb moisture when it starts to dry out.
If mold has started, it is important not to use the material and apply an antifungal to eliminate the fungus that can multiply and corrode the leather.
And here is today’s article! We hope you liked it and that you have learned how to maintain leather like experts. Don’t forget to share it with all those who you think could improve their leather habits. And remember that in our equestrian and equitation blog you will be able to discover many more tips, curiosities, and news.