Patent leather doesn't mean no-care needed

Patent leather doesn't mean no-care needed

Many of us would have experienced a time when you stood in front of a patent leather and regular leather and start wondering which one to go for. While some genuine leather comes with the softness that you want, some of us couldn’t resist the mirror shine and gloss that come from patent leather shoes or bags that seem to need only minimal care and maintenance to keep that shine factor. But hang on, do you know what’s real patent leather and what’s not?  Are you buying the “real” thing?

Well, in fact, there’re quite a few technical ways to describe patent leather, but here’s the simplest: Patent leather is a type of leather that’s treated and coated with a shiny finish, usually with a lacquer, and the leather used is predominantly light and thin; and it can be made from any hide. Its surface can be embossed or crinkled but normally left smooth. 

Some of us may have heard a few other terms that’re used to describe the glossy, shiny accessory, and the most common is PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride). But are they leather? The answer is no. They are not bio-degradable and usually retain their form for many years to come, and its breakdown will just be granulation.

There’s also synthetic leather that can be passed off as patent leather to the unaware eyes. This type of product is usually priced cheaper than the real patent leather, and to many, can be a good substitute for the real thing. Another familiar term that was used interchangeably was the patent laminated leather, which essentially is leather with a coating thicker than the real patent leather.

How to care for real patent leather?

Just like regular leather, patent leather needs to be kept free of dust. You can do this by simply wiping it clean with a slightly damp smooth cloth or a cleaner. Depending on the type of finishing used on the patent leather, it might need oiling or polishing. But remember never buff the patent leather like a man would do with their shoes.

Storing your patent leather is important too. You will see that lighter coloured patent leather can tend to be susceptible to colour transfer especially when it is stored next to a coloured item. Try to store them in a white dust bag to prevent any colour transfer from happening.

If you have minor scratches and scuff marks, they can be removed with a special purpose patent leather such as the Saphir Vernis Rife patent Leather Cleaner.

With the regular wear and tear, it is essential that we take good care of it to avoid it from losing its glossiness.





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Care Guides

Make sure you're armed with the right advice to maximise the use of your leather cleaning and conditioning products, download your very own user guide below.        

Apple Brand Leather Care (Conditioner)

Leather Milk No. 1 Conditioner
Leather Milk No. 2 Cleaner
Leather Milk No. 3 Water Protectant
Leather Milk No. 4 Car Conditioner
Leather Milk No. 5 Furniture Conditioner
Saphir Shoe Care Guide     
Saphir Ultimate Shine Guide

In the meantime, some general rules on leather care and protection.





1. Cleaning

Regular cleaning prevents the build-up of dust, dirt, mildew and bacteria. Use your clean fingertip to gently rub out the scratch as the natural oils from your skin will remove most small scratches. To remove dirt, grime or surface residue, use a soft damp cloth. Gently rub for removal. For a deeper clean, use a cleaner to help preserve the natural lubricating oils instead of stripping them. Cleaning is an irreversible process and therefore, thorough consideration should be made before any such attempt. Do not use coloured rags that are not dye-colourfast as the dye may come off onto your leather. 

2. Maintaining

Leather loses suppleness in time if it is not provided with regular nourishment. Use a wax-free leather conditioner that will work on nourishing and restoring the flexibility and suppleness of your leather article. 

3. Storage

Leather is a natural material and should be stored in a breathable, non-plastic or non-porous container, to prevent the growth of mildew and bacteria. If you have to store it in a garment bag, make sure to keep it open for ventilation. 

Avoid at all cost: