My Introduction to Leather Care

I’ve … let’s use the word ‘appreciated’ leather for quite some time.

I asked for a leather jacket when I was seventeen and that wasn’t during a time when leather jackets were in style.

Leather cuffs–just regular wrist bands that can be worn in public (and the other sort, too) have always held a certain appeal.

I had to get a new one a couple weeks ago. My old one stopped creaking.

I had to get a new one a couple weeks ago. My old one stopped creaking. Gads. It’s by coolsteelandbeyond

I’ve also owned a leather collar for many years.


What was this post supposed to be about?

Oh right. Leather care.

For whatever reason, I hadn’t learned the correct way to care for leather until just recently. I had used dubbin on my Doc Martins and other leather things–bags and boots–but I hadn’t polished anything properly.

I was under the impression it would be difficult and I would permanently ruin my (whatever I was polishing).

But if you’re going to be a Good Sub(tm) you’d better learn to do proper leather care, right? (Really, it was the monthly practical project in Where I am Led.)

So I started with a small kit that got good reviews on Amazon (Kiwi Military Show Care Kit). The negatives were that the brush lost hairs at first so to use it outside in the beginning. Easy enough.

The obsession begins.

I hauled out my poor boots. (I work from home now and never wear them out, which is why the were in such a sad state.)

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First I removed laces from the two pairs that had laces.

Then I wiped them down with a damp sponge to remove the worst of the disappointment.

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Then I read the directions in my kit, which said to apply the polish with the cloth or the applicator brush and to let that dry before buffing with the larger brush.

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Then I re-laced everything.

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On my Doc Martins I use a spiderweb lace style, which I’d forgotten how difficult was to do properly. That took longer than cleaning and polishing that pair of boots.

Closer look at the lacing.

Closer look at the lacing.

It’s not a big deal that the one on the left is loose. When I put them on I’ll make sure everything is extra tight and tied and tucked on the inside. Eventually, I’ll be able to get the laces all the way to the top again–they were at that point when I brought them out.

During my foray into this adventure I learned about boot-shapers–things that hold tall boots upright so they don’t fall over like they’ve just heard bad news. This is better for the leather in the long run, and will make it easier to polish, in future, as well. I got the Western style, which work fine, but should have got these. It’s the same company, just a slightly different style.

This is why my boots look so proud to be polished in that last set of photos. It wasn’t because the polishing boosted their self esteem or anything.

It boosted my self esteem, though. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The buffing was almost meditative and seeing a part of my wardrobe that was looking so sad come out renewed by my own work was rewarding. It’s easy to understand how people get into bootblacking as a hobby.

Now I’m eyeballing a leather jacket I have in my closet that, due to our ridiculous humidity, has some minor damage. Nothing like the boots, but I’m wondering if polishing will work…

(And boot polish smells amazing.)

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