Waterproofing your leather shoes (as well as some types of cloth shoes) is essential to surviving winter weather, since water can damage or completely ruin leather. All waterproofing solutions work similarly to create a thin barrier on the surface of your leather that cannot be penetrated by water.
Before you begin the waterproofing process, take a close look at your shoes and determine what type of leather and other materials it is made of. Check the shoe box for any special cleaning instructions that you will need to keep in mind. Then select a waterproofing product that is made for your type of leather.
For waterproofing shoes, you may select either a spray or a semi-solid wax product. Sprays are easier to use, but may not be able to provide a good thick waterproofing coat. On the other hand, you should not use a spray (which usually contains silicone) on thin, delicate leathers. The manufacturer of this leather may recommend a basic semi-solid product for waterproofing shoes.
Before you begin waterproofing, do a "spot test" on a small, hard-to-see area on your shoes. A good spot is somewhere inside the shoes, such as on the underside of the tongue. If you notice any color or texture changes, or any damage, stop and do not use the product. Contact the manufacturer of your shoes to know how to proceed.
If all goes well, you can begin waterproofing leather. Some waxy products contain a brush, while others are rub-on. If using a rub-on product, get a smooth, soft, cloth. Read the directions first - most likely, they will tell you to rub in slow circular motions and to apply more than one coat for waterproofing shoes.
If you use a brush, the process is much the same, except that you will make slow circular motions with the brush, and try to apply a little bit of pressure so that the brush can get deep into cracks. However, make sure you are using a soft brush specially made for this purpose, otherwise you could scratch the shoes. Experts usually recommend that a brush be used for fabric waterproofing, as well.
Speaking of cracks, whether using a cloth or brush, you will want to spend extra attention on all seams, cracks, raised areas, and any imperfections in the leather. Slather a little extra on these areas so that it can really sink in, and rub copiously. Repeat up to three times if necessary to waterproof these important areas.
Tips and Tricks for Storing Purses in Your Wardrobe We live in an age where women fantasize over owning a Fendi Baguette or hanker after a Hermes Birkin bag, and are willing to join a waiting list of five years for the privilege. Such is our obsession with handbags that purses have replaced shoes are objects of lust. Whether it be a tote, shoulder bag or clutch purse, many women today are obsessed with arm candy.
However, if you are the kind of person who throws everything in the bottom of your closet, including your precious Prada purse, then think again. Storing your bags and purses carefully will prolong the lives of these necessary accessories, keeping them in pristine condition and making your money go further.
Storing your Handbag
The handbags you use regularly need to be easily accessible, so store them on the top or side shelf in your closet, standing upright in a line. You can organize them by size, type or color. Place your bags on wardrobe shelves rather than on the floor, unless you are storing them in boxes.
One of the best ways to store handbags, just as with storing shoes, is to put them in plastic boxes or wicker storage baskets which allow air to circulate in the same way as a shoe box. This protects them from the elements, stops them being damaged, lets them breathe, and makes them easy to store/stack. Make sure the boxes are big enough so that you are not folding over the bag handles.
Any purses you don't use so often can be wrapped in cotton pillow cases or cloth storage bags. Do not put them in enclosed plastic dry cleaning bags, or boxes without air flow - they must be able to breathe.
If storing bags together make sure you cover any brass or mental chains, rings, studs and so on to stop them marking other bags. You can do this with a piece of tissue or cloth. Tuck chain handles inside the bag. This prevents the chain from scratching or marking the outside leather. Undo metal fastenings and buckles on straps so that they do not leave an impression.
To keep bags in proper shape you can stuff them with tissue paper or any alternative acid-free filling, but do not use old newspapers. Bubble wrap is better than tissue paper for padding out or wrapping bags as it doesn't attract moths in the same way as tissue paper.
Make space by clearing out your closet and deciding which pieces you are never likely to use again.
Caring for your Purse
If you are going to store purses for a long time then give them a thorough clean. "Empty every nook and cranny, vacuuming out the debris at the bottom," advises Cerentha Harris in her article "How to Sort Out Your Wardrobe", in Marie Claire,'s August 2007 Australian edition. Wipe the outside of your bag all over with a barely damp cloth and make sure that the bag is completely dry before you store it.
For leather bags, you can use commercial leather cleaner to give them a thorough cleanse. In her October 2006 eBay guide, "Storing and Caring for your handbag ? plus tips and tricks", eBay member 403 Halsey says "I have found a product at Walmart in the automotive section for leather seats. It actually smells like leather and rubs on like lotion. As stated on the bottle - test an area first to make sure it is compatible with your bag. This product cleans, conditions, and protects it against UV and heat."
Halsey also suggests that suede bags can be cleaned with a suede and nubuck cleaner available from shoe retailers or shoe sections of large stores. However, the article "How to care for your handbag," on the online shopping site SheFinds, advises against using any kind of treatment and just using a suede brush to reduce dust and grime.
If using an air freshener to freshen the inside of your bags, then make sure to choose one that has a natural smell such as vanilla rather then an artificial floral fragrance. Also you don't want the fragrance to be too strong, so consider keeping it in its wrapping and make small slits for the fragrance to escape.
A tip from Harris in her Marie Claire article is to place a saucer of baking powder on the floor at the back of your closet to absorb odors, should your storage space smell musty.
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