Yves Saint Laurent Black with Gold Purse and Louis Vuitton Purse

Before we dive into the history of some icon bags that became more than unique and timeless pieces, we are going to review the process of leather making and conservation strategies. As with many other things in life, prevention is key to keep your items in good condition. As many of you know, leather comes from the skin of animals and is a by-product of the food industry. 99% of leather produced globally comes from animals intended for meat consumption. Leather can be created with the skins/hides of mature cattle, calf, goat, lamb, sheep, deer, pig and reptiles. 


Each has a very distinctive skin structure with different dimensions, thickness, direction of the fiber bundles, and proportion of the skin layers. To prevent the skin from degrading, the collagen protein within the skin needs to be resistant to microorganisms, this is achieved through the process of tanning. However, even after tanning leather can deteriorate, and multiple agents are involved in such process. Some of the agents are UV light, heat, and the effect of perspiration (sweat). Refeci has put together a list of recommendations to help you take care of your leather items.  

Yves Saint Laurent Black Purse with Gold
  • Before attempting any cleaning or applying any products, make sure you identify the type of leather your leather item is made of.  

  • Be cautious of using household products or following DIYs from the internet. Not all leathers are the same nor do they have the same finish. The wrong product can cause extensive and expensive damage.  

  • Keep your leather out of direct sun light, UV light can fade all leather types.  

  • Purses should be stored inside a cloth bag, stuffed with tissue paper to help them keep their shape.  

  • Stay away from baby wipes and all the chemicals they may have to neutralize urine. It is better to use water wipes as they have minimal chemicals. 

  • Remember: Prevention is key. Make sure you are cleaning and protecting your luxury items on a regular basis to keep them in their best condition. Leave stain removal and repairs to certified professionals that have training in the techniques and products needed for outstanding results.