2. Be careful with what comes into contact with your bag.
3. Keep leather bags out of direct sunlight.
When you are not using your bag, store it out of sunlight or it can fade quite rapidly, especially if you are in the harsh Australian sun! If this does happen, the parts of the bag that have been in the sun obviously will be faded and the rest will remain close to its original colour. The best you can probably do is flip the side that wasn’t in the sun to give it a chance to fade as well. But, if you feel it's a bag worth saving, perhaps again call in those trusty professionals to see if they can do the job for you.
4. Be careful of sharp objects
Sharp objects are a natural enemy of leather - depending on the type of leather, it’s very hard, if not impossible, to remove scratches. Just be aware, when you are carrying your bag, that you can, without realising it, brush up against a harsh surface such as brick walls. You can see evidence of this when you look at some of your bags, the corners are often quite scuffed and the colour fades here faster which quickly gives your bag an aged appearance.
5. Keep it off the floor
Try not to put your bag down on the floor, especially on the ground outdoors. Rough surfaces can scratch your bag but also the floor is not the cleanest of places, especially in public, when compared to a seat, a table or your lap.
6. Don't carry too much
Try not to over fill your bag. We are probably all guilty of stuffing our bags with too many things. The bigger the bag, the more we try to stuff into it. But try not to do it as this can make your bag lose its shape, not to mention put a lot of stress on already pressured points like zips, handles and straps. Less overstuffing will prolong the life of your bag and maintain its shape not to mention being better for your back and shoulders!
7. Careful of spills
Like me, you might have experienced something breaking inside your bag which then becomes a big stain that goes through to the outside of your bag (thanks bottle of truffle oil purchased at an Italian airport!) You can try to prevent these types of stains by putting anything that might spill or leak - such as make up, pens, creams and liquids - into a separate pouch or carrier in your bag. To be fair, mine was in a plastic bag but I think the trick next time would be to triple bag it.
8. Rotate bags in your collection
Similar to shoes, you will get more life out of your bag if you can give it a rest now and then and not use it Every. Single. Day. If you can, have a couple of bags that you can substitute for each other and rotate through your collection, sharing the load, so to speak.
9. Store it properly
When you are not using your bag for an extended period, make sure you store it properly. Hanging a bag by its handles will usually pull it out of shape over time, so if you are not planning to use it for a while, don’t leave it hanging on the back of your door. The best way to store your bag is to remove all its contents and stuff it with tissue paper so it keeps its shape. If your bag came with a dust bag, put your bag in it and put it somewhere out of the way like your wardrobe shelf. If you don’t have a dust bag, a cotton pillowcase works as a good alternative. And if, by some chance, you have some packets of silica gel, throw a couple in to prevent mould.
10. Do not store it in plastic!
Leather needs to breathe, which it cannot do when it's kept in plastic. Mould can form and once you have mould in leather, you will never get rid of it (have also learnt this the hard way!). Leather cleaner will remove the mould from the surface for a short period of time but it will always come back.