What is Leather Patina?
There are so many reasons why you should consider adding a little bit of leather to your life. It’s durable, it’s stylish, it’s versatile, and it’s comfortable. There’s not much that leather can’t do, which is why it’s been one of the most trusted and reliable materials for thousands of years.
With most materials used today, they only seem to diminish as time goes on. They lose their durability, they lose their style, and they lose their attractiveness -- but that’s not the case with leather goods. In fact, leather ages like fine wine and only seems to grow in beauty over time.
Whether you’re rocking a leather bag, a leather jacket, a leather wallet, a leather iPhone case, or one of the many other leather goods available today, you’ll notice that leather develops a rich patina the more you use it. This patina is one of the biggest reasons leather is such a popular organic material today.
So, what is leather patina?
Patina is defined as a soft sheen that develops on your leather products due to everyday use, wear, and tear. It’s an accumulation of dirt, body oils, sunlight, and everyday exposure that gives leather goods that wonderful character and natural leather appearance we’ve all grown to love.
The more you use your leather goods, the more you’ll notice it gains a weathered appearance. It’s a part of the natural aging process with leather, as well as other natural materials -- such as wood, metal, and stone. If leather didn’t develop a patina, it wouldn’t be as valuable as it is today.
In fact, leather patina is one of the best ways you can tell whether or not you’ve purchased the highest-quality leather. It shows itself best in full-grain leather and natural vegetable-tanned tanned leather but isn’t quite present in genuine leather, faux leather, and top-grain leather.
Benefits of the Leather Patina Effect
You now know what is leather patina, but you’re likely wondering why people want it.
Although leather patina gives your leather an ‘aged’ appearance, it’s what many people enjoy about the leather material. It’s what makes leather unique, it’s a testament to its quality, and it even looks better the older it gets (to most people). All in all, it’s what makes leather, leather.
Much like how all humans are unique in their own way, a patina makes each leather product unique in its own way. It gives every leather product a story and makes it just as unique as the person showing it off. There’s a true personality and beauty involved with owning leather goods.
While it won’t lose its durability quickly, it will show its age. It’ll leave a scar with every scratch, it’ll get a tan when left out in the sun, and its color will fade over time. They’re the type of products that you’ll feel proud to hand off to your children and keep in the family for generations.
What Type of Leather Shows the Best Patina?
If you’re trying to achieve the perfect leather patina, you’ll need a quality leather product that’s made just right -- which is rarer than you’d think. Two of the best types of leather for this are natural vegetable tanned leather and full-grain leathers that are free of dyes and pigments.
Both of these leathers absorb the many elements found in the environment at an incredible rate. They’re made from the most durable parts of the animal skin and are tanned the right way -- unlike split leather, chrome-tanned leather, and other less-quality types of leather available today.
Understanding the Leather Patina Process
The leather patina process is very easy to understand because it doesn’t take much to achieve it. In fact, all it takes is normal, everyday use, and time. As you let the leather age and expose it to the outdoor elements, you’ll start to notice that the leather patina develops eventually.
The more you let the leather patina develop, the more character and personality it’ll gain. It’ll absorb all the natural oils on your hands, dust, moisture, dye from your clothing, sunlight, scratches, and scuff marks that are inevitable when owning and caring for leather goods.
Tips to Speed Up the Patina Process
Many people are so infatuated with the look of a beautiful patina that they will do anything to achieve it as fast as possible. The good news is it’s much easier than most people believe. In fact, those that are clumsy and forgetful with their leather products won’t have any issues at all.
Here are some tips to speed up the patina process and achieve that aged leather appearance:
- Don’t be scared to throw your leather products around. Don’t ruin them, but you don’t necessarily have to be delicate with them.
- Allow your leather products to experience friction whenever possible, whether they’re in your pocket, purse, or on your person at all times.
- Leaving your leather out in the sunlight for long periods can help give it a patina appearance.
- A little rain won’t hurt, so long as you let it dry naturally.
- Handle your leather products as much as possible. The natural oils from your hands and skin will be absorbed into the leather.
- Don't use leather conditioner as often as you normally would and skip cleaning it every now and then.
There are plenty of ways you can go about speeding up the process of developing a leather patina. It might take a little time and effort, but it’s 100% worth it when you’re trying to achieve that weathered appearance that makes leather so unique. You won’t be disappointed with it!
A Beautiful Patina Starts With High-Quality Leather Products
Now that you know what is leather patina, it’s time to achieve it yourself. Of course, you won’t achieve a beautiful leather patina unless you purchase high-quality leather products that are made with care. That’s why you need full-grain leather and natural vegetable-tanned leather.
Luckily, Black Brook Case has exactly what you need. We sell a variety of leather products in our online store, including smartphone cases, tablet cases, AirPods cases, Apple Watch bands, bags, purses, belts, office accessories, laptop sleeves, and much more. Check us out today!