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How to take care of patent leather
Maintaining a patent leather is within everyone's reach! Really!
Do you have shoe polish? Waterproofing agent? Moisturizing milk? Universal cream? Yes ? No ?
It doesn't matter! You don't need it.
To clean your leather, all you need is a little bit of chamois (or a piece of sacrificed T-shirt)!
Nothing more, nothing less. If you've been dragging it around in the mud, simply clean the dirt with a damp sponge.
Of course, it can happen that your varnish has become tarnished. The leather will be less shiny, less pretty. But every problem has its solution! Just apply a little Rife Varnish, polish with a chamois cloth, and you're done!
An improved leather
Despite its artificial and glamorous appearance, patent leather is actually leather... at its core!
The first leathers of this kind appeared in England at the end of the 18th century, at a time when manufacturers were looking to strengthen leathers to make them more resistant to water.
The first patents mention the use of oil, grease or soot from oil lamps. This was a far cry from the plastic coating we know today!
The concept of patent leather arrived in the United States at the beginning of the 19th century, and after many modifications, the first patent leathers were marketed there around 1820.
But nowadays, how do we get this shiny coating?
Once dried and still soft, the skins are stretched so that a plastic liquid is poured over them. This operation is repeated until the surface becomes hard and shiny. On average, it takes about 3 coats to get a decent result.
After this little polishing session, you get a water resistant leather... but not invincible!
Patent leather is quite sensitive to scratches, and can crack over time if not properly maintained. But don't worry! It is also the easiest leather to maintain, as you have seen.