All about leather scratches and repairing it.

Let’s face it, leather products are expensive! And one scratch on them feels like that moment when you are watching your fav series and your wifi stopped working! That is the same feeling. Ask me!   

Just like your Wi-Fi glitch, that scratch is not permanent. Thank goodness! 

Why do scratches happen on leather?

Mostly due to not treating with care. It is fragile. 

How to avoid scratches?

Leather is regarded as one of the most valuable fabrics on the planet. It's made from the tanned animal hide (typically cow hide or buffalo hide) and has a few distinct qualities that you won't find in other textiles or materials.

Leather is a luxurious material that is soft, supple, robust, smooth, and extremely comfy.  For all these reasons, it is the material of choice for jackets, coats, and other types of outerwear.

On the other hand, leather has its own set of drawbacks, one of which being its proclivity for cracking. So, what causes leather to crack and what can you do to avoid it?

Before we get started, it's worth noting that leather has thousands upon thousands of tiny "pores" on its surface. While these pores are not apparent to the human eye, they play an important part in the features of the skin. 

Leather pores, like those of wood, are continually releasing or collecting moisture, based on the humidity level in the environment. When leather is exposed to a humid environment, surplus moisture vapour from the air settles on the surface, where it is absorbed by the pores. When leather is exposed to a dry environment, however, moisture from its pores escapes into the air, causing the leather to dry out.

If you've ever come across an old leather bag, you've probably noticed how little cracks grew. When leather is properly maintained and cared for, this does not occur, but it is something that owners should be aware of. When leather dries out too much, it splits. Returning to the basics of leather, this material contains a plethora of holes on its surface that collect and release moisture. Leather will dry out if it releases too much moisture.

Furthermore, if it dries out too much, cracks may appear on its surface. 

Fortunately, you have options for repairing old worn-out leather. 

What type of leather gets scratched?

Leather Scratches

  • Bonded Leather

Several leather accessories aren't exactly what we expect - some are of poor quality. Peeling is common in low-quality leather, such as bonded leather. Bonded leather is a cross between natural and synthetic leather. Discarded genuine leather parts are crushed into a pulp, then glued together using a polyurethane (PU) overlay. Bonded leather is a low-cost upholstery material that is often used. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the softness of real leather and peels easily.

  • Synthetic Leather

Synthetic leather is also commonly used as a low-cost alternative for leather accessories, shoes, and handbags. It is among the most easily ripped leather materials. It's made from synthetic materials like PU or PVC. Due to its low quality, it cracks easily, exactly as bonded leather.

What type of leather never gets scratched?

Real leather does not flake readily when properly cared for, and it ages beautifully! Owning a piece of leather is a luxury. Full Grain Leather is expensive, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Next time you buy a leather item, be sure it's of good quality!

Finally, it's essential to keep your leather moist and supple by using the right treatments for your particular item. Higher-quality leathers and materials do not crack or peel and effectively improve in appearance with time, but lower-quality leathers and materials do not have the same durability and endurance.

Price is indirectly proportional to leather quality and scratchability of the leather.

Full Grain Leather

The top layer of the hide is used to make full-grain leather. The term "full grain leather" refers to the fact that it includes all the grain. Because there are no surface changes or splitting, this sort of leather keeps its natural hardness as well as its flaws.

It's the best leather for purses, shoes, and coats, and it's the only one available. As a result, it is also the most expensive. It's difficult to work with this type of leather. It absorbs body oils and acquires a patina over time, which is one of its most appealing features. It does not crack.

Top Grain Leather

The second-best quality of the leather is top grain. The top layer of skin from blemished hides is usually separated to create top grain leather. To remove any inherent flaws, the surface is sanded. The leather's appearance is enhanced by pigmentation or staining. 

Top grain leather is also smoother and more flexible than full-grain leather. Although this sort of leather is robust and long-lasting, it tends to expand with time. Top grain leather is used in the majority of high-end items, including purses and coats.

Corrected Grain (Bottom Cut/Split) Leather

Genuine leather is made from the skin layers that remain after the top is cut off, primarily from the corium. Because it sits under the top layers, split leather has a harder feel and is typically utilized in situations where softness is not required, such as furniture backs and sides. It is also sanded to eliminate inherent flaws, much as the top grain leather. 

To give it a more natural appearance, the surface is usually sprayed and embossed with a leather-like pattern. The processing, on the other hand, changes the leather's natural permeability.

 Different ways to remove scratches from leather. 

  • Vinegar and shoe polish

Any commercially available leather cleaner distilled white vinegar, colourless shoe polish, and a soft cloth are required for this procedure. Even though you'll be using shoe polish, this procedure may be used on any leather item, such as purses, jackets, or couches. 

To proceed, use the cleaning solution to clean the surface. Then dab the scraped areas with a white vinegar-soaked towel. The scratched areas will enlarge because of this.

After the vinegar-treated area has dried, use a soft cloth to apply the colourless shoe polish. Gently massage it in until it's evenly distributed. If the scratches are still evident, apply olive oil to the afflicted area with a gentle cloth. Don't rub too hard; instead, softly apply it in a circular pattern. If you're still unhappy with the results, go ahead and add another layer of shoe polish.

It all depends on the depth and size of the scratch. This approach will only get the job done partially in some severe circumstances. However, we believe it is preferable to nothing.


    Vaseline can be used to treat scratches that aren't too deep. For optimum results, rub it in with a paper towel or a cloth and buff it. Vaseline is a multipurpose product with a wide variety of applications. It's no wonder, therefore, that it may fill in the gaps in your leather goods.





    Leather Oil

    A soft cloth soaked in leather conditioner or oil can also be used to remove minor scratches. Rub the surface in a circular motion to polish it. Begin at the damaged region and work your way outwards until you reach the surface's margins. Oil, when used in conjunction with polishing, will help to level out the colour by moving to the scratched areas. After you've finished polishing, let the leather take 10 minutes to absorb the oil or conditioner. Simply wipe away any leftover oil or conditioner.



    Olive Oil

    This has a few contradictory points. One part supports this repairing technique, the other part doesn’t.

    Leather is highly porous and will absorb any oils that you apply to it. When oil saturates leather for the first time, it seeps to the back—the portion you can't see. The oil eventually spreads into the leather and resurfaces organically. Your leather will develop ugly oil stains because of this.

    Oil cannot be cleaned with any cleaning agent accessible to the public since it lies deep into the leather. A professional can deep clean your leather to remove most of the oil. Even an expert, however, is seldom able to eliminate an issue. 

    In conclusion, I would suggest you to just store the bag properly!

    Although closet space is limited, it's preferable to store your purses upright on a shelf if you have the space.

    To keep its form, fill it with tissue paper or an old T-shirt (be careful not to over-stuff, though). Place the bag on the shelf in a dust cover or cotton pillowcase. Use dividers or pieces of cardboard to separate the bags. 

    The hardware on one bag should not rub against the hardware on another, as this might create an indentation. 

    To avoid scuffing, wrap chains and decorations in tissue paper and keep straps and chains inside the bag.