Leather is a natural occurring material made up of animal hide or skin. Skin or Hide of various animals have a distinctive quality and texture that gives leather a unique feel and suppleness. It means that leather obtained from goat, cow, buffalo, horse, camel etc may have more permeability as compared to that of crocodile leather. Besides this, crocodile leather is also prohibited. Water Resistance is a degree of preventing the entry of water or liquid when penetrated. On the other hand, water proofing can be termed as the ability to submerge a product or item in water, completely, without any damage. So to answer this question in whole, in general, natural leather is not water proof and is water resistant to only some extent.
Various methods can be implemented to make the natural leather more water resistant and safe from water. Some major practices are as follows:
Waxing: Waxing is a very age old practice to make the leather usable in water and is still in practice. Generally, bee wax or paraffin is used to coat the leather for waxing as they are natural occurring material. However, nowadays many chemical based and better wax derivatives are available which not only provide the leather with good water resistance but also not affect its shine and texture. Although it is not a one- time process. The leather is required to be waxed, time to time to improve its life and texture. Never apply wax directly on leather. Use a clean, dry cloth to apply leather wax which is pliable in nature. This will make it easy to apply the wax without affecting leather’s patina.
Spraying: It is a practice of applying oil based, water resistant solution or chemical on leather using sprayers. It creates a shiny/lustrous, more sustaining and long lasting layer over leather that provides it a good degree of water resistance. However, this process is bit complex, needs proper manual handling and quite costly as compared to waxing. But it is ideally used for products like bags, jackets, exotic shoes and even belts to give it n appealing look. Spraying can be done alone or with waxing to make it better. It makes leather goods less water permeable and gain a degree of water proofing against light splashes and rain showers.
Other than this, the water resistance and water proofing also depends on the type of leather. Various leather types have distinctive properties such as:
- Faux leather or “artificial leather” is made up of plastic derivative- polyurethane which is a synthetic material and possess qualities of plastic, hence, is waterproof in nature.
- Synthetic leather is a low quality variant of faux leather and hence, can be permeable in nature. In order to make it water proof proper treating process and spraying is needed.
- Nubuck Leather is a buffed version of full grain leather which is very smooth and fine in touch and texture. It is naturally water resistant and can be further waterproofed using spraying process, making it quite expensive.
- Suede leather is very delicate leather and should be avoided from exposure to water and hence, require higher degree of care and maintenance.
Also, the chances for full grain leather are higher to be water resistant as compared to other natural leathers. Handmade World Bags provides the high quality Genuine Full Grain Leather bags and accessories which are highly water resistant and last long.
For more details and purchase of our products, visit Handmade World Bags