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Friday, August 20, 2010

Storing Leather Baby Shoes from Gillian M.

Q. I recently ordered the Sweater Care Kit and the Preservation Pack for Babies (clothes) and they are amazing!  I love your products and won't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. It was so much fun getting things ready for future generations. I do have some questions about preserving and storing baby shoes that I hope you can help me with. I have several pairs of Robeez brand baby booties.  They are all leather with a suede sole.  I washed them in gentle detergent and air dried, as per their web site's directions but I'm concerned about the leather becoming too dry in storage.  I wonder if I should use a leather conditioner on them before stuffing and storing them.  I also thought I would put them in the breathable sweater bag and place it on top of the other tissue wrapped items in the Sterilite box.   Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on this?

A. You are right to be concerned about the leather over–drying.

It's best when cleaning leather to use leather cleaner.  That can be tricky when you have pieces, such as your booties, that have both leather and suede.

Before storing them, brush the suede gently, then mask it with paper or painter's tape to protect it while you condition the leather uppers.

Depending on the type conditioner you use, you might be able to skip the masking.

I recently bought a passport cover at Wilson's Leather and the sales clerk cleaned it for me with a new cleaner/conditioner they market.

She assured me it was safe for both the outer leather and the inner suede, but I asked her not to use it on the suede - just not certain it would not leave an oily staining!

After letting them breathe a bit, give them a final buffing, stuff them gently with archival tissue and wrap.  The sweater bag will shield the other contents of your box while protecting the booties.  Do not recommend using desiccant packs with leather.  You'll be storing in a temperature controlled area, and so will not need it.  Check on everything periodically.