Leather Wallet Care: How do I stop the breakdown of my wallet?
January 16, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Leather Wallet Care: How do I stop the breakdown of my wallet?

My wife bought me an authentic Louis Vuitton wallet for my birthday last year. I am not normally flashy (generally a blue jean white t-shirt kind of guy), however, I really like this wallet and would like to have it for a long time.

The issue is the wallet is starting to crack and break apart on the top and bottom corners of the fold. I live in Utah and it is very dry here. I assume these wallets should have a long life if properly taken care of.

My question is, how do I properly take care of this wallet and stop it from continual degradation?

posted by birdlips to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I suggest only using it when going out somewhere fancy or traveling. Don't sit on it if you keep it in your back pocket. Take the wallet to a good shoe repair shop (cordonerie?), most know how to take care of leather goods and purses. They'll be able to tell you what to do about the cracks.
posted by furtive at 9:40 AM on January 16, 2008

Most dry leather goods respond well to a liberal coating of mink oil, which you can get in the shoe care aisle of any department store. Once it soaks in, it won't be greasy.

The wallet, while nice, may not be designed for everyday back pocket use. The leather might not hold up to that, but it might hold up very well to breast pocket use in a suit coat. I don't want to suggest that you not carry it, but if you do it may wear out faster than you would like. Just as a point of comparison, I have an ordinary leather wallet from Target, the target brand, no less, that I've had for at least eight years. There isn't a seam or corner that even looks like it might be thinking about splitting, and the leather itself looks worn-in but not worn.
posted by OmieWise at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2008

+1 OmieWise's answer. I've had the same $15 Dockers leather wallet for about 7 years now and it's still in great shape despite living in my back pocket. Sometimes these luxury goods aren't all they're cracked (ha!) up to be.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:29 AM on January 16, 2008

Don't sit on it and it will last longer. This sort of reduces the value of a wallet for a blue jean and t-shirt guy though. Being sat upon in tight pants like jeans is probably even worse. Mink oil is great, but it will probably change the color.
posted by caddis at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2008

I'm a t-shirt and jeans guy, and I have never sat on my wallet. I keep it in my front pocket. I've never understood why people put wallets in back pockets, where (a) the contents get crushed and battered when sat upon (b) they're harder for the owner to reach (c) they're easier for pickpockets to get a good shot at (d) they're lumpy and uncomfortable while seated.

So my advice is switch it to your front pocket. Mink oil or snow-seal (beeswax and eucalyptus oil mix) or dubbin (colorless boot polish) treatment won't hurt either. But I think if it's cracked now, it's on the slippery slope to destruction. Maybe try not to overstuff it, too.
posted by flabdablet at 2:24 PM on January 16, 2008

a luxury brand wallet should not be cracking a year out of the gate. I bought my husband a coach wallet about 4 or 5 years ago, and it's practically brand new with no cracking or issues at all--and that's a lower end lux brand and someone who is a freaking nightmare on his leather goods.

Can you take it to a LV store or contact them about it? I don't think cracking should be expected, no matter the climate you use it in, and they may be able to replace a faulty piece of merchandise if that's the case, or at the very least can reccomend maintence methods specific to their leathers.
posted by kumquatmay at 3:27 PM on January 16, 2008

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