Leather armor like any form of armor requires consistent care in order for it to last and to perform its function properly. You might ask yourself why if leather is so long lasting and durable, does it need the upkeep. Or perhaps you're wondering what you would need to do. Well I intend answer these questions.

Leather armor is intended for protection and like all other forms of protective gear it requires some maintenance to get the best results.  If neglected, armor will still serve its function but it will be less effective if not properly maintained.  With leather armor being so thick there are some things which lighter leathers go through and don't seem like a big deal, but when using leather that is significantly thicker and harder these same issues become more of a problem. For instance, on the surface you may see cracks begin to appear in your armor in areas of great abuse or particular places where it wears and tears more, mostly where the leather is actually moving. Cracking causes leather’s sponge like material to fracture which does not allow it to distribute energy as effectively when hit. Denting is another problem that leather can have if you're bashing things into it. Inevitably it will get dents and dings in it to a point, this is unavoidable, but armor that does not receive proper care will become compressed and dented more rapidly. Finally, discoloration, have you ever owned an old leather jacket where at the wrists it's goes from being a nice black to sort of a green or blue color. This is due to a lack of care. This doesn't stop the leather from performing its function. It just doesn't look as nice.

Proper care for leather will greatly lessen these effects if not remove them completely. Leather is skin and just like your skin it works better when it is moist. Now this does not mean water. This means the essential oils in the skin, they keep it soft supple and springy. One might say, why would I want my leather to be soft all? Soft leather recovers from being hit more effectively so you don't get as many big gouges in your armor. It also tends to not crack and or tear. Of course the more often you use your leather armor the more often you should be using treatments to preserve the leather’s integrity. We suggest that, depending on use, treatments are done somewhere at a minimum of once every six months to a year. If you're only using it for Halloween costumes in October just do it once a year. If you are occasionally fighting in it throughout the year once every six months is a good idea.  If you are fighting in it once a week or more you might want to think about doing it more often. When it comes to my leather coats and things I treat them once every month during the cold months that I'm using them.

This brings us to a good point. Weather can dramatically affect how often you should be treating your leather, extreme cold and extreme heat wear at the leather more quickly so it needs to be kept in clean, dry and even temperature storage.

My strong suggestion for long-term storage is to use the treatment that we suggest, the Pecard leather dressing, the same stuff that the Smithsonian uses on its historical pieces, but I suggest  you smear a large amount of it on your leather armor and cover it in a plastic bag for long-term storage. This way the leather will soak up the treatment as needed.

Now this may all seem like a lot of work and to be honest most people do not actually perform this level of maintenance. Even without the maintenance the leather gear will last in good condition for many years. What I'm describing is a method to keep your leather armor lasting for generations in excellent condition. Obviously, if you don't care about passing on your leather armor great grandchildren, then you don't need to go through all of this. However you still should at least use Pecard Leather Dressing once a year at a minimum, but pretty much any leather care products can be used in conjunction with leather armor.

So enjoy your leather goods, and may they last you forever.

Here is a link to the Pecard Website