At Masha Hasel, we do not use genuine leather. We curate a handbag selection that suits all fashion lovers. That is why we are vegan and cruelty free. Thus, all our handbags are made in vegan leather, also commonly known as PU.
Soft, stylish and extremely durable, vegan leather is not different from genuine leather in one specific way. It needs proper attention and care. Only then will it be able to keep its shape, shine and all other qualities.
Before we delve into what is vegan leather and how you can maintain it, there are two things that you need to remember.
- Vegan leather has a non-porous surface. This means that most stains will sit on the top. Therefore, it is easier to clean and will not require an aggressive cleaning that could damage it.
- Vegan leather that is too dry can crack. Make sure it is not too dry.
What is vegan leather?
Vegan leather essentially is a layer of synthetic material. In other words, it is a type of plastic. That synthetic material is embossed with a leather like grain and is backed with fabric. That is what gives vegan leather a genuine leather appearance and feel.
There are different types of vegan leather with different qualities. The three most common ones are Polyvinyl Chloride also known as PVC, polyurethane also known as PU and polyamide microfibre. At Masha Hasel, we only use PU vegan leather.
Polyethylene is indeed easier to care for and better for the environment than PVC. PU is also more breathable than PVC. That is why it is classed as non-porous. Thus, stains and marks will generally sit on the surface.
However, in certain conditions stains may still penetrate the materials. For example, if the bag is exposed to a lot of heat or moisture. That is why the right storage solution will save your bag a lot of trouble and guarantee it stays with you for years to come.
How to store vegan leather bags?
The key to keeping vegan leather in optimum condition is protection and good storage. While no treatment is necessary, it may still add a thin protective layer so the surface is easier to clean. If marks are easier to clean to start with, then further cleaning will be less harsher and will lead to less drying.
As we mentioned earlier, drying can be the end of vegan leather so it is better to avoid it altogether.
Another way to protect your leather bag is to give it appropriate storage. Each Masha Hasel bag comes in a dust bag. If you are not to use your bag for an extended period of time, put it back into its dust bag and put it on a shelf.
To ensure your bag keeps its shape while in storage, you may want to stuff it with tissue paper. Do not let bags hang for a prolonged period of time, especially tote bags and handbags. This will help the handles keep their shape. They are always more protected in their dust bag, away from the dust and light.
How to clean vegan leather?
Vegan leather is non-porous. This means that stains and marks will normally stay at the surface and will not penetrate the material. As a result, cleaning is much easier and less aggressive than with genuine leather.
It is however good practice to give vegan leather a mild clean every now and then to remove dust and dirt that build up with use. This will also remove small stains and marks.
We recommend that you use warm water with a washing up liquid and a non-abrasive cloth. Make sure the cloth is not dripping wet but just humid. Harsh detergent will lead to drying, which we want to avoid.
Dry the bag off with a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth. This will help stop general wear and tear. It will also prevent everyday marks from building and making the surface look grubby.
How to maintain vegan leather?
Maintaining vegan leather does not require a lot of effort. However, regular care will help keep your handbags in the best condition. There are six things you should keep in mind and pay attention to as your care for your handbag.
- Sunlight: Direct sunlight is not good for vegan leather. It can dry out the material. Make sure your bag does not sit in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
- Colour transference: Clothes that are dyed (i.e. jeans) can transfer onto light colours. If you do notice color transference from your clothes to your bag, give it a wipe as soon as possible, so that it does not penetrate. Baby wipes will work wonders in most cases.
- Test first: Any products you decide to use for maintaining your bag, do a test patch on a hidden part first. This is to check that there is no adverse reaction. Test, let dry and look at the results before trying on the visible parts.
- Bleach is a big no no: Do not ever use bleach. Even if the stain seems impossible to remove. Bleach is the most drying product and will affect the structure of the fabric. Thus, it will be more susceptible to future marking.
- Use non-abrasive cloths: Do not rub or scrub the surface with any kind of abrasive cloth or sponge. A soft cloth is the only way to go. Scrubbing will crack the vegan leather.
- Clean after cleaning: Whatever you use to clean a mark or stain, make sure you wipe it away afterward. Cleaner agents are not meant to be left on the surface for long periods of time.