Leather distressing is the process in which the leather is made to look vintage. This makes the leather item look like you have had to for decades, without the wear and tear that actually happens over time on your leather. Distressing your leather products like your handbags or wallets will give them the look like they have a story to tell and possibly actually belonged to your grandparents, while still being brand new.
What Not to Do
When you are treating your leather to look distressed, it is also important to know what not to do. Some people have tried using sandpaper or wire brushes to give that distinct worn look to their weather. Unfortunately, while these methods do give the warn patchy look you may be looking for, it also degrades the quality of the leather. You are distressing your leather to give it the look of being old while not being worn out, which means you do not want to weaken it during this process. Another way you should not distress your leather is by placing it by a fire. The heat and smoke from the leather can dry out and shrink the leather. This will lead to cracking and damage to your leather that you do not want to happen.
How You Should Distress Leather
After knowing what you should not do to distress your leather, it is time to get to business with ways that you can distress your leather. There are a few ways to do this safely and correctly to ensure that your leather stays in the best quality possible while giving it that weathered look.
Use Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is often used in conjunction with petroleum jelly when you are trying to soften your leather. However, when you are trying to give your leather a distressed look, you will want to just use the rubbing alcohol on its own. Apply the rubbing alcohol to certain parts of your leather product that you want to look distressed. You can do this by using a spray bottle or a rag to dampen your leather product without drenching it in rubbing alcohol. This will dry out certain parts of your leather giving it that distressed look.
After you have gotten your leather product wet with alcohol, if you want the creased look in it, it is time to get physical with your leather product. While the leather is still wet, fold it, pound it, knead it, and crumple it to give the leather the distinct creases that you want. Be careful while you are doing this to ensure that your leather products are wet enough to be handled without cracking.
Throw It in the Dirt
Some people want their leather to have a dusty worn look in addition to the creases and dry patches. In order to get this look, throw your dry leather products in the dry dirt. Kick your leather products around to give it a worn and dusty look, like it has been on a great journey through the wild west and has come back to tell the tale.