Leather & Metal Larp Kit Maintenance

By Larp Inn

Leather Products

Natural leather products are very durable but require regular maintenance with leather care products to stay flexible and to increase their life. Here at Larp Inn, we provide maintenance and repairs for leather items regularly but generally there is a lot of things that you can do at home to look after your Larp kit.

Leather Maintenance Banner

 

Storage

The first important step is storing your leather kit correctly.

Make sure your leather products are dry before you pack them away. If they're damp, air the item to allow the leather to naturally dry without artificial heat because this can leather to lose shape or grow mold.

The optimal temperature for leather storage is 15 - 20 degrees celcius. Lower temperatures don't have a huge negative impact but keeping your leather kit in high temperatures will take its toll. Avoid leaving leather in direct sunlight because it will fade or stain the shading.

Shaped leather, such as curiass, helmets and boots, should be stored in a way that maintains their shape. Ideally, armour should be fitted to a mannequin or stuffed for optimal maintenance.

 

Cleaning

Different levels of dirt need different levels of cleaning.

If your leather goods are muddy, allow the mud to dry and then brush away any dirt with a hard brush. If there is still dirt engrained then you can try to wipe the leather down with a damp cloth until it appears clean.

Leather Mold

For tougher stains or marks we advise using Saddle Soap. Being a natural matieral, leather offer suffers from mold if left damp. If you notice small white patches on your leather Larp kit it can be cleaned and prevented from returning easily.

Carefully read the insturctions on any Saddle Soap you purchase. Gently rub on leather soap with a clean, damp cloth until the leather appears clean. Remove soap with a separate damp cloth to wipe away any soap residue and then use a dry cloth to wipe away any remaining water from the leather.

 

Conditioning

You should always condition leather after cleaning, since the soap will have removed some of its natural oils. Treat the leather with mink oil, olive oil, or beeswax polish with a clean cloth, gently rubbing a small amount of oil or polish in circles into the leather. Allow the leather to soak in the oil before wiping the leather with a final clean cloth to remove any excess residue.

 

Metal Armour

Metal armour needs constant upkeep and attention. Take it from us, if you do a little often and store your metal kit correctly then you'll save yourself a lot of work trying to fix rust and oxidisation later.

Metal Maintenace Banner

 

Cleaning

If your armour does get wet, it is important that you dry it thoroughly as soon as possible.

After handling, wearing, or after six months of storage or display, all metal should be wiped with a clean cloth. Lightly oil the clean surface with a quality machine or mineral oil. Alternatively, you can apply a coating of wax to the entire surface of exposed metal. Allow the wax to dry for a couple of hours and then buff it lightly with a soft cloth.

 

Rust-Prevention and Removal

Store your armour is a dry place and check it every couple of months for signs of rust. If any is found, remove it by gently rubbing the affected spot with a mildly abrasive pad dipped in paste wax, oil, or water-displacing liquid.

For further information on chainmail see our Basic Guide to Chainmail.

This article was published on Friday 17 June, 2016.