Will the Gaucho leather soften with age?

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  1. Hi all!

    I've got a burgundy double saddle flap from cabazon (thanks to u all!!:yahoo:) and i've had it for about a year already... but although i LOVE how it looks, i'm finding the leather SUPER stiff, making it a bit difficult, (and sometimes even painful) to carry on a daily basis :shucks:.

    What i want to know is, will the leather soften with age? will it actually get slouchier at all? would u recommend anything i could use to soften it a lil bit?

    TIA! :flowers:
     
  2. Hi there!

    Actually, I noticed that Gaucho bags don't have very consistent leather. I have 3 Gaucho bags at the moment (2 messengers and 1 XL luggage tote) and all of them have variations to the softness of the leather. My brown messenger has super-soft leather, while my black Gaucho messenger is soft but not to the same degree. My XL tote, however, has stiff leather, which doesn't soften with use. I got my mother a double saddle Gaucho before as well in off-white, and that one had leather that was as soft as my brown one.

    So I think it depends on which part of the cow hide was used to make the leather. Perhaps the washing and waxing process (which is done by hand, I suppose) affects the softness of the leather.

    I also noticed that black leather Gauchos tend to have more grained leather while other colors usually show smooth leather (from pictures, Ebay auctions, and my own Gauchos), so it's not very consistent.

    I would not recommend using any products on the Gaucho since the leather's waxy finish can ruin with chemicals.
     
  3. Hmmm... interesting. I have a yellow gaucho (medium flap) and the leather softened within a few months of use. I actually had to stuff the bag with a few layers of tissue paper to maintain its shape while I was using it. I carry it like a clutch mostly, sometimes quite carelessly (ie. pinching it when picking it up, slinging it around and sandwiching it under my elbow) so maybe that's what sped up the softening process? It's aged beautifully.

    I agree with averagejoe that it probably depends on the piece of leather you got, the dyeing and the waxing process. I have a lots of tops in multiple colours and I have to say that blacks and other dark colours are never as soft as whites and greys - maybe the dye in gauchos changes how malleable the leather is?

    Either way, I also absolutely agree with averagejoe on the product issue - I wouldn't risk it. I think a leather protector/softener is likely to ruin the finish before it has any effect on the softness of the bag.

    A year is a long time to have had it without any noticeable softening of the leather. Maybe consult a cobbler/leather specialist to see if the have any kind of professional stretching or softening method that could be applied? My mother gets her new (designer) leather shoes softened and stretched on a regular basis with a lot of success.
     
  4. Hi! I agree with not doing anything to it. I have 3 gauchos, 2 leather and one patent, of course the patent one in a little tougher, but the other 2 have aged beautifully, that is actually my favorite part about the gauchos, they only get better! Keep wearing it, it'll get there.
     
  5. All leathers have some degree of give and will wear naturally to become softer. With regards to the leathers used for the Gaucho:

    The patent croc-stamped calfskin will retain its tenacity the longest. The nature of patent calfskin is that it is a structured and more rigid leather. However, wrinkling and creasing of the leather along wear lines will still become apparent with use.

    The washed/antiqued calfskin will not soften as much because the treatment of the leather renders it to be less supple than untreated calfskin. It is however not a stiff leather by strict definition.

    The metallicised calfskin has a rough, almost scratchy texture, again because of the treatment of the leather. With use, the "cracks" on the leather's surface will become enlarged, though this is by no means a defect - it is simply how this treated leather wears. Contact with abrasive surfaces will result in irreparable damage to the leather.

    The suede calfskin wears like how most other suedes would. The colour may darken with abrasion with the hardware and non-colourfast surfaces. This will also be the case with repeated contact with moisture and the skin's oils, though this kind of contact could also cause the texture of the suede to stiffen slightly.

    The grained calfskin is by far the softest and most supple of the Gaucho leathers, and this should be immediately apparent even when the bag is still new. It is the "slouchiest" of the leathers and will continue to soften with wear, and is probably the most resilient leather finish that doesn't require much particular care. Colour transfer is only an issue if the colouring surface is also abrasive, and most small water drops (such as light rain drops) shouldn't leave permanent markings.

    Only the grained calfskin can be maintained with a neutral coloured leather cream, though leather softeners and protectants are still not recommended. No leather product should be used on the other leathers.

    The Gaucho was also available in various exotic skins - these require specialist care and attention.

    Hope the above helps.
     
  6. ^ Ah! mistery solved, thanks EMI for the detailed explanation. :ty: