While a patina can be developed on a variety of materials like wood, metal, and stone, it is most sought after when it comes to leather – mainly because it is a hallmark of the highest quality leather. Put simply, patina is the natural ageing process of leather, resulting in a gradual change in colour, texture, and overall appearance over time.
While a patina will naturally develop over time, there are a myriad of factors which influence the process of a patina developing. Given its natural properties, leather will absorb substances that it comes into contact with, such as oils and moisture. This means that leather will develop a patina from simple everyday use.
Every patina tells it's own story
Factors such as natural oils from the wearer's skin can penetrate the surface of the leather and cause it to darken over time, while exposure to moisture can cause leather to soften and possibly wrinkle. This helps the patina to build character that is unique to the user, so every leather accessory tells its own story.
The tanning process used on the leather can also affect the final patina, as leathers that undergo traditional vegetable tanning methods tend to develop a more distinctive patina than those treated with modern chemical tanning processes. The vegetable tanned leather used in TORRO products is known for developing a rich, warm patina over time, while chrome-tanned leather is more resistant to changes in colour and texture.
Another factor that contributes to patina is the use of leather conditioners and polishes. These products can help maintain the leather's appearance, but they can also affect the patina by filling in natural pores in the leather.
A leather patina is something that you should fully embrace. With a patina, leather becomes more visually appealing while also being more supple and softer to touch. Not only that, but it also forms a natural protective layer against extreme wear and/or corrosion over time.
Patina is a natural part of the ageing process of leather and is widely regarded as a sign of quality and character. Many people appreciate the unique and timeless look that patina gives to leather goods, and often seek out vintage and well-worn leather items specifically for this reason.
Caring for your leather
Whether it's a TORRO phone case, wallet, or laptop sleeve, caring for your leather goods is important to preserve their longevity, allowing them to age gracefully for years to come. A well looked after and aged leather product is just as beautiful as a new one - arguably even more so.
Top tips for leather care
- Avoid too much exposure to sunlight as this can lead to a lightening in colour.
- Store your leather accessories in a ventilated environment without moisture.
- Grease from your hands and pockets encourages patina and discolouration so be careful to avoid too much friction and scratching your leather item.
Here at TORRO, we have created our own bespoke leather care solutions, designed specifically for use with our leathers. Our leather care kit includes both a Nourishing Cleaner and Restorer and Leather Protector creams.
We also recommend your read out "Do's and Don'ts of Leather Care" article to learn more.