Leather is known for durability but it doesn’t mean that no maintenance is required, if of course need proper care to last longer. After all leather is a very expensive item and no one expects it to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance. There are various factors that can cause harm to the leather of which moisture during rain is prominent. Due to the dampness mildew develops and leather losses its natural oil, leading to discoloration, and it becomes dry, so prone to breaks and cracks.
Usually, the leather covers for books, journals, and diaries under a special process called vegetable oil tanning for enhanced durability, it is vital for you to make sure that the leather backed diaries are waterproofed before the onset of rain. Though same waterproofing process is same for leather diaries like any other leather item, it requires some additional precautionary measures that are listed below.
Cleaning is very essential for the maintenance of leather as dust along with moisture can damage leather easily. It leads to the growth of bacteria and fungus that can harm the papers as well. Here, cleaning does not mean any special techniques, it is the usual dusting to keep the dirt off and to remove stain regular wiping is fine.
Before the onset of rain you should be done with waterproofing of your diary leather. Remember that leather used in diaries and journals are very delicate and hence don’t go for strong waterproofing treatments. Likewise, traditional oils or waxes should be used for the purpose, use only products meant for waterproofing delicate leather types. Before using a chemical check whether it suits the leather, apply a drop of it on an inconspicuous part of the leather cover and see if the leather color or texture changes. You can try mink oil for conditioning your leather book covers as it offer optimal protection from moisture.
Waterproofing sprays are are not ideal for leather diaries because they are good to cover a large area. Using these spray protectors on diaries and journals can damage the paper, so go tradition way.
When applying the waterproofing agent to reverse side of the cover, first apply it on the inner side of front cover. The book has to be kept open until the waterproofing agent dries, after it dries completely carry on with the back cover. Usually it takes a day for the waterproofing agent to dry. Doing this way you protect the entire leather cover without causing any harm to the paper. Once the waterproofing agent dries off well, take a cotton rag and wipe off the excess oil or wax.
Following the waterproofing, condition has to be done, but this is not essential for diaries with matt finish. Despite doing all these process you should keep the diary in a dry place and wrapping it in a tissue or muslin is ideal. And, don’t expose it to direct sunlight for long hours.