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Storing Leather

Does anyone have any tips or instructions for how to store leather (in this case an unused bridle) properly to avoid mildew or cracking?

Some quick googling told me NOT to put it in plastic, but other than that the online tips are mostly for leather jackets and the like.

I have a condo with a climate controlled locker, so I was thinking about conditioning it heavily and simply hanging it up. Is there a better way of doing this?

Clean very thoroughly; very, very thoroughly to avoid mildew/mold. Oil with a basic/simple conditioner… keep it out for a few days to “air dry” and then I put it in a fleece lined bridle bag… If you don’t have that, wrap in an old towel and store in a duffle bag or the like.

Throw in some of those silica packets you get with your shoes in whatever bag you use. They’ll absorb the moisture. Works like a charm.

I usually clean and then give it a light coat of oil. I wrap them in newspaper and put them in a box. I had a trainer who taught me that way and I’ve used it ever since. I use the damp rid packets or the silica gel to keep from mold.

If the storage area is climate controlled or stays dry, there should be no problem with storing it inside a plastic storage container. I have my Crosby saddleseat bridle from decades ago stored in a cloth bag inside a plastic tub. It’s never mildewed or dried out. For mildew killer or preventative, I use Lysol disinfectant wipes or any of the store brand from Dollar General or Family Dollar. One or two good wipedowns with those has been enough to completely stop mold on any of my problem pieces of tack. It’s never done any damage to color or texture yet. Nothing has dried out or cracked yet, either.

Hanging a bridle stresses the crownpiece and top of the caveson strap and bradoon strap. I take bits off and store the bridles and all other strap goods in containers if they are not being used.

I absolutely WILL NOT ever use Leather CPR on any tack ever again! If you have used that on your bridle, you better wipe it down with Lysol wipes before you store it. Leather CPR is the most fertile mold grower, ever.

This is great, thank you all!

I cleaned and conditioned it last night, and it’s sitting out air drying in the condo right now. It’s all taken apart and flat, as suggested.

I think I will buy a dollar store cloth pillow case (I don’t have a nice bridle bag) and throw a few silica packets in there, and store flat.

Thanks for the help!

The local tack store just moved to a new building that used to be a nursery. They have a huge greenhouse area that they use for educational talks they host… but I noticed they are also storing some consignment items out there… leather… baking in the oppressive greenhouse… = bad idea.

Your climate controlled locker sounds great.