5 Unpleasant Ways Humidity Affects Leather (Plus Fix & Tips)

does-humidity-affect-leather

Do you know how humidity affects leather? If not, the short answer is that low humidity can affect how well your leather ages and can cause leather to dry and crack. High humid conditions can also cause the leather to mold and have dust mites. The humidity in your home can affect the quality of your leather items so it is important to regulate the humidity levels.

This article will share more about this process and help you understand how humidity affects the quality of your leather and how to prevent any damage.

Before we get into the meat of the article, let’s take a look at some basics about leather and how humidity affects it.

10 Things That Happen To Leather Ov...
10 Things That Happen To Leather Over Time

What Is Humidity?

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The humidity level is expressed as a percentage. For example, if the humidity level is 50%, it means that there are 50% water vapor and 50% air.

Meaning humidity is the measurement of moisture vapor in the atmosphere. We can see humidity with our naked eyes but there is water vapor all around us all the time.

When humidity is high, it means that the air has a lot of water vapor in it and when humidity is low, there’s less water vapor.

So generally, a normal amount would be about 30-50% relative humidity (RH) – which means that the air contains a moderate amount of water vapor that is not too dry or too saturated.

So anything above 50-60% is too high or overly saturated and anythings less than 30% is generally considered too low.

What Is Leather Made Of Why Humidity Affects It

Leather is animal skin that has been tanned, or treated with chemicals so it will be durable and last longer.

There are many different types of leather used for a wide variety of items like shoes, furniture, clothes, etc. The most common type is cowhide because it’s the least expensive to produce.

Leather is made up of animal skin, collagen (a protein), and moisture. Leather becomes stiff when the collagen shrinks, and it can crack when the collagen dries out.

The leather tanning process helps to stabilize the collagen and keep moisture in the leather.

The tannins in the tanning solution act as a plasticizer, which means they help to keep the leather soft. Tannins also protect against bacteria and give the leather a nice color.

Leather is a natural material, so it will always have some moisture in the fibers and pores of the skin. That being said, high humidity can cause leather to dry out more quickly than normal over time.

In general, you should try not to expose your leather goods like furniture to very high levels of humidity for an extended period of time.

Details Of How Humidity Affects Leather

The humidity in your home can affect the quality of leather over time. You may not see any problems with your leather items for quite some time, but eventually, high humidity can cause some damage to your leather goods.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that humidity can damage leather:

1. Humidity Causes Leather To Dry And Crack

Leather is made of animal skin and collagen. The collagen shrinks when the leather gets dry, which can lead to cracks in the surface of the leather.

If you live in a low humidity environment, your leather items may start to show signs of dryness and cracking over time. This is because the low humidity causes the leather to dry out more quickly.

This makes it important to maintain humidity levels in your home at a moderate level, which will help keep the leather moisturized and prevent any damage to the surface.

If you have particularly dry areas on your furniture that are scaly or cracked, then there is probably too much moisture escaping into the air from those spots.

So all in all the low humidity in your home can cause your leather to dry out over time. This may lead to the leather cracking, especially if it’s already been damaged or is old.

You can help prevent this by using a good quality conditioner on your leather goods every once in a while. This will help to keep the leather moisturized and looking good for a longer period of time.

2. Humidity Can Cause Leather To Fade

Leather is a natural material and, as such, it will always have some moisture in the fibers and pores of the skin.

However, when humidity levels are high, this moisture can cause the leather to fade over time.

The excess moisture in the air will saturate the leather, which can affect the color of your leather or other items.

This is why it’s important to maintain moderate humidity levels around your home, as this will help to prevent the leather from fading.

If your leather is starting to fade, you can try using a color restorer or conditioner to bring back the original color.

This will help to prevent further moisture damage and restore the color of your leather items, as well as protect them from any other damage that high humidity levels may cause.

3. Humidity Can Cause Leather To Mold or Mildew

Leather is a natural material, and as such, it can be susceptible to mold or mildew growth.

Mold and mildew thrive in high humidity environments, so if your home has high humidity levels, you may start to see some mold or mildew growth on your leather goods.

This can cause the leather to become discolored, which can be unsightly.

If you start to notice any signs of mold or mildew on your leather goods, then it’s important to take action right away before the problem gets too bad.

This is because once mold starts growing on leather, it will continue until all of the moisture has been eliminated from that area.

You can try using a mold or mildew cleaner to get rid of the mold and Mildew, but it’s important to keep in mind that high humidity levels may continue to cause these problems if you don’t take steps to address the root of the problem.

4. Humidity Breeds Dust Mites On Leather

Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in humid environments.

If you have high humidity levels in your home, you may start to see an increase in the number of dust mites on your leather goods.

Dust mites can cause a lot of problems for people who are sensitive to them, as they can trigger allergies and asthma.

You can try to wipe your leather items down with a damp cloth, but it’s important to keep in mind that high humidity levels may cause these problems over time.

If you are sensitive to dust mites or have allergies and asthma, then keeping the relative humidity level in your home at around 50% may help prevent an increase in the number of dust mites on your leather goods.

5. Humidity Can Cause Leather To Rot

When moisture levels in your home are high, leather can dry out and rot over time.

Leather is a natural material that will always contain some moisture within the fibers and pores of its skin.

However, when humidity levels get too high or stay at an elevated level for an extended period of time, then the excess water will saturate the leather.

This can cause the leather to rot. If you have any old or damaged leather items, it’s important to keep them out of a high humid environment, as this may speed up the deterioration process.

You can try using a conditioner on your leather goods every once in a while to keep them moisturized and looking good for a longer period of time.

This will help to reduce the amount of moisture that is able to saturate your leather goods, which can prevent it from rotting over time.

How To Maintain The Humidity Level In Your Home

Now that you know some of the effects that high humidity levels can have on leather, it’s important to learn how to maintain the humidity level in your home.

Purchase A Hygrometer

Before you can tell if the humidity level in your home is too high or too low, you need to know what the humidity level is in your home.

You can purchase a hygrometer that will measure and display relative humidity levels on an easy-to-read digital screen.

This way, you’ll be able to tell if there are any problems with excess moisture before they become a big issue for your leather goods.

If the humidity level in your home is too high, then you can take steps to lower it using one of the methods below.

Humidifier

The best way to do this is by using a humidifier. What is a humidifier? A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air, and it can be used as an alternative to constantly increasing humidity levels in your home.

This is great for homes with low humidity levels, as it can help to bring the humidity level up to a more comfortable range.

There are many different types of humidifiers on the market, so it’s important to do your research before you purchase one.

Humidifiers come in both portable and fixed forms, but they all work by adding water vapor into the atmosphere of your home on a regular basis.

You may also want to use some fragrant essential oils in your humidifier to help increase the humidity level and also add a nice scent to the air.

You can buy a humidifier for as little as $20, or you can get one that is more expensive with more features.

The important thing is to find one that fits your needs and keep it running throughout the year to help maintain a healthy humidity level in your home.

Dehumidifier

Another way to reduce humidity levels in your home is by getting a dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier works the same way as a humidifier, but it works to reduce the humidity level in a room or area instead of increasing it.

This can be helpful if you live in an area that has extremely high humidity levels, as it can help reduce the moisture in the air.

You may also want to use a dehumidifier if you have any mold problems, because mold loves wet and humid environments.

It’s important to keep your home properly ventilated when using a dehumidifier so that moist air can escape and dry air can enter.

This is a great way to help maintain the humidity level in your home without increasing it, as well as keeping mold and dust mites from growing on your leather where moisture levels are high.

There are several different types of dehumidifiers available on the market today, so do some research before you make a decision about which one to buy.

Dehumidifiers can be a little expensive, but they are worth the investment if you live in an area with high humidity levels.

An All-In-One Device

There are devices on the more market that can measure the relative humidity, perform humidifying and dehumidifying functions.

This is great if you only have one device that needs to be kept running constantly throughout the year, as it can do double duty for you.

An all-in-one device will monitor humidity levels in your home on a regular basis so that it knows when to add moisture or remove it.

This is a great option if you don’t want to have to worry about buying two or more separate devices, and they are usually more affordable than purchasing separate devices.

Just make sure that the all-in-one device you purchase can handle the size of your home, as some may only be meant for small spaces.

Final Thoughts

Leather is a natural material that is affected by the environment, just like wood or fabric. The difference is that leather needs more care and attention to detail when it comes to humidity levels.

Too much moisture in the air can cause mold and dust mites to form on the surface of the leather.

This will make your leather item look dirty and aged. It is also important to note that leather items should never be placed in an environment where the humidity levels are below 30%. This can cause the leather to crack and age prematurely.

So it is important to regulate the humidity level in your home, and to use a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed.

Also, you should never leave your leather items outside as this can subject them to uncontrolled humidity that can also cause them to age prematurely.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your leather looking good for years to come.

Kwabena

Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

Recent Posts