Leather care & FAQ

Genuine, real, full-grain, top-grain. There are many terms used to describe leather, and all trying to communicate one thing: quality. But not all terms should be treated as equal. Like with any product, there are levels of quality.

We’ve written this quick Leather Care guide to help you familiarize yourself with the leather we use to make our products and how best to care for your journals.

Full-Grain Leather

What is full-grain leather?

Unlike other types of leather, the outermost layer hasn't been sanded away or corrected, meaning it's the strongest, highest-quality leather you can buy. Keeping the leather intact gives each piece a rich depth of color and variations in texture, including fat rolls or stretch marks. These are marks of quality. 

How will it age?

All leather products will age with time. This aging effect, called a patina, will darken with everyday use, but quality leather should not stretch out. A patina is a symbol of quality leather, as this process cannot be replicated artificially. 

As you use your journal, you'll notice darker areas on the front, where your hands come into more frequent contact, lighter areas on the fold, where the leather bends, and marks and scratches. The way you use your journal will transform it from one of many to one in a million, with a unique character and story of its own.  

How long can leather last?

All of Restwell's products are made with the highest possible quality standards. Every leather item you receive is tanned and finished and, with continued care, will last well over 100 years. 
While our lives and calendars had been filled with good things, we still felt worn down. We began to realize even the good things we'd chosen were taking the spot of better things, things that gave us meaning and rest and energy to create the life we really wanted.

What damages leather?

Prolonged sunlight can cause the fibers in leather to dry out, becoming brittle, cracking, or ripping. If this happens, it usually cannot be repaired. Store your leather in a darker environment out of direct sunlight to help prevent premature aging. Do not ever apply a heating source to your leather, such as a blow dryer as this will result in the same process. 

Oils are very important to maintaining healthy leather. Dry air will, in time, cause your leather to dry out. Additionally air drying your leather after it comes into contact with water will expedite that process. It’s suggested that you dab off any excess water before letting the leather air dry.

Prolonged damp air or excess amounts of water will cause mold and mildew to grow, rotting the leather from the inside out.

How can I take care of my leather products?

While leather can sound high maintenance, caring for your genuine leather is pretty easy. Once every 4-6 months, gently wipe your journal down with a damp (not soaked) cotton cloth. If there's no visible grime, you can skip this step.

Wipe with a dry cotton cloth, then apply a leather balm using a small circular motion. 

In between applications, you can regularly clean your leather with a soft brush or cotton cloth. If your journal comes into contact with water, blot away as soon as possible and never use heat to dry. Never soak your leather in water to clean.

Note that both cleaning and the application of a leather balm with darken the surface of your leather. This is to be expected and a mark of a quality, full-grain leather. 


Cleaning Your Refillable Leather Journal

Where should I store my leather?

For everyday use, your leather journal can be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

How do I remove scratches?

Like acquiring its patina, real leather will scratch and with time, soften to help develop the story of your journal. Light scratches add character, but we understand that deeper scratches leave unattractive marks. While not every scratch can be completely erased, you can attempt to lighten the scratch using a soft cloth and leather conditioning oil, gently rub the scratch in a small circular motion.

how to refill your restwell journal with any notebook

Our journals are made to be refilled with any corresponding-sized notebook. Watch this tutorial to learn the easiest way to switch out notebooks.