Things to note on leather cover

This might be a wordy post, but worth reading! :)
Dedicated to all Traveler's Notebook user and fans, we have a valuable DO's and DONT's advise on things to note on leather cover. 
By user Mr Ashdee Khairuddin from Sarawak, Malaysia.
"Let me share some of my TN history. 
I own 2; one regular and one passport, both brown. I bought the passport size first, but after finding out how useful it can be, I bought my regular sized on barely 2 months after.
I've been a leather junkie before I got the two TNs. Most of my leather products are the same color as the brown TN, which most of them are waxed oiled leather, i.e. shiny leather. I have various leather care products at home (ranging from Timberland leather care products + 1 generic leather conditioner) but did not use them at first as I've read that it will change the color and character of the leather. I eventually tried and tested a few different types with mixed results.
1. Never leave your TN in high temperature
I previously left my TN in the car on a hot day, and upon my return I found my leather started to dry up and my previous pocket stickers in my TN started to warp and peel off.

2. Don't use oily leather conditioners
Since my TN was dry, I thought putting some leather conditioner will restore the moisture. It did, BUT it made my TN a very dark shade of dark brown, almost black. It does, however, made it more resistant to scratches. Its a plus or minus, depending on the users preference.

3. Make sure it doesn't get wet
Normal water is fine. One time previously I got caught in the rain and got my TN wet, but once it dried off it returned to normal. What the TN cannot stand is beverages. I accidentally got some soy bean drops on the back of my passport TN, and the stain stayed till now.

4. Hold your TN more
The more you use, the more beautiful it becomes, the more resistant it is to wear. This is because it will absorb the small amounts of oils on your fingers, adding the protection barrier on the surface with a sufficient level.

5. If you want to clean and protect your TN:
There's a lot of methods that can be used. If its oils stains, I would recommend dumping talcum powder on the spot overnight to absorb most of the oils out. Then clean off the powder and use water with a some soap to work the left-on stains. You dip your rag cloth into it and use a circular motion to clean it up. You can make the soap lathery too if the stain looks like it penetrated deep. Wipe off with only water to wash off the soap (leather is skin after all), and use a dry cloth to dry it up. Leave to dry after that.


Prevention is better than cure, so with my passport TN I've correctly used the right products for it. Amongst 2 products that I have found to be good on the TN are the Timberland boot sauce and balm proofer. Since timberland boots are suede (the most sensitive type of leather), these products can be used without discoloring the TN.

Use the boot sauce first and allow to dry. This will nourish the leather for many many months to come. Then apply the balm proofer after to give it a water repellent protection, which will not change the feel of the leather. Both are really good products. The best part is that it will allow you to still scratch your leather, giving it the rustic and used look.

Other leather conditioners are not specifically used for untreated leather, so be careful. Some will discolor your TN, while others will give your TN a glossy finish (since its made for waxed leather). The picture shows my regular Tn and passport TN, where the regular is very dark brown. Even though I use it more, but it does not sustain any visible scratches, unlike my passport TN.

May 26, 2015 by Yen Fong LAM
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