Waterproof Vs Water Resistant
Believe it or not, there is a difference between these two.
When something is waterproof, it means that it is impervious to water. Moisture cannot seep into it and will be repelled away.
When something is water-resistant, it means that it will withstand water, and somewhat repel water. However, if it were to be submerged or engulfed in water, it would still take on moisture. Not as much as if it hadn’t been treated, but it is not completely impervious.
So, why wouldn’t I waterproof my leather? To be honest, without a waterproof lining, most leather goods are never going to be 100% waterproof.
Heck, some of the products made to waterproof leather goods can alter the look of your leather goods. For example, silicone-based products have been known to be hard on light-colored leathers.
Now that doesn’t mean that you don’t treat your leather. There are tons of options out there, from commercially made to homemade concoctions that work amazingly well to get your leather as water-resistant as possible.
Some of these finishes are incredibly natural-looking while others may look waxy and thick. The one you use depends on the use your leather goods are going to be subjected to.
If you’re going to be hiking a snow-covered mountain pass, a heavy wax seal similar to “Sno Seal” would do the trick. But if you’re just carrying your briefcase back and forth from the office, something like Resolene will give you a shiny, more natural look and feel.
Properly treated leather can get very close to waterproof, but again, unless you’re planning on your leather pieces getting caught in a hurricane or any other such extreme weather, you have a lot of choices to protect it without going overboard.
Simply using a good conditioner can go a long way in making your project resistant to water damage. But finishes like Resolene can give your piece a shine worthy of a quality leather good, all while providing the protection you need from the elements.
So use your best sense when it comes to treating your leather. Not everything has to be wax sealed to ensure a long life.