Caring for Leather
All products made from natural leathers will age with time. Just like our own skin, it will need moisturizing and caring for if they’re to be kept in tip-top condition throughout the years. Even with excellent care, they will still age.
This ageing effect is called the bags ‘Patina’, it’s a very cherished and admired effect and the effect is almost impossible to replicate properly without submitting it to the natural wear and tear that leather bags go through from everyday use.
All leather looses moisture and oils over time and with handling. As a hide dries out it’s more likely that the fibers that make up the surface of the skin will break rather than stretch. Every animal hide is unique and some will have less natural oils than others. The more we handle a product made from leather the quicker it will lose it’s natural flexibility due to it’s oils and moisture being transferred to our hands, etc.
To keep any chair in tip top condition, then we need to ensure the leather fibers stay supple and to accomplish this they will require natural oils or regular moisturizing. It’s always best to regularly use a leather care product to replace those oils and keep the leather supple. Any leather care product is usually better than nothing. Mink Oil or Neatsfoot Oil are also considered to be good natural leather care products. Also please note that you should never use a product that contains Lanolin.
POLISHING AND SCRATCHES
Please note that applying ANY from of polish, even a clear or natural colour, will almost always change the colour of your leather. So test a small area of leather first (such as the tag/key-ring we supply with your bag) and then check your happy with the final colour before applying to the remainder of the bag.
Endeavour to apply polish at least every couple of weeks, if not more often as you would with a fine pair of leather shoes. We believe that using a traditional polish in combination with our premium leathers will develop one of the finest patinas over time.
DIRT AND DUST
If there’s small dirt marks on the finished side of the leather then usually a little warm water and a little elbow grease will do the trick of getting rid of them.
The key to removing dirt and other such marks is not to use too much pressure, it’s much better to lightly rub a mark 100 times with low pressure than 10 times with a lot of pressure. The high pressure maybe likely to remove the finish and damage the leather.
RAIN AND WATER SPLASHES
Leather should not be allowed to get wet but if they do, they should be wiped with a dry cloth and allowed to dry naturally.
If your leather gets wet then never force-dry the leather by using heat. Do not place on radiators or use hair dryers, simply leave it in a place that is normal room temperature until it dries naturally.
If you are going to continuously experience bad weather then we would suggest that you obtain some leather water-proofing products to help keep your leather dry.
Keep your leather bags stored in places that are dry and clean when your not using them, ideally in the specially designed dust bag that came with your bag to help protect it.
Keep it out of hot temperatures, especially extreme heat. Heat exposure can cause the pigmented finish to bubble and to peel away.
Freezing temperatures can really damage your leather and the natural structure of it’s fibres, that give it strength, and make them brittle. Cold temperatures can also cause the pigmented coating to crack excessively, so if you don’t like that effect then it’s prudent not to let it get too cold.
Try to keep leather out of direct sunlight for long periods, because this can fade your leather, although we have tested our leather in direct sunlight for periods of 6-months and have only seen very slight fading, but it’s best to be safe than sorry.
APPLYING CARE PRODUCTS
Always test a small, unseen part of the leather before applying the product to the whole chair. This is to check that the product doesn’t react or even change the colour significantly to a colour that you dislike. Leave it for a day or so to verify there’s no unwanted reaction.
If you’re applying a care product that contains a moisturizer or oil then pay particular attention to the reverse sides of the leather and the edges where the pigmented finish isn’t applied as the leather will be more absorbent there and the leather will get lots of nourishment and protection from treatment in those areas and remain more supple.
If your applying a water proofing product then it’s strongly recommended that you first apply a care product to help lock in moisture and to keep the fibers of the skin supple before making it waterproof. Only apply the waterproof to areas that will be exposed to moisture.
NATURAL LEATHER MARKINGS
All the leather that we select for our bags is a by-product of the farming industry. They will be typically be dairy cows that have aged but sometimes larger buffalo and other farmed animals may be used, but we’ll clearly state which animal the leather is from. Typically these dairy animals will gather natural marks on their skin as they are significantly older than animals used purely for meat production.
Typical marks could include:-
Stretch Marks; Especially on the hind of the cow as it grows larger.
Tick Holes; These are small holes where an insect has pierced the skin to draw blood.
Scarring; If the animals has been cut or had an operation then it may have scars and stitch marks.
Veining; Larger animals will show veins close to the surface of the skin.
Flay Marks; These are where the fatty tissue is removed from the underside of the leather with a flaying knife and the flaying knife has left a small scar.
When leather is prepared it either has the very top layer of the skin sanded (like in our premium leathers), or ‘split off’ (like in our classic range) to remove almost all signs of these natural marks.