Care for the Obsessed Piece
Luxurious to the touch, all our bags and leathers, like all prized possessions, need to be taken care of with love and lots of attention. Bags should be kept away from direct sunlight and extended heat. When wet, wipe your bag with a soft dry cloth and let it dry naturally. Products can be used to protect and prolong the life of your bag, such as Protector Spray for your suede and python clutches, and Protective Oil for other leathers. When in doubt, always consult a leather expert.
To keep a fine leather product looking new and lustrous, it should be properly cared for. A regular cleaning with a soft brush or dry cloth is essential for preserving the life of your leather goods. After considerable use or after leather product has gotten muddy or extremely dirty, it should be thoroughly cleaned down to its pores.
Special tips for exotic leathers
Leather products made of animals such as crocodiles, snakes, lizards are different from ones made of cow skin. These animals have special membranes that keep the scales together. Because of these special membranes, the leather products should be cleaned and conditioned more frequently than products made of other animals. However the procedures are the same.
The key in caring for exotic leathers here is using the minimum or mild. Use a mild cleaner and conditioner for skins derived from reptiles or snake skins. The cleaner and conditioner mentioned here are products designed to clean leather. As mentioned, they should be mild. Leather care products are not the same. Products that are used for smooth leather may leave a residue. Do not use such products. This may build up later on around the base of the scales and cause the scales to crack of fall off.
Alligator / Crocodile Leather
Alligator leather, in particular, is one of the most beautiful and durable of the luxurious exotic leathers. Without proper care, the flexibility, durability and overall appearance of alligator leather will diminish drastically. Under normal use and over time, some of the oils that tanners put into the leather will disappear. These oils and compounds must be replaced periodically, in order to maintain the beauty and longevity of your exotic leather product.
NEVER use household chemicals (like Pledge furniture polish), alcohol, or other solvents to clean your exotic leather skins. These harsh products can destroy the natural glazed protein finish on classic alligator finishes, can often remove any coloring or finish applied to skins, and over time leave your bag looking dull and worn. It is also important to understand that you cannot clean exotic skins with polish, oils or creams… you will only seal in the dirt/dust. Your items need to be cleaned first, then conditioned. And, NEVER use nail polish or super glue on your bags!
For matte finishes, use a leather cleaner & conditioner purposed for exotic skins to keep them properly hydrated and providing water and stain resistant qualities. Although Mink Oil can be used successfully on matte finishes only, great care should be taken in its application to avoid stitching as Mink Oil can impact the strength / effectiveness of cotton / cotton blend threads.
Apply a small amount of cleaner / conditioner to the skins, buff off, and then follow with a treatment of the same color polish or cream.
For classes and high gloss bombe finishes, wiping with a soft, clean cotton cloth regularly and a monthly or bi-monthly treatment using a exotic skin specific leather cleaner & conditioner, followed by polishing with the same color polish or cream is recommended.
If your skins are excessively dry, flaky and brittle, this means they have dry-rotted (which happens when natural oils are not replaced into the skins over a long period of time, or they have been exposed to moisture / water). Unfortunately, and sadly, the item is probably beyond re-hydration, and your best bet is to retire it.
Snake & Lizard Skins
Although very durable exotic skins, they too, over time, will dry out, flake and/or lift if not given the proper oils necessary to keep them soft and supple. It is important to note that Python skins have large scaled areas on their skins that naturally lift slightly. This should not be mistaken for damage or dryness.
Unlike lizard skins, snake skins have more prominent, defined “scales”. It is critical when treating your snake skin items, that treatment applications be applied (in the direction of the scales). The proper direction can be determined by lightly running your hand along the skin. It will either be smooth (indicating the direction of the scales) or it will be rough or your hand will catch more easily (indicating that you are going against the natural “grain” of the scales). If you rub or apply any products against the natural “grain” of the scales, you will pull the scales up and give the skins an undesirable “flaking” appearance.
Snake and lizard skins are also exotic skins that will last decades if properly cared for with a regular scheduled cleaning with a exotic skin specific Leather Cleaner & Conditioner.
When dressing up, do not apply hair sprays or perfumes near these bags. This may cause stains or discolouration. Do not attach pins or adhesive tags or badges to the leather. Pins will puncture the leather and later on the holes may stretch or tear the leather. Adhesive tags or badges may create permanent stains.