LEATHER CARE - The What, Why and How?
So, what is the leather that you need to take care of?
Here at BAJ I only use the finest quality leather, that is to say it is Full Grain Vegetable Tanned leather. If taken care of routinely and correctly it can last you a lifetime!
But what is 'Top Grain Vegetable Tanned' leather?
Fear not its not overly complex. Full Grain refers to the 'layer' from which the leather has been taken, there are 3 layers ranging from 'Full Grain' - the finest, highest quality, leading to 'Top Grain', all the way down to 'Genuine' - which is the lowest quality leather of the three, this one usually has an artificial layer applied the top to give it more of a 'Top Grain' appearance.
'Vegetable Tanned' refers to how the rawhide has been treated so we can use it for making products. There are two types of tanning processes, 'vegetable tanned' - using natural, earthy products to both protect and colour the leather, a much more expensive method but is not toxic or harmful for the environment, and then there is 'chrome tanning' - using chemicals to both protect and colour the leather, this method is cheaper but harmful for the environment.
Why do you need to take care of the leather?
If you want to keep your leather products looking their absolute best, and why wouldn't you? But also ensure that they last a lifetime, then they need to be 'fed' routinely to keep them supple, yes feeding leather will change the colour slightly, but Vegetable Tanned leather ages beautifully and darkens with age anyway.
How do you 'feed' the leather?
To feed leather, firstly you have to make sure that it is clean from all impurities. Impurities are not oils from your hands, in fact the oils you transfer from your skin act as a natural feed between cleaning. Impurities refers to any other dirt that might have gotten onto your product. Do not use anything abrasive, only use a mild soap and a soft cloth to clean the leather surface. Once clean, you need to find a natural feed, we use a natural feed from Metropolitan Leather on all our products before they leave us and highly recommend it, it is made to be used with their products, which if you have purchased from us yours will be. Other feeds that you can buy are things such as neatsfoot oil.
What else should you know about taking care of your products?
Don't get your leather wet, the 'feed' will protect your item but only from small splashes. If your item does happen to get splashed, rub lightly over the drops to even them out onto the leather.