CARE OF LEATHER
All my products use Vegetable-Tanned Leather. These hides are mostly cows, although they may also be from goat, pig, sheep, buffalo and other animals. The 'vegetable' used in the tanning process can include tree bark and oak leaves as they are high in tannic acid. Most of my hides are sourced from either the UK, Italy or occasionally America. Vegetable tanning has been around for a millennium and it takes months to tan a single hide.
The leather used is what is termed 'full-grain', referring to the outermost part of the animal skin. This is the toughest, hardest-wearing part of the skin, but also means it has no doubt seen some 'action' during the life of the animal. It may have been in contact with barbed wire fences, trees or posts and may have sustained insect bites or other injuries. You will never see any of the larger skin abrasions, as these parts are not used, but most items will include some light scratches or marks here and there providing evidence, if it were needed, that it is the genuine article.
Do not confuse the full-grain used here for what some pass for the best, which however, is in fact a 'split', where the thickness of a leather has been split in two by a machine and the lower piece given a synthetic texture.
Leather dyeing and finishes
About 90% of the dyes I currently offer are eco-friendly, water-based dyes. Most items which I offer a colour choice show a colour chart. The chart is a guide only. Remember that the colours shown may view differently on your screen, and every piece of leather accepts dye to varying degrees, so exact colour reproduction is impossible. The remaining dyes are mostly professional oil dyes, which tend to give more consistent and penetrating coverage.
Your purchase will usually have been finished with a few coats of a leather cream and a good buffing. Products likely to encounter the wet elements, I give an extra coat of snow paste, which provides some water resistance. Painted items are finished with an acrylic leather finish to protect the artwork.
Most leather items prefer not to be wetted. If they do get caught out in the rain, they should be allowed to dry out naturally – don't try to artificially dry them in an oven or with a hair dryer, as this can cause cracking. Once dry, a leather conditioner should be applied.
Occasional applications of a leather cream or balm helps replace natural oils and increase water resistance as well as clean, soften and protect the item.
Always check the product label for suitability to your particular item. Be aware that any application of cream / balm / conditioner is likely to darken the finish slightly. With veg-tan leather, a patina will also start appear to after a few months use and exposure to sunlight, adding to it's beauty! Undyed leather particularly turns some wonderful colours as the months go by.