HOW DO I CARE FOR MY LEATHER BAGS AND ACCESSORIES
Leather is a natural material that will change slightly in its look with wear. If you take proper care of your leather bags and accessories, they will get a beautiful natural patina over time. Below you can read our advice on how to best protect and care for the various leather qualities that we work with in Becksöndergaard. If you have more questions, you are always very welcome to contact our Customer Service for further guidance.
SMOOTH LEATHER AND BUBBLE LAMB
All leather items get various treatments during production in order to strengthen the material and make it more durable.
We recommend that you always use a non-colour spray protectant before using your bag. Repeat this treatment minimum two times a year if you use your bag regularly. The spray protectant makes your bag more weatherproof and protects the surface against water, grease and dirt. To keep the leather flexible and soft you can treat it with a clear non-greasy leather balm or leather moisture. Before applying this to your bag, make sure to test on a non-visible place as leather qualities might react differently to this treatment. Keep your bag from rough surfaces and sharp edges as this might scratch the surface of the leather. Also keep your leather bag from strong heat and avoid water in the greatest possible extend as this might leave stains on the leather surface. If your bag gets wet from e.g. rainy weather let it dry naturally in room temperature, never put it on a heater. Also avoid strong sunlight or artificial light as this might cause the leather to change colour. How do I remove stains from smooth leather and bubble lamb? If you get stains on your leather bag or purse, try to clean it with a dry or slightly moisturized soft piece of cloth. We recommend you always to test on a non-visible area of the bag first to ensure the colour does not rub off. Never use large amounts of water to remove stains from your bag, as water might result in blemishes or discoloration of natural leather.
If this does not work, you can find special cleaning products made especially for natural leather. However, always be careful with these products and make a test on a non-visible area of the bag – for example inside the bag - before treating the stain, as various kinds of leather qualities react differently to these products.
Suede has a so called ’moiré’ effect, which is the result of a treatment where the leather is split on the grain side and then grinded with special process to give it the soft and velvety touch on the top side. The grinding can be done in many levels and depending on the type of grinding, the suede will get a rougher, rustic or fine, delicate look. At Becksöndergaard we primarily work with suede that has been given a light grinding, which results in a fine soft surface. Suede has a soft surface on both sides and the softness of this leather makes it very suitable for soft feminine designs with for example pleated details. Due to the ‘open’ surface of suede, this leather quality is more delicate than regular smooth leather. Suede will also patinate faster and absorbs moist more easily. The ability to absorb also makes it possible to obtain very clear and strong colours when dying suede leather. During production the suede is treated against colour rub off, but there will always be a risk of colour rub off when wearing suede products. Pay special attention if your suede bag gets wet for example from rainy weather, as moist might provoke colour rub off. Also, be careful if you carry suede bags or straps close to very light clothing, as suede also might leave colour stains if rubbing against a light surface.
It is always a good idea to brush your suede bag with a soft brush to remove potential light dust from the production and then spray it with a non-colour spray protectant before you start using it. Always use a spray specially made for suede. Repeat the treatment several times a year if you use the bag regularly. The protection will make the surface more water- and dirt repelling. Never use leather grease or balm on suede products, as these treatments will damage the open surface of the leather. Always keep your suede bag away from sharp edges and rough surfaces as these might scratch or otherwise damage the surface. Worst case a sharp edge can cut through very thin and delicate suede qualities. Your suede bag should also be kept from water as moist might cause colour rub off or leave stains on the leather surface. If your suede bag gets wet from e.g. rainy weather, always let it dry naturally in normal room temperature. Never put it on a heater. Also keep your bag away from strong direct sunlight or artificial light as this might cause discoloration of the suede. How do I remove stains from suede? The open surface of suede makes it more difficult to clean than smooth leather qualities. All cleaning must be done carefully to avoid damaging the soft surface of the suede. If your suede accessory gets a stain or blemish, you can try removing these by using steam. Boil water in a pot and hold your suede bag carefully over the steam. Then brush gently with a soft brush for suede without rubbing or pressing hard on the surface. In thin manner you will often be able to remove most stains. In other cases, you can moisten a soft piece of cloth and try to gently dab on the stain. However, be careful not to wet the cloth too much as water can cause blemishes on the surface.
LAMINATED LEATHER – LEATHER WITH FOIL OR LACQUER SURFACE
If you want a leather with lacquer look or a metallic surface, you add a foil or lacquer finish to the surface of the leather. Subsequently the leather can be tumbled to obtain a surface with structure. Avoid rubbing your bag against rough surface as this might damage the foil and damage the finish of the surface.
Also laminated leather should be kept away from direct heat and water. As well as direct sun light or strong artificial light might cause discoloration of the leather.
Always spray your bag with a transparent protectant before using it. Always use a non-coloured spray made especially for this kind of leather. The protectant will make the surface more repellent to water, dirt and grease.
How do I remove stains from leather with foil or lacquer surface? If you get a stain on your bag, try removing it with a soft piece of cloth. Try with a dry cloth first and if this does not work, moisten it lightly. Try testing on a non-visible area first to make sure the colour does not rub off. Never use a large amount of water as this might cause blotches on the surface or even crack. If this does not work, you can find special cleaning products for these kinds of leather qualities in specialty shops. However, we do recommend you to always be very careful with such products and always test them on an area that is not visible on the bag, as different leather qualities will react differently to these kinds of treatments.
LEATHER WITH A HAIRY SURFACE
Leather with a hairy surface is often referred to as ’Hair-on leather’ and at Becksöndergaard we use cow leather. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable that the hairs on this type of leather will rub off gradually with use. However, you can limit the visibility of this by always carrying your bag on the same side, so the wear will only occur on one side of the bag.
Avoid exposing your bag to strong sunlight or artificial light as this might cause discoloration of the hair on the leather. Also keep your bag away from heat and direct contact with water as this might leave stains or blotches on the hairy surface.
Leather bags with a hairy surface must be carefully treated as they are more delicate than normal smooth leather due to the structure of the hair. Always treat your bag with a non-coloured spray protectant before using it outside, to protect it against moist, dirt and grease. Not all kinds of spray protectants are suitable for hairy leather, so be careful to choose a spray made for this kind of leather. Before treating your bag, you might brush it gently with a soft brush. Always make sure to brush in the direction of the hairs, as the hairs otherwise might break. Repeat this treatment at least one time a year and more often if you use your bag on a regular basis.
How to remove stains from ’pony leather’ / leather with a hairy surface?
Remove stains from leather with a hairy surface by using a lightly moisturized soft piece of cloth. Gently use the cloth on the stain without rubbing and only moving in the direction of the hairs. Never use big amounts of water or make the bag wet, as this might leave blotches on the surface. Let the surface dry naturally without exposing the leather to strong heat.
Eel skin in a natural fish leather. The skins used for Becksöndergaards eel skin accessories, are a bi-product from the food industry that would otherwise be treated as waste. Due to the origin of the eel skin you will experience that the leather pieces used are varying in size and might have small irregularities in the surface caused by bites or scratches. The eel species used for Becksöndergaards designs is not threatened (or semi-threatened) and is not the same as the well-known European eel species. The eel skin used is from the deep-sea eel Conger Myriaster, which is not on the CITES/the Washington Conventions list of threatened or semi-threatened species. This eel species is a part of traditional Asian cuisine including South Korea where to the eel is typically imported from Alaska. Genuine eel skin leather is characterized by its unique surface with its pattern caused by the spine of the eel. Eel skin is a thin, delicate leather but surprisingly durable and elastic and will stay beautiful for many years if treated with care. Always keep your eel skin accessory away from sharp objects as these might cut holes in this delicate leather. The usage of eel skin that is left overs from the food industry, is an old tradition in South Korea. According to ancient Korean superstition eel skin will bring good luck, fortune and good health to the person who wears it. Our eel skin accessories are handmade and still produced according to the old production methods. Our eel skin purses Granny and Handy were the very first products from Becksöndergaard and have become beloved classics that we will show in new colours every season. Eel skin leather becomes softer with time and even more beautiful with wear if treated correctly. We recommend always to treat your eel skin accessory with a non-colour spray protectant before you start using it. Be careful not to place the spray too close to the leather before you spray and make sure that the treatment is vaporized and distributed evenly before you treat your accessory. Otherwise the spray might leave wet ‘spots’ on the delicate leather that might cause stains.
Eel skin leather should be kept away from strong sunlight and heat as the surface might lose colour or be damaged otherwise. Eel skin should also be kept away from water as this might cause blemishes on the surface or make it lose its natural shine. If your eel skin purse gets wet, let it dry at room temperature. If it has got blotches from the water, you can try to iron it a lowest heat. Put a soft piece of cloth or kitchen towel between the iron and the leather and iron gently. This will smooth the leather and bring back more shine to the surface. A myth goes that eel skin purses will demagnetize your credit cards. This is not true - your credit card will not be affected by being placed in a purse made from eel skin.
Leather gloves are naturally exposed to rain and various kinds of weather. Therefore, your leather gloves need proper treatment – preferably minimum two times a year. You can treat your gloves with a leather balm of good quality to prevent your gloves from becoming dry and ensure they stay soft and pliant. Moreover, we recommend treatment with a transparent leather protecting spray in order to make the surface more resistant to moist and dirt. Use the spray according to the instructions and let the gloves dry lying on a soft piece of cloth.
If your gloves get wet, let them dry at room temperature. Never use clothes pegs or the like as these might leave marks in the moist leather. Also, do not stretch or twist the gloves as this may cause them to lose their shape.
Some of Becksöndergaards leather gloves has touch function, so you can use your smart phone without taking off your gloves. The gloves with this function are marked with a special ikon on their hang tag as well as this is described in the product description in our web shop.
NYLON AND FABRIC BAGS
Nylon and fabric bags can be treated with a non-colour spray protectant. Always use a spray made for qualities in fabric. This will give your bag a surface that is more resistant to moist, dirt and grease. How do I remove stains from nylon and fabric bags? Stains on nylon bags can often be removed with a soft cloth and soapy water. Some fabric bags you can wash at low temperature in your washing machine, but this will depend on the material and details on the bag. Therefore always following the care instructions on your bag. If you wash your bag in the washing machine, always use a detergent for delicate fabrics and with similar colours.