General Leather Bag Care:
We want you to love your Scaramanga leather satchel, messenger bag or leather travel bag. So to keep it looking its best here are some suggestions and recommendations from customers and ourselves.
All our leather products are handmade and your new leather bag may be subject to a natural variation in size and colour. The “Hunter” (distressed leather finish) or “Oil Pull Up” (tan polished leather finish) buffalo leather hides used for our bags have been processed and tanned to give the finished leather an antique / vintage look and feel. This means each hide may be slightly different from the next, e.g. the grain on the hide may be a little uneven or have natural marks on it and the colour may even vary. This together with the hand finishing means that no two leather bags look exactly the same.
The leather will naturally soften as you use it. Avoid getting your bag wet and keep it in a cool dry place. Should it get very wet simply dry it in a warm room - but do not place the bag directly onto a source of heat like a radiator as that may cause it to crack.
We’re confident your bag will last for years. We’ve been using similar bags everyday for over eight years and they’re still going strong!
Leather care & repair:
Please note that we cannot be held liable for any damage that is caused to a bag after a cream or oil has been applied by yourself, and we cannot refund or exchange a bag that has had such a treatment applied.
For day to day maintenance a dab of sunflower/vegetable oil or baby oil, on a dry, clean sponge or cloth rubbed over the bag evenly will work to re-oil the leather and also protects the leather from cracking as well as sealing the leather for mild weather resistance. This will also help if you have got small water marks on the leather.
For scratches and marks: Small scratches can be removed by rubbing them gently with your finger, as the natural oils on your hands will work into the leather. For larger scratches and marks apply a tiny amount of oil to the mark, let it soak in for a few minutes and then wipe the excess away with a clean soft cloth. It may make the leather initially appear darker but this is just because the oil is soaking in.
Please always test any cream or oil that you use on a small area of the bag first. Follow the instructions carefully and use any cream sparingly, it goes a long way! We tested Urad shoe & leather cleaner,
which can be bought from Lakeland
and it was fabulous. It does slightly darken the leather but it brings the lustre of the leather out beautifully and needs no buffing at all. It also hides scratches and marks really well. http://www.lakeland.co.uk/4780/Urad-Shoe-and-Leather-Cleaner
Another fantastic leather cream can be bought from Furniture Clinic
and is called Leather Protection Cream http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Protection_Cream.php
. It will condition the bag, repel stains, reduce wear and tear, re-instate the natural aroma and reduce fading.
One of our customers also tried Clarks Leather Cream,
"I used 'Clarks' leather cream, it brought colour back beautifully, left the leather unbelievably soft and the smell of the cream faded away leaving the beautiful leather smell again".
Your Scaramanga bag should be able to withstand an occasional rain shower and ordinary wear and tear but is not waterproofed. To further protect your bag you can waterproof your bag yourself. Granger’s
analysed the leather we use in our bags and we have tested their G-Max Universal Footwear Proofer
and it works wonderfully well and waterproofs the bag very effectively. Its really easy to apply and although it leaves the bag slightly darker it also looks beautifully conditioned. Follow the instructions carefully though and ensure you apply to damp leather. For full details of your nearest stockist visit: http://www.grangers.co.uk/product.cfm?cat=16&productid=25
We also had a customer, who did a bit of waterproof testing for us and used Scotchguard on his bag,
"I tried Scotchgard's Protector and Nourishment Colourless Cream for leather. Worried that it might harm the leather, I only applied the cream to the underside of the bag. At first it darkened the tan colour quite a lot, but after leaving it to dry I found the colour lightened to just a few shades darker than the original hue, while it also seemed to tighten up the leather too. I threw a few specks of water on it and found it simply sat on the material rather than soaking in (I'm afraid I wasn't willing to further my testing with a glass of Rioja, though). Happy with the positive results, I applied the cream to the rest of the bag, including the seams. It now repels small amounts of water and the material seems to have tightened somewhat, too. I was always confident that this bag would last for many years, but it's great to have a little extra protection from the weather. I would recommend this cream to anyone who wants to use the bag in the rain without having to worry. I know it doesn't make the material completely waterproof, but it's good to know that it does seal the leather from the showers I am inevitably going to encounter on my weekending travels."
Your new bag may give off a leather odour for a week or two, which is not unusual for a natural leather product. If you find it a little overpowering we suggest putting a sachet of nice smelling lavender etc into the bag, for a few days and that should help. Some of our customers have recommended using a little oil (baby/olive or even an essential oil such as Mandarin or Lavender oil) on a clean soft cloth and wiping over the bag evenly, as this can also help with the smell.
We welcome feedback from any of our customers on caring for their bags and below we have included some of the more interesting recommendations, but please note, we have not tested these ourselves! If you have a suggestion please let us know by visiting our Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scaramanga/10241273695?sk=wall
The best suggestions may get a free journal or vintage leather purse.
F.V - I use the leather cleaning wipes for sofas (lord Sheraton) on my messenger bag and its cleans off marks and helps conditions the leather beautifully - I also borrowed my husband's leather cleaner for his car upholstery and it worked a treat and helped deepen the colour and soften it beautifully x L.F - I have taken my satchel through every kind of weather and I've learned that letting it get wet helps it soften up as well as making sure it receives a fair amount of sunshine. The more I use it the better it gets! K.M - I use a little bit of sunflower oil on my satchel. It gets rid of any scratches and marks and makes it look as good as new! :-) M.M - I use a cheap leather cleaning spray from Poundland-so its a £1! And it works wonders and smells of yummy coconut too. Works well on my leather sofa too. E.E - I use shoe polish - it's fantastic. N.H - I use a liquid bees wax polish usually used on my oak sideboard! Gives it a protection against the wet and staining! Works great! A.P - leftover avocado works a treat to polish the beauties K.W - Baby oil works really well on bags and leather sofas!! L.B - To get rid of oil and grease stains (not that I regularly roll around in them ... Just weekends) I crumble some black board chalk on the affected area and leave for the night then wipe away. C.T - Colinnil leather gel softens and protects it's also recommended by mulberry, also good old fashioned olive oil and Clarks leather cream cleans any marks beautifully!
If your zip has started to come undone, you can try this simple method to mend it. Make sure the zip is open all the way to the end. Take the zip pull in one hand and using a small, ideally pointed, pair of pliers, press down firmly on one side of the zip pull (on the metal itself). You are just trying to mesh the teeth together a little so do not press too firmly. Then repeat this on the other side of the zip pull. This should allow you to pull the zip once more.
Caring for Vintage Suitcases, trunks and chests
How can you safely clean a vintage suitcase / trunk / chest?
The first step is to ascertain what the piece is made from. Leather will need careful cleaning with a leather cream or wax and a soft cloth. Soapy water and a sponge will clean a vinyl suitcase.
A vintage trunk and chests made from compressed fibre or wood can be lightly rubbed with a good quality natural wax and fine wire wool (000 grade), the wool will remove the dirt and grime, finishing with a soft cloth to bring back the original colour and a polished finish. Wooden chests with many years of using and deterioration will need a coarser wire wool such as grade 0 or 1, to start, followed by a fine grade.
What steps can be taken to ensure it stays in good condition?
Avoid placing suitcases / trunk / chests in direct sunlight or next to a heat source such as fireplaces / radiators as they tend to dry the leather or wood which could result in cracking or splitting. A good quality natural wax or leather cream applied several times a year will keep your suitcase / chest looking good. Oil hinges and locks occasionally with WD 40 or similar..