You've got your new leather bag, now what? Do I treat it? What if it gets wet? What if it gets scratches on it? How long will it last? These are VERY common questions we get and rightfully so, everyone wants their leather bag to look good as 'new' for as long as possible. Here is a comprehensive guide to caring for your leather. But we should note, that taking care of leather can be a very personal decision and our customers have given us great suggestions, so please look at these testimonials for personal experience. Our unique Hunter leather is from water buffalo in India. Given that the cow is Holy in India, they don't use cowhide for leather products and we continue to work with our artisans there because we feel that water buffalo is a superior leather. First, it is a large animal so it yeilds more leather, thus less animals being used. The hide is much tougher, thicker and if tanned correctly is less brittle than cowhide can be and has a much higher tear resistance. Your Scaramanga product, particularly the bags can be made of of different pieces of leather, so you might get various parts of the hide in one bag. This makes each bag incredibly unique, we've yet to see a bag that is 100% identical to the next. The bag will come with all the natural variations a hide has to offer, this coupled with our tanning process creates 'distressed' or 'vintage' look of your bag. Yes, the leather starts off pretty tough, but will soften over time, we promise! Just use it! The various oils and natural elements it's exposed on a daily basis will soften the leather. As a general rule, no leather is naturally waterproof, so what happens if you get it wet? Well, another reason we use water buffalo is that it is a very tight grain of leather, so in the light rainfall you will see water glide off the leather and not do anything drastic to the colour or texture. Also, your bag has been hot waxed rolled into tanned leather, so this also makes is slightly more water resistant and can repel stains. With that said, if you find yourself in very wet situations, simply dry it in a warm room, BUT do not put it directly onto heat source because you will dry it out to the point where it may crack. Some people don't want to take chances and feel comfortable water-proofing it, in that case, any leather water-proofing cream, spray or oil can be used, the same you would put on leather boots for example. Just follow instructions! What if the light rain fall leaves water marks? In this case, our day to day maintenance ritual prevents this from happening. We suggest dabbing sunflower or vegetable based oils on the bag with a clean sponge or cloth. This re-oils the bag and protects it from these kinds of things as the oil will essentially re-seal the leather. Please bear in mind that this will darken the leather a little, so it's best to do the entire bag, not just 'spot' treat it. Scratches will happen. However, 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 or whatever you are using to treat your leather 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, again doing the entire bag will prevent you from having darker spots on the bag. Above is technically the most 'natural' way to care for your leather, the minimal effort way. This can be applied because our Hunter leather we use is incredibly durable and the natural things that happen to the leather, like water marks and scratches, only add to the vintage look of the bag. However, if you prefer to use creams or oils, do it! But please 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. Let us know how you take care of your bag and ask questions if you have any.