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Leather Care & Maintenance

Here at Sseko, we’ve searched the continent of Africa for the finest leathers to make our beautiful products. By properly maintaining and caring for your leather products, you can ensure your favorite Sseko goods will stay beautiful for years to come!

We use three main types of leather here at Sseko.

1. Full-grain oil tanned leather: You can find this leather in our travel collection, our tote bags, our bucket bags, and our shoes.
2. Sheepskin: We use sheepskin for some of our crossbody bagsballet flats, and as an accent leather on some of our larger bags.
3. Suede/Nubuck: You can find this leather in our moon clutchesbucket bags and our shoes.

1. Bucket Bag - Leather Care 2. Crossbody Bag - Leather Care 3. Mist Suede Booties - Leather Care

If you ever have trouble identifying which leather a product is made from, please just let us know!

 

Leather Protectant

First off, you should protect your leather products. We sell a leather protectant on our site that we highly recommend. We’ve tested it on each type of leather we use and it passes the test! You should apply this protectant at least every 6 months—more if you use the bags/shoes frequently.

 

Caring for the full-grain/oil tanned and finished leather product (non-suede)

To clean simply wipe it with a soft damp cloth. Water can damage/dry out leather over time, so ensure the cloth is damp not wet.

For stubborn marks or dirt, use a leather cleaner suitable for bags. The cleaner should be pH balanced as acidic or alkaline products may react with the chemicals in the finish. Do not use baby wipes or alcohol to clean the bag and avoid greasy products that could clog the leather's pores.

For general maintenance, dust the bag with a soft, dry cloth. Use a white cloth to prevent color transfer and try not to dampen or wet the leather as water causes stains and warping. If the bag has a stain that sits on the surface of the leather, brush it off with a soft-bristle nylon brush. Brushing the bag cleans it and refreshes the nap. Take care not to brush too hard and damage the leather.

 

Dealing with Spills and Stains

If your leather bag gets wet, do not use a hair dryer or other heat source to dry it. Carefully wipe away excess moisture and allow the bag to air dry. If you apply heat, the leather tends to warp. For stubborn stains, try rubbing the spot with a white eraser, but be gentle and check whether it aggravates the problem before rubbing the entire area. Soak up oil spills with cornstarch. Apply the dust to the area and let it sit overnight. Dust it off the next day.

Deal with stains as quickly as possible so they do not have time to harden or stain the leather. If necessary, seek professional assistance.

 

Conditioning your leather goods

If a leather bag shows signs of drying and cracking, seek assistance from a leather care professional. But before that happens, invest in a leather conditioner! Since leather is porous, it loses moisture through evaporation. Use a conditioner once a month to keep your goods looking their best. Wipe excess product and allow the bag to air dry completely before storing it.

You can apply a water and stain repellent product after conditioning. These come in direct application or spray types. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for these products to avoid leather discoloration or damage. Application-type products last longer than spray products. If you choose a spray product, remember to reapply it regularly. Bear in mind that this provides some protection, but does not make the leather completely waterproof.

 

Storing your leather goods

When storing your bag, insect activity, moisture, and warping are its three biggest enemies.

If possible, store it in a dust bag. You can always substitute a soft cotton pillowcase. Do not wrap a leather bag in plastic, as it requires ventilation to prevent mold. Store it in a cool, dry place with good air ventilation. Unwrap it every few weeks to check for mold and allow it to breathe.

 

Caring for suede and nubuck products:

Spray, spray, spray! For suede and nubuck it is especially important that you use a leather protectant as the grain in suede is open and more susceptible to stains.

Investing in a suede brush and eraser is the best was to deal with stains and dirt on your suede products.

If your suede gets wet, let it dry naturally, if there is a little spot, dab it with a dry cloth. For wet shoes, stuff them with paper to their natural shape (not any bigger) and let them dry, away from a heat source. The next day, give them a good brushing to bring back the nap.

You can spray your suede up to once a week with a leather protector to keep away the stains and help them stay water-repellant!