Leather is a very old and traditional material that has been used by generations to keep possessions safe, to store food or to keep dry and warm. It is a natural material, that, if treated in the right way, will last a long time and improve its look over time.
Spikes & Sparrow only use leather that is made of skins that are a by-product of slaughter. This means that the cows and buffalo’s that provide us with their hides are slaughtered because of their meat, not because of their skins. We refuse to use any hides that come from protected, or rare, animals.
Since we only use naked leather (meaning there is no artificial protective layer added on top), that is finished by applying waxes and/or oils, the look of our bags will change over time as the waxes migrate over the skin. It means that what you see is the real structure of the skin with all its imperfections. And that not one piece is exactly the same as another piece.
Due to the absence of a seal on top of the leather, our bags are not perfect in the rain; prolonged or strong immersion in water can lead to permanent spots on your bag. This is inherent to the product and just helps to make it even more individual and yours.
It also means that our bags can bleed some color when new, just like a new pair of jeans can. This bleeding will stop once all the waxes or oils will have sealed the skin completely. So please be careful in the beginning when wearing your bag, and avoid wearing her on very light-colored clothing.
Since our leathers are naked (also called unfinished), the skin is porous and will absorb both the waxes, and oils that are applied on it, in an irregular manner. This creates the typical look of our leather. However, the skin can also absorb water. Which means that most stains in our leather are not on the surface where cleaning will be an effective solution. The stain will rather be in the leather, essentially altering the color of the leather permanently. So, no matter what cleaner is used, do not expect miracles. The best cleaning strategy for our leather is to regularly wipe it down with a lightly-dampened cotton cloth to remove topical dust. Do not use soap or soap based products, as they will alter the ph-value of the skin, and reduce its lifespan.
If you want to, you could apply a delicate leather crème, or a spray for maintenance of Nubuck and Suede, once or twice a year. This will remoisturise the leather and pull the leather back up a bit. However, this is not necessary and a matter of taste and preference.