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It has been a few years since I did a post specifically about leather care. There are so many types of leather in the world. I have noticed that many people misunderstand what a quality leather really looks like, feels like, or ages like. Here at Tesoro we work with the highest quality leathers made in the USA. That often means that more tradition methods of tanning (leather finishing) are used in the process. 

 

I purchase full and top grain hides. These are the highest quality hides because the very top of the layer of hide is used. In many less quality hides, tanneries either split the top and the bottom of the hide, or they scrape the top of the hide off because it makes the hide look more uniform (this happens with most pebble grain leathers). The reason that the top layer of the hide is a higher quality is that it is tougher, and will last significantly longer than any other type of hide. The downfall of using this kind of hide is that there are original scrapes and scars on the hide. This also means that scratching is a natural part of the aging process. This might seem counterintuitive to many people. Surface scratching is normal, and can be buffed out, and after more wear, will be less noticeable. 

 

Before conditioning your bag or leather good, make sure you wipe the product down with a damp towel. You don't want to to condition or rub the dirt or dust into the bag. Each of these leather conditioners can be applied to the bag by using an old cotton sock or an old tee shirt. For all types of conditioners the best way to apply it is in a circular motion. Don't put the conditioner straight onto the bag, rather add it to your applicator (sock or cloth) and rub the material into itself to spread it onto the bag. Some conditioners need buffed after it is spread into the bag, and if that is the case, it will say so on the back of the bottle! After conditioning, let your bag sit overnight to allow the conditioner to soak in completely. 

 

I am going to go through each type of leather we use, and tell you how to the best way to care for your Tesoro goods. If you have questions, please comment below!

 

Dyed Vegetable tanned leather- 

This hide looks shiny and ages beautifully 

Used for:

  • Nora Chestnut and Maroon
  • Boss Bag- All colors
  • Bucket Bag- Maroon, Green
  • Coasters and some other accessories

How to condition- This leather will scratch here and there, but will literally last a lifetime. This type of leather should be conditioned once or twice a year, but can be conditioned more often if you want it to shine a bit more. 

My favorite conditioners for this leather- 

Chamberlains Leather Conditioner Liniment NO1 with Applicator Pad

Rudy's Tack and Saddle Conditioner

Dakota Partially Oiled Hide- 

This hide looks matte and does scratch somewhat easily

Used for:

  • The Anne Wallet- All colors
  • The Ellie Fanny Pack- Black, Chestnut and Maroon
  • The Audrey- Black, Chestnut and Maroon
  • The Sabina Circle Bag- Black and Chestnut
  • The Chelsea- Black, Chestnut and Maroon
  • The Ruth- Black 
  • The Shannon- Black, Chestnut and Maroon
  • The Diaper Bag- Black, Chestnut and Maroon
  • Many small products like the passport holder and card holder

How to Condition- Putting oil back into this hide is vital to keeping this leather in great condition for years to come. I suggest putting oil back into the hide twice a year. You can then add a conditioner on top of that to seal the oil in and help to prevent scratching overtime.

My favorite conditioners for this leather- Order both and put the Bee Natural finish on first, and then the Chamberlains leather conditioner second. 

Bee Natural Leather Finish

Chamberlains Leather Conditioner Liniment No 1

 

Black Chrome Dyed leather-

This hide is very shiny. It does not scratch and looks new for YEARS

Used for:

  • The Black Nora

How to Condition- This leather is incredible. It is a Chrome dyed leather, and we tend to stay away from these types of leathers at Tesoro because of the negative environmental impact the tanning process has. Chrome dyed leathers are produced with a lot of chemicals and a lot of water. We decided to use it for this bag because we wanted to create a tote bag that won't age, and will look like its brand new for years to come. This leather is waterproof, scratch proof and really anything proof.  All of that being said, this leather can't be conditioned. The best thing you can do to keep this leather in tip top shape is to make sure it is stored in non humid conditions. 

 

Bison Waxy Finish Leather-

This hide has an oversized pebble grain, and a shiny finish. Does not scratch easily but can. 

Used for:

  • Ellie Fanny Pack
  • The Audrey 
  • The Sabina Circle Bag
  • The Ruth Bucket Bag
  • The Shannon Tote

How to Condition- This is my favorite leather, hands down. It has the most stunning natural texture, is a heavy weight leather, and has a beautiful shiny and waxy finish. The waxy finish protects this leather from scratching and water damage. I suggest conditioning this leather once or twice a year.

My favorite conditioners for this leather- 

Chamberlains Leather Conditioner Liniment No 1

 

Croco Embossed Cowhide-

This hide is a thin, split layer of cowhide that is embossed with a croc print pattern. It has a patent leather top finish. 

Used for:

  • The Ellie Fanny Pack
  • The Audrey Updated
  • The Chelsea
  • The Ruth Bucket Bag

How to Condition- This leather is both on trend and timeless. It is not the highest quality leather I use, but it is the kind of leather that doesn't show age like some of the top grain/full grain leather. Keep in mind that this leather is very thin, and although it does hold its structure, it might not stay as stiff as it is when you purchase it forever. 

My favorite conditioners for this leather- 

Chamberlains Leather Conditioner Liniment No 1

 

Other conditioners to keep in stock and use regularly!

If you own a lot of different kinds of leather, you might want to try a kit from Chamberlains. I love their sets, and they come with applicator pads so you don't have to use a sock or old tee. 

Restore & Protect Leather Care set: NO.1 - NO.3 with three applicator pads

 

Suede Protectant- 

Suede Protector from Bee Natural

Suede Brush

 

 Conditioners I love for Boots/shoes-

Rain & Snow Conditioner


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