How to Take Care of Your X Nihilo Bags
Your X Nihilo bags, the end product of painstaking, ritualized craftsmanship, deserve to be treated with care. They are organic artefacts, and as lustrous as your new purchases may be, they will, when left to their own devices, become desiccated and dull. That is why maintenance of your leather bags is very crucial, if you want to enjoy them for as long as possible.
Here's how to protect your investment piece in five easy steps:
1. How to Clean
- The general principle is simple: remove dirt build-up by wiping down with a cleaner made specifically for leathers.
- Every other day, give your bag a brisk sweep with a soft dry cloth—this won't take more than a few minutes, but will go miles towards preserving the appearance of your leather.
- If there’s small dirt marks on the finished side of the leather then usually a little warm water and a little elbow grease will do the trick of getting rid of them.
- The key to removing dirt and other such marks is not to use too much pressure, it’s much better to lightly rub a mark 100 times with low pressure than 10 times with a lot of pressure. The high pressure maybe likely to remove the finish and damage the leather.
2. How to Condition
All leather loses moisture and oils over time and with handling. The more we handle a product made from leather the quicker it will lose its natural flexibility due to its oils and moisture being transferred to our hands, etc. To keep your bag in tip top condition, ensure the leather fibres stay supple. To accomplish this the leather will require natural oils or regular moisturising. We recommended that you use one that is designed specifically for caring natural leather products. Also please note that you should never use a product that contains Lanolin – so be careful using baby wipes to clean your satchel as they can often contain it. Here are some tips on how to condition your leather bags:
- Think of conditioning as moisturizer for your leather, which will dry out over time. To prevent flaking and wrinkling, dab a dollop of conditioner on a soft cloth and rub gently all over.
- Try mink or neatsfoot oil, which stimulate and supplement the natural oils of leather. Leave on for 10 minutes, and then wipe off the excess. Dry thoroughly in an airy room.
- Condition monthly or so to keep your leather looking its shiny best.
3. How to Weatherproof
- Leather is permeable and can never be entirely waterproof. Nonetheless, there are beeswax creams which function as a barrier against water. However, beeswax may alter the hue of dyed leather, so test first on an inconspicuous corner.
- You can also use more breathable but less effective alternative: a spray protectant, which is virtually invisible on your bags.
- Leather satchels should not be allowed to get wet but if they do, they should be wiped with a dry cloth and allowed to dry naturally.
- If your satchel gets wet then never force-dry the leather by using heat. Do not place on radiators or use hair dryers, simply leave it in a place that is normal room temperature until it dries naturally. High-heat measures like using a hairdryer will only cause the skin to crinkle beyond salvage.
4. How to Store
- Stash your bag in its original dust bag and fill it with stuffing. Keep the dust bagged product in its original box, along with packets of silica gel so your bag doesn't get damp.
- Keep your leather bags stored in places that are dry and clean when you are not using them
- Air once every two weeks to halt the growth of mould.
- Rotation is key. Everyday use of your bag will wear it out, so switch things up every month.
5. How to protect
- Prevent colour transfer by consciously resisting the urge to rest your bag against your jeans.
- Scratches cannot be prevented, so if you don’t like the antique effect that scratches will give to your bag, then it’s advised that you keep it away from sharp or metallic objects and generally be aware when handling and placing it down on the ground, etc.
- Keep it out of hot temperatures, especially extreme heat. Heat exposure can cause the pigmented finish to bubble and to peel away.
- Freezing temperatures can damage your satchel and the natural structure of its fibres that give it strength, and make them brittle. Cold temperatures can also cause the pigmented coating to crack excessively, so if you don’t like that effect then its prudent not to let it get too cold.
- Try to keep leather out of direct sunlight for long periods, because this can fade your leather,
- Always test a small,unseen part of the bag before applying any product to the whole of the bag to check that the product doesn’t react on the leather. Leave it for 24 hours to verify there’s no unwanted reaction. If after a period of 24-hours, the small area appears good then safely apply the product to the whole of the bag.