THE FIRST TOPIC OF OUR CHECKLIST
Everyone is talking about exotic leather: from the web, to newspapers and fashion documentaries, there is a copious amount of information available that, if read more carefully, seem to always be the same, enough to make us think that there is not real information after all.
About the subject there are, in fact, many theories, very many hypothesis and as many prejudices that make practically impossible to distinguish between real and fake, reality and phantasy.
Well, let’s clarify some points.
In this section, we’ll deal with different topics and we decided to start with the simplest but not least important one: the indestructibility of exotic leather.
In our section we will talk about traditional materials that have been used for centuries: crocodile, alligator, ostrich, python and anaconda leather. These materials will not only be beautiful today, but they will be also appreciated by the next generations: think about your children, grandchildren and even your great-grandchildren who will be able to enjoy these products if you can take good care of them.
Can you imagine pulling your old bag out of the closet to give it to your granddaughter and find it…as good as new? How exciting!
We are not exaggerating! Exotic leather is durable and soft, and it never loses its beauty. Instead, it gets better with age…just like wine. Of course, if kept it and preserved with common sense.
So, exotic leather is unbreakable, but only if used and preserved correctly. And here we need to dispel some myths.
We all heard at least once that exotic leather, crocodile and ostrich in particular, is waterproof. Not true. At least, not totally true.
If you’re interested in a “waterproof” product (and take this word with a grain of salt), you should opt for a finishing that gives a coating to the leather, such as the shiny one. Or maybe go for a plastic bag.
We don’t particularly love shiny processing for our products and we prefer using matte leather, which is softer and more natural looking, also to the touch. This processing is absolutely not waterproof though.
Just like every other natural leather, if crocodile leather gets exposed to water, it gets wet. The best choice, if you’re worried about your bag, is avoid going out with your item under the rain.
The same applies to python and anaconda leather. But what should you do if it suddenly starts to rain? Don’t worry! There are simple rules to follow to get a dry -almost identical to the original- bag back. In fact, in contact with water, the leather could darken.
Poor ostrich leather, it is the most mythologised one. We are often asked many questions about it and everyone is convinced that “he has read somewhere on some website that ostrich leather is waterproof”. Ostrich leather could suffer a little bit less damage from water…if it is shiny. The matte version, as any other leather, gets wet. And, even if it will be almost good as new once it’s dried, you will feel a lot of anxiety watching it slowly dry.
To sum up, we cannot say that exotic leather is waterproof because it is not. Shiny exotic leather tolerates water better because sometimes the coating can avoid water to penetrate the surface. In any case, we strongly discourage any type of experiment under a flood or in a bathtub.
Moreover, rumour has it that this type of leather gets better with age, just like good wine.
For example, it is said that python refines because the scales “open” and they adapt better to the product.
To an untrained eye, seeing a tanner vigorously rub the leather between his hands could be a reason to panic. In reality, the professional does it to show the real softness of the python, which “opens” so you can see its full glory. So, it is really hard to damage python leather, that shows its beauty when it is worked and used.
Therefore, does exotic leather get better with age? Definitively. Exotic leather gets better with age and it can turn from a beautiful bag to a magnificent one. Obviously, it is always necessary to take good care of it in the right way.
If you want to buy an unbreakable product, you need to pay attention to the quality: look at the thickness of the leather, which shouldn’t be too thin; make sure that the crocodile leather does not have cracks; verify that python or ostrich leather is not too thin. And if you already own the product, you should follow some simple rules to keep it at its best.
Remember: exotic leather is neither an alien nor a superhero…and it does not have magical powers! If kept and used carelessly, it can have the same problems of any other natural leather and ruin… simply the disappointment will be greater for you and for your wallet.
Here, then, our simple rules:
- Protect the leather from direct sunlight. This does not mean that you cannot go out on a sunny day and only wear it on cloudy days. It means that it is not recommended to leave the bag for a long (or short) time under the rays of the sun. This could turn the leather yellowy or, in worst cases, even burn it. And bags don’t have SPF. They can be shiny at most.
- Protect the leather from humidity. As in the case of sunlight, matte leather is more sensitive to water than the shiny one. If your bag gets wet, don’t panic and NEVER use a blow dryer, a radiator or a stove. Be patient and let the bag dry naturally, at room temperature, out of the closet.
- Keep the product in the correct way. Even if most sites advice to use them, you should NEVER use products for leather treatment, especially before storing it in the closet. Also, don’t forget to fill the bag with tissue paper or other “soft” paper: this will help your product to keep the original shape. Then, always put the bag in the specific soft fabric sack that is usually given with the purchase. Don’t store it in plastic bags.
- Clean the bag, when necessary, only using a sponge moistened with water. Don’t use chemical products, even if they are specific. Obviously, try not to dirty the bag or to pour liquids that can cause permanent stains on it.
- Last, but definitively not least – golden rule: make an appropriate use of the bag. If you go grocery shopping, and you put 2 kg of potatoes in your bag, don’t write us that your bag has lost its shape…There’s no remedy for the lack of common sense!
Do you think that what you’ve just read is too complicated to follow or you don’t agree with our word? Well, maybe exotic leather is not right for you.
But if you agree and you think that you can follow the rules of good use, you will find in the exotic leather bag an optimal product that will serve you loyally for many years.
In the next article we’ll talk about a sensitive issue: the ethical question and the wrong convictions of people’s mind. For example, many thinks that exotic leather trade deals with endangered animals. Is it true? Obviously not. They are not endangered, they are threatened at last.
When you buy an exotic leather product it is legally documented and certified, not only you don’t endanger the survival of these animals, but you contribute to the fight against illegal trade and to the preservation and reproduction of animals in their habitat.
Stay tuned for the next article if you want to know more about this difficult topic, especially if you’re against exotic leather trade.