Do not use oil. Oiling loosens the fibres too much which causes the leather to loose strength and it actually makes it weaker. Leather used to be tanned using chemicals that are now banned. The fibres in modern leather are much looser. To ensure that the leather stays supple we recommend that you use leather balm.
Natural Leather Markings
Cows will gather natural marks on their skin as they graze. .
Typical marks could include:
- Stretch mark: especially on the hind of the cow as it grows;
- Scarring: if the animal has been cut or had an operation then it may have scars and stitch marks;
- Veining: larger animals will show veins close to the service of the skin;
- Tick Holes: these are small holes where an insect has pierced the skin.
Once tanned most marks become almost unnoticeable but never completely disappear. They generally do not affect whether a hide is suitable or not. We check all our leather for natural marks and endeavour to cut pattern pieces from areas of the hide that are not marked but sometimes we consider a natural mark to be acceptable.
Natural Wear and Tear
Leather will need caring for if it is to be kept in tip-top condition. Even with excellent care, leather will age. How it is cared for will affect how long it remains serviceable.
Keep leather products out of hot temperatures, especially extreme heat. Heat exposure can cause pigmented finish to bubble and peel away. Direct sunlight can fade leather.
Freezing temperature can cause damage to the natural structure of the fibres that give it strength and freezing temperatures can make the leather become brittle. Cold temperatures can also cause the pigmented coating to crack excessively.
Rain and water splashes should be wiped away with a dry cloth and the leather should be allowed to dry naturally.
All leather loses moisture and oils over time and with handling. The more we handle a leather product the quicker it will lose its natural flexibility due to its oils and moisture being transferred to our hands.
As a hide dries out it is more likely that the fibres that make up the surface of the skin will break rather than stretch. Every animal hide is unique and some will have less natural oils than others.