Happy Cow Leather Care Tips
NATURAL MARKS: As your Happy Cow is made from 100% genuine leather there are sometimes small variations in colour, feel, and surface. These are characteristics of leather and are not considered flaws or faults, and are part of the beauty of using natural materials. The fact that everything is handmade means there will be slightly uneven stitching or other 'imperfections', enjoy the fact that your bag is unique!
WEAR & TEAR: The recycled leathers used are intended to wear and soften with age. Your bag might be a little stiff when you receive it but this thickness will add to its durability and it will quickly soften after a few uses. Be careful of the bottom corners of your bag, these get the most wear. Keeping your bag off the floor, and conditioning the corners will help. Also recommended is avoiding overstuffing your bag- this strains all stress points in your bag, and can stretch the leather out of shape. Avoid contact with sharp objects as this can tear the leather. For belt pouches, the most stress is going to be where the belt attaches to the bag. So keep an eye on this area and if the stitching seems to be loosening have it repaired as soon as possible.
COLOUR: The leather colour has been dyed, not painted on the surface. Leather which has painted or surface colour will have a more even surface but it never feels as nice, and with wear painted colour can come off or crack. Dyed leather does not have this characteristic and if taken care of it will never crack or peel. Dyeing, especially on lighter colours, means that the natural variations of the hides, such as scar marks, creases and colour variation will show more easily. This is to be expected using a natural material with the signs of life on the skin, just as we have these variations on our skin. We respect and enjoy these variations and certainly do not consider them as a fault.
PROTECTORS & POLISH: Leather protector spray can be used on your item. This usually waterproofs the leather and to some extent the fabric also. Leather cream or conditioner is recommended occasionally to nourish the leather and protect it from extensive rubbing and scratches. Water-proofing, cleaning and conditioning of your bag may be done either by yourself or by taking it to a handbag repairer to do this for you. We recommend testing the conditioning/cleaning product you purchase in an inconspicuous area first, before applying to the whole bag. Please follow the instructions of the product you choose to use carefully- we will not be held responsible if you have not followed instructions properly.
As the leather cream is reintroducing oils into the leather, on lighter colours it may darken the colour to some extent, which will fade with time. Please carefully test the product first, and allow to dry naturally to see results before proceeding. We do not recommend wipe on/wipe off or polishing conditioners these can leave cloudy marks, and are really intended for shoes or hard leathers, and are not suitable for our products. Lighter colours do mark more easily, ensure that the leather is kept away from things such as pens and oil. Be careful also of wearing with denim the dye used in denim is not stable, this dye can rub off onto the leather. Leather cleaners can be useful but may not completely remove a stain or mark from lighter colours.
If you are after a 'distressed' look do not use any conditioning, let the leather soften and crease naturally.
WATER: If your bag comes into contact with water ensure it is left somewhere warm to dry thoroughly.
MOULD: Mould can occur due to moisture in the air or contact with water. If signs of mould are visible, place your Happy Cow in front of a heater (or sunny window) for a few days, then wipe down the mould area with a soft cloth (no water), then continue to dry the bag for another few days. This should remove all signs of mould.
FRAYING: In some of our designs, we are able to use waterproofing material in between two layers of leather. This helps protect against water damage. Sometimes after a few wears the waterproofing material can loosen and appear visible. These loose threads can be burnt off without any consequence to the bag. Just be careful as to not burn any stitching.