Caring for your leather and suede pieces

Cleaning for leather and suede is generally done by specialist dry cleaners, but it is costly and often simple home maintenance can reduce the need to use specialist cleaners. The following questions and answers will help you maintain your leather and suede pieces.

What if my garment gets wet?

Always blot up excess moisture with paper towels or a clean, soft, white towel. Allow to dry naturally at room temperature. Never dry in front of a direct heat source as this damages the leather and causes the hide to stiffen.

To restore the nap in suede use a brush exclusively for suede once it is thoroughly dry. Never use your suede brush for other cleaning purposes.

What if my garment gets stained?

Gently blot liquid stains on leather with a clean, soft cloth and use a good quality leather conditioner to condition.

If suede gets oil stains, use oatmeal or talcum powder directly on the stain. Leave overnight and brush gently. Repeat this process if required. To restore the nap use a suede brush or rub with a high nap bath towel.

If stains have dried on suede, or if it is scuffed, use an eraser to gently clean the area. If stains do not come out, use a small amount of white vinegar on a silk cloth to clean.

Major stains on suede garments should always be taken to a suede-cleaning professional.

Can I use soap and water to clean my leather?

Yes you can. Mix a mild solution of about 2 litres warm water with 2 teaspoons of a gentle liquid dish detergent in a large bowl - dissolve well. Beware not to use too much detergent as it will affect the leather and may cause discolouring. Wet a soft, clean cloth or towel and dip into the soapy solution - squeeze out excess liquid so the cloth is just damp. Gently wipe down the garment in long, smooth motions, re-wetting the cloth as needed. Pay extra attention to areas of dirt or oil build up. Don’t rub or scrub. 

Use a clean soft cloth or towel dipped in clean, warm water and wipe the garment again to remove soap residue. With a soft dry towel, pat the leather until dry.  Hang and allow to dry naturally. Don’t dry in direct sun, direct heat or with a blow dryer – this will damage the leather.

How do I store my garment?

Store where the garment can breathe. Never store in plastic as it will cause the leather or suede to dry out. Use a pillowcase or sheet to keep dust off. Do not store in a hot or damp area.

Avoid exposing your leather or suede to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

How do I preserve my garment?

Leather conditioners should be applied with a soft cloth to help with cleaning and to provide good water repellent properties.

Spray new suede garments with a suede protection product. There is a wide range of these products on the market and they can be found in stores that specialize in suede clothing and shoes. Test a small area on the inside of the garment before using it to treat the entire garment.

Suede garments should be taken to a suede cleaning professional every other year. The professional will clean the garment deeply and restore the nap to make it look like new.

General tips for maintaining your garment

To clean your leather always choose a product that helps preserve the leather's natural lubricating oils rather than strip them away. Buy reputable products specific for cleaning leather. Get a Nubuck cloth - it's a great leather care tool for cleaning and restoring your item to its original look.

Stains on suede can be difficult to remove, so it's best to protect your garments to keep them looking new. Using the tips provided above will help keep your suede garment in great condition.

Never use caustic household chemicals to clean your leather or suede items.

Condition your leather items several times during the season. Do so more often if the item is exposed to hot sunny conditions or moisture.

Avoid using metal hangers to hang your leather or suede pants or jackets.

All leather and suede items will last a lifetime if properly cared for. 

Caring for Your Fur

Fur requires special care to ensure it lasts. Being natural, it will attract certain challenges during storage and care. The following questions and answers will help you to maintain your fur accessory.

What if my fur gets stained?

Do not wait to remove stains as it will be much harder to remove if left and can ruin the fur.   

Remove light stains by using a homemade solution. Mix one-part isopropyl alcohol with one-part water and apply directly to the stain. Fur is delicate so do not use any type of cleaner or solvent.  Rub the stain gently with a white cloth and allow to dry. Do not rinse the solution out, instead, place your piece in a well-ventilated area and allow it to dry thoroughly. The alcohol will prevent any water stains from forming.

Never use heat on fur as it will damage garment.  Never iron fur or the lining. Ironing will ruin fur; the heat will penetrate to the skin, cause it to dry and eventually tear.  Be gentle as you rub and be careful not to stretch the skin.  Be sure to use a white cloth or you may transfer colour to the fur.

Do not use pet cleaning products or dry cleaning products to clean your fur.

What if my fur gets damaged?

Always get fur repaired professionally. Do not use glue on it!

There are special glues sold to fix leather but the leather you buy and the leather underneath your fur have completely different properties and behave quite differently therefore these glues are not suitable.

How do I store my fur?

When storing fur, do not cover with plastic - it will cause it to sweat and might stain the fur. Fur needs to breath.  Cover fur in cotton, like a pillow case to keep it dust free.

Use hangers specially designed for fur. Don't use normal hangers for fur, or you'll risk breaking, marring, or stretching it. Fur is elastic and as you hang it on a small rod, it starts to stretch and start to tear over time. A good rule of thumb is to find a hanger that’s the width of your shoulder.  

The knitted fur pieces are best stored folded on a shelf in your wardrobe.

Store in a cool place where the temperature is even.  Your fur loves the same atmosphere as you. Slightly colder is better than slightly hotter.

Always allow fur to dry before putting away. Do not store fur in your wardrobe right after it has been exposed to rain or snow.  Dry your fur naturally in an open space before storing it.