Sustainability and mindfulness is the core of what we do, and we want to help you learn to love and care for your treasured craftsmanship.
Following the success of our jewellery care guide, you've also been asking us for care tips for your other artisanal craftsmanship.
So here it is! This guide includes simple storage and cleaning techniques for other accessories: handbags, leather crafts, and natural fiber accessories - to ensure that your craftsmanship not only functions as a heirloom piece for you, but also for your loved ones in the years to come.
Hand-tooled sun-print leather bags from Mexico. The SOL Crossbody
1. Store your leather goods in breathable fabric bags.
Natural ventilation allows any moisture on your leather goods to evaporate naturally, helping to prevent mildew. Each of our leather goods comes with (unlabeled) renewable linen-dust bags to help your leather goods breathe, and also protect them from dust!
2. Reduce exposure to direct sunlight and heat.
After each wear, store your bag safely away from direct sunlight and heat. The elements can cause the leather textures to fade much faster than naturally. Direct heat can also cause the leather to dry excessively, which results in cracking. And so, if your leather item is wet, simply pat it dry with a cotton cloth and leave it to dry naturally, instead of drying via heat or with a hair-dryer.
3. Clean regularly.
Clean your leather items items by wiping off dirt and dust simply using a damp cotton cloth. Cleaning also removes abrasive particles on leather items that may potentially cause wear and tear, and helps your leather goods develop a beautiful, time-honored patina.
4. Use leather conditioners.
Use a leather conditioner once in a while (once every few months), to give your leather crafts a little bit of polishing and love. However, when trying out new conditioners, please make sure to test it on a small area of the leather first and only a small amount to begin with. Do avoid using natural oils - these will permeate into your bags as leather textures are very permeable!
5. Minimise contact with water.
Regular contact with water can cause your leather to mildew. While waterproof sprays or creams can be use to protect leather items, the best way to protect your craft is to simply minimize contact from water.
The OROS Loomed Clutches. Handwoven from organic cotton threads by artisans in Mexico.
1. Simple cleaning methods are the best.
Most cotton craftsmanship will do best with a light washing, simply with water if it is lightly dusted. Avoid detergents with strong chemicals which can be harsh on your skin and the natural dyes. Mild detergents like soaps are often sufficient to clean your organic cotton crafts if needed. Then dry naturally by letting it air.
2. Avoid overheating cotton apparels.
If needed, steam or iron your cotton goods at low heat. Overheating can result in significant shrinking or damage to the sensitive weaves.
3. Avoid chlorine bleaches.
Chlorine bleach can cause fading and also weakens the natural cotton's fiber strength.
4. Use cold water to remove stains on your organic cotton apparel
Cold water can prevent the stain from setting. Alternatively, soak the apparel in cold water overnight before washing it as per normal.
Our CIRCULO Handwoven Palm Bags from Mexico, a natural fan-favorite.
Straw/ Plant Fibres
1. Reduce exposure to direct sunlight
Our palm bags, straw hats and other plant-fiber goods should be reduced from exposure to sunlight, to prevent it from drying out excessively. They are often already sun-dried naturally, but you will do better not to expose it to harsh elements!
2. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and dust
Brush the surface of straw items regularly to prevent building up of dirt and stains.
3. To remove stains and grime, use a damp cotton cloth with a small amount of dish detergent.
Gently rub the surface of your straw items with the damp cloth.
4. Minimise contact with water
Contact with water can cause the straw to degenerate. If your straw item is wet, turn it inside out if possible, and allow it to air dry fully naturally.
5. Apply a light coat of shellac gum resin
You may wish to use a stiff brush to apply the resin to the surface of your straw items to protect it from fraying. Some rubbing alcohol can also be mixed with the shellac gum resin in equal amounts to ensure that the mixture is spread evenly.
6. Store straw hats on a head form, and avoid stacking other items on it
This prevents it from losing its shape. If it loses shape, spray a little bit of water on it and fold it back using your hands. Alternatively, an iron can be used on very low temperature with a cloth in between the iron and the hat to restore its shape.
The SOLOLA Shawl, handmade in organic cotton.
Each of our artisans' craftsmanship is uniquely handmade, and with it, carries the aspirations of its makers.
Beyond our social mission, we're proud of these extraordinary craftsmanship and their long-lasting quality.
Giving your craftsmanship a long-loved life with tender care is also a way of respecting the artisan and its artisanal origins.
We hope this accessory care guide has been useful in helping you learn to maintain the beauty and functionality of your favorite artisanal goods. Also, check out our post on caring for your jewellery here if you haven't!