Arguably the ‘Queen’ of all leather handbags, exotic skins are super luxe, and they are of the highest grade among all leathers. Made from the hides of animals such as alligators, pythons and ostriches, if you own one of these exclusive bags (cue the extremely pricey Hermès Crocodile Birkin bags), you’d want to pay special attention to their maintenance.
Use a leather conditioner regularly: Some exotic skins, such as python and ostrich, tend to lose their moisture much faster than other bags, so remember to condition them regularly.
Doing so once every two months, or once a month if you carry them around frequently, would be a good bet. Do ensure that the leather conditioner is suitable for the skin of your bags, like the Chamberlain’s Leather Care Liniment No. 1, which is known to be gentle and friendly to exotic skins.
Extra tip: For bags within the reptilian family (like snakes or crocodiles), make sure you clean them in the direction of their scales to prevent flaking.
Store them carefully: Keeping them in dustbags inside your wardrobe just won’t cut it. These babies require extra special treatment, especially in our humid weather. Store them in a temperature-controlled environment, or seal them in an airtight container to prevent any contaminants or moisture from coming in contact with the leather.
Let them get wet: Exotic skinned leather bags are fragile in nature so if you spill your drink on them, dab on the affected area with a soft white cotton towel. Don’t rub the spot, and never use soap and water to clean it. Air-dry it instead of using a hairdryer, which will cause more damage.
With these care tips in mind, you can go forth and give your leather bags the love they deserve, and save yourself the hassle of having to restore them in future!