Leather Care

Leather is an amazing material that ages and patinas over time. With proper care your leather products should last many years. We recommend using Fiebing’s Saddle Soap to polish, protect, waterproof and clean your leather products. This Saddle Soap is a great all-in-one product that you could use on all sorts of leather items you have at home (test a small, discreet area first). If you are looking for a little more hydration and extra waterproofing we recommend Mink Oil. Mink Oil does wonders for breaking in and softening leather. Works awesome on our straps. Ok, lets get into care instructions!

You can purchase these products at most shoe repair shops BUT we also sell it online and at our 2 locations! (see below)

Instructions for Saddle Soap

  1. Get an old t-shirt and cut yourself 2 rags.

  2. Get one rag wet (not dripping) and one dry.

  3. Rub the wet rag in the tin of saddle soap and then apply to product. USE SPARINGLY!

  4. Add little amounts of water and soap to your rag as needed.

  5. Rub all over product.

  6. Avoid getting excess soap in stitching because it can clump up.

  7. It’s ok if you get it on hardware, as it should buff off.

  8. Once you have covered the whole surface, use the dry cloth to buff off excess.

    There are 2 things to things to AVOID.

    1. Don’t get your rag too wet!

    2. Make sure you do step 8. Leaving excessive soap can leave a white residue that is very hard to get off.

Instructions for Mink Oil

  1. Get an old t-shirt and cut yourself 2 rags.

  2. Rub the 1 rag in the container of mink oil and then apply to product. USE SPARINGLY!

  3. Rub all over product.

  4. Avoid getting excess oil in stitching because it can clump up.

  5. It’s ok if you get it on hardware, as it should buff off.

  6. Once you have covered the whole surface, use the dry cloth to buff off excess.

    There are 2 things to things to AVOID.

    1. Don’t use too much! It will get cakey!

    2. Make sure you do step 6. Leaving excessive mink oil can leave a white residue that is very hard to get off.

Tips and Tricks

Straps. Our straps start stiff, but after about 2 weeks of continuous use your straps will break in and continue to get softer and more pliable over time! We have had many customers say they’re the best straps they’ve ever had!! It is very rare, but it is possible to have black dye transfer from the strap onto your clothing, protecting it first with saddle soap or mink oil will keep this from happening.

Transfer. Transfer is what it is called when the dyes of your clothes rub off on your bag OR the dyes from your bag rub off on your clothes. Please know this is fairly uncommon. Dark demin jeans are usually the culprit. Either avoid wearing your darkest demin with lighter colored leather, wear bag with the shorter strap length, OR if you protect your bag first with Saddle Soap then the transfer should wipe off. In very few cases we have heard of the leather dye transferring onto clothing. Again, this is because the customer did not treat their bag with Saddle Soap first. Leather dye transfer happens more commonly when leather gets wet.

Rain. There’s a misconception that leather can’t get wet. It can! Let your leather product dry on a flat surface, DO NOT apply heat. It should dry out and be just like it was before…maybe better!

Stray Threads. Leatherworkers have to use big needles and big thread. Sometimes a stitch or 2 will unravel, do not fear! Just use a lighter or match and burn the thread. Our thread is nylon and when it burns it melts and sort of gives it a welded finish to the stitch. MOST leather is fire retardant so the flame shouldn’t harm the leather (PLEASE NOTE: Not recommended for leathers with plastic like finishes, or light colors!)

Service. Did you know that Strey Designs makes all their bags in their studio in NE Minneapolis?! If you have a Strey bag with a busted clip, broken strap, broken zipper, or the like…..you can bring it to our studio and we’ll fix it up! Wow! That’s service!