About spruce bark tanned leather
Spruce bark tanned leather has a “naked” surface (grain) where the colour has been brought about by the spruce bark. This naked surface is more sensitive and vulnerable to stains, but provides a beautiful natural surface colour that can be altered (deepened and matured) by means of oiling, exposure to sunlight and usage. Some parts, handles for example, become pleasingly attractive through being worn and mellowed by frequent contact with the human hand. In this respect, spruce bark tanned leather has unique properties.
Stains on leather
Generally you need to act quickly. It is best to spread out the substance that has attached itself to, e.g. the flap on a briefcase, over the entire flap, thus removing the stain. One example could be a spot of butter from a sandwich. Red wine spilled on a natural leather briefcase, of course, is a tougher opponent. In this case a damp cloth or sponge should be applied quickly and the stain “diluted” with cold or lukewarm water to avoid a distinctly defined area of stain. It is also very important to soak the entire area (flap or other area) with an equal quantity of water so as to remove the “contours” of the stain. In this way the stain can be evened out so that it becomes less noticeable or disappears.
If a stain has already dried, it will be difficult to remove. You can soak the entire area as above and wash it with saddle soap (any mild soap will do if you don’t have saddle soap). To make the stain less obvious, oil in the entire area (flap or other area) with leather oil or leather cream, which will darken the leather. Allow it to dry away from heat sources. We recommend “stuffing” the product and straightening such parts as flaps so the product retains shape and do not become warped.
Normally, rain-drop marks on new leather do not pose a problem. But if they do, soak the product thoroughly. It is best to wash the product with saddle soap, dry off any suds and oil in the product with suitable leather oil. In difficult cases, allow the product to dry partly (not entirely) and see if the rain-drop stains still show, repeat the soaking and washing process, and finally oil the product after the second washing. It is important to stuff the product before this – it makes the washing process easier and helps to retain the shape of the product. Dry the product in a well-ventilated place away from heat sources and polish it the next day with a soft cloth.
If you are unused to or feel uncertain about an agent, we suggest you try it out on a concealed surface first (the bottom of a case for example) before continuing to treat the entire product. It would be best to conduct this test the day before carrying out the whole maintenance job.
First, remove all dust and dirt, especially on exposed surfaces and along seams. In some places it is best to use an old soft toothbrush, for example, or a larger soft brush. This will avoid the danger of oiling in dust and dirt. Stuff the product into shape with suitable material. if using newspaper for stuffing, place it in plastic bags to avoid staining the lining.
Then, wash the product thoroughly with saddle soap, using a sponge. Soak the sponge thoroughly, lather up the sponge with saddle soap and work it in over the whole product so that it becomes evenly spread everywhere at the same time. Then go over the entire product with saddle soap thoroughly once more. Allow the moisture to penetrate evenly over the entire product for a little while, then dry off any excess suds.
Finally, oil in the product with a suitable leather oil. At Böle we use leather balsam or Ekol leather oil. Use a soft sponge and a small soft brush for less accessible places. Ekol leather oil should be used sparingly. If thin leather (1.5 mm or less) or seams are treated with too much oil, the oil can penetrate the leather and reach the lining. Leather balm decreases this risk, it can be used for all types of leather, it does not darken the leather and it is easy to use. However, if you wish to darken the colour of natural leather, Ekol leather oil will provide the desired result, especially if you apply leather finish after oiling.
Allow the product to dry overnight. Hanging the product is to be preferred, in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources. Polish the product the following day with a soft cloth and try to work up a soft lustre.