Looking After Your Leather: Suede Edition

Looking After Your Leather: Suede Edition

The arrival of the Hendrix: Cognac, crafted from 100% heavy suede cow leather, introduces a new feel to our line and with that, comes new care requirements.

We strive to design investment pieces built to last, but a little love and care goes a long way when keeping your BODA looking as seamless as the day you bought it, especially with materials as delicate as suede. 

But first, a little history…

The discovery of suede leather can be dated back to the eighteenth century, where Swedish tanners found that imperfect hides could be reversed, with the split hide resulting in a soft and pliable leather. This was used to engineer soft gloves, popular among the French aristocracy of the time. 

Notable for their sophisticated tanning methods, at a similar time the North American Indians recognised its possibilities for other uses, leading them to produce buckskin and reversed deer-hide jackets, featuring napped finishes. This is a mechanical finishing technique that is ever-prominent in achieving the luxurious texture of today's suede jackets. 

Since then, the suede jacket has gained associations with hippie, cowboy and now mainstream fashion, with its premium feel and versatile characteristics popularising itself in the luxury fashion domain. 

How to clean your Hendrix: Cognac

The most important thing you need to know is that suede leather both absorbs water and picks up dirt extremely easily. A quality waterproofing spray to use before wear and a suede brush to remove dirt particles from the jacket in good time, will be your best friend. After all, prevention is key! 

We always advise you to send your jacket to a specialist cleaner to be dry cleaned. However, with minor dirt and day-to-day signs of wear, there are a few at home remedies you can try… 

With dry mud and dirt, reach for your two-sided suede brush, using the wire side to gently remove the stain and the soft side to buff and restore the texture. Remember, you should always brush in the direction of the grain, only ever use the wire brush when the leather is dry and in a gentle motion to avoid causing irreversible damage to your jacket. 

Soak up any spilt fluid on your jacket with paper towels but avoid pressing these into the suede as it will cause it to absorb more of the liquid. With any stains left behind, mix a solution of 50/50 water and vinegar and dab with a sponge.

Absorbent substances such as baking powder, cornstarch or talcum powder, can be used to treat your jacket overnight, absorbing any grease and stains. Following this, brush and repeat if necessary. This is great for lifting oil stains and treating the collar on your jacket, which is likely to need more frequent attention. 

Steaming & drying your jacket

Steaming your suede is an effective way to remove dirt and bacteria as it opens up the pores of the leather. It’s also a great way to allow any creases and wrinkles to fall out. You can steam clean your jacket at home by hanging it up in the bathroom with a hot shower running or using a steam iron. It's important you don’t wet the suede or apply direct heat, so when ironing be extremely careful. Iron your jacket inside out, on the lowest heat, with a cotton covering placed over the suede. 

You should allow the jacket to air dry outside in a warm breeze but not under direct sunlight.  

Can the Hendrix: Cognac be worn in the rain? 

Although we’d love seeing the Hendrix: Cognac styled year-round, suede leather and rain aren’t the best of friends. Water marks suede easily, so unless you first coat your jacket with a quality waterproofing spray, the best advice would be to only wear your jacket in dry conditions. Waterproofing spray will protect from light rain, however, with frequent wear, you should aim to reapply this every four weeks. If your jacket encounters watermarks, don’t panic, they can be removed. Mist your jacket with a spritz of water and gently soak up the moisture with paper towels. Applying excess water to the suede can wash out all the natural oils, so be sure to handle it with care. 

Things to avoid

  • Leather polish

Unlike with other leathers, polish should never be applied to suede as it will impair the appearance of the jacket. 

  • Wire hangers 

When storing your Hendrix: Cognac, use a shaped hanger suitable for the size of your jacket. You can find BODA hangers available for storing your jackets here

  • Dryers 

Although it can be safe to put your Hendrix: Cognac in the dryer for a very short period on a low temperature, there’s a risk of shrinking and damaging your jacket. We advise sticking to the good old fashioned way of letting your jacket air dry. 

Before applying any product to your jacket, apply a patch test to a small section of your jacket to ensure you’re happy with its effect. If you have any further questions on how to take care of your leather, our client care team are available at hello@bodaskins.com