Dare to care - How to look after your bag

Caring for your bag is the easiest way to maintain its original beauty and keep it in top condition through its lifetime guarantee. We’re fans of responsible fashion, which means buying fewer, better quality things, and doing our part by caring for what we do buy so it lasts. As the grande dame of fashion, Vivienne Westwood puts it “Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

All Sarah Haran bags are handmade from supple, full-grain leather, most often used in luxury fashion because of its quality and softness. It’s known for being durable and ages particularly well, so with the right care, you’ll be sure it stays in that sweet spot between ‘characterful’ and ‘well-turned-out dressing’ found in all the best working wardrobes.

Sarah Haran’s tips on how to care for your bag:

Start with quality leather care products. Pedag is an environmentally-friendly and natural range that’s gentle and nourishing on leather; or we recommend Collonil, an equally excellent product available in an aerosol spray for ease of use. You can buy both in our shop here. These ranges keep in the natural oils that make leather supple and soft.

Protect, protect, protect! A grained leather needs to be protected before its first outing to create a layer against the elements, scratches and dirt. Even if you’ve had your bag for years, it’s never too late to start protecting it, so get on in there. Regularly top up too, as the benefits wear off. Our Pedag protector gives an invisible and breathable resistant shield.

Keep it clean. There are few things as personal to a woman as her handbag, which means they come everywhere with us. Cleaning off grime regularly is important; we recommend every six to eight weeks if you’re using your bag daily – but spot clean as and when you need.

For your regular clean, first remove loose dirt with a lint roller or cloth. Then moisten a clean brush with lukewarm water and spray it with Pedag’s Pure Cleanser 1. Use a back-and-forth motion over the surface of your bag until you get a rich foam. Wipe dry with a clean cloth and buff into a shine if you’re treating smooth leather or brush out to restore suede.

TOP TIP - make sure you cleanse the entire surface of the leather so there aren’t colour differences when it dries, and always let your leather dry at room temperature.

Condition your leather. Use a clean cloth to spread Pedag’s Pure Conditioner 2 evenly over the entire surface of your bag so there’s no discolouration after it’s dried, before rubbing in gently. A good conditioner will nourish and restore flexibility in the leather fibres, helping to preserve its supple condition.

Use a water-proofer. Pedag’s Pure Natural Protector is 98% biodegradable so is an environmentally friendly water-proof option; you can also use it when your leather’s ‘wet’ after cleaning to save time. Spray all over then rub in gently with a clean cloth so it penetrates the material, before removing the excess with an absorbent cloth. If water gets onto your bag, it’ll remove natural oils as it evaporates, which can make leather hard and brittle – so always waterproof!

TOP TIP – if you’re treating a multicolour surface start with the lightest colour. Use a different cloth for each colour to prevent colour bleed.

For speedier conditioning. Collonil Carbon Leather Care uses more than 90% natural ingredients and can be sprayed straight onto your bag, before polishing with a fine cloth.

Spillage disaster? Don’t panic. Here’s how to treat deep stains. Spray Pedag’s Pure Cleanser directly on the stain, allowing it to absorb for a few minutes before buffing off. Speed is key here so the sooner you can treat your bag the better. For more persistent marks - like biro leaks - we advise turning to professional miracle workers like The Handbag Spa.

TOP TIP – hand cream is a major culprit for oily, dark, grease stains around the handles. Prevention is the best remedy so make sure your protector is well applied to this area. Corn starch applied quickly enough can absorb the oils in hand cream and prevent marking.