All of SALT Co. products are made from full grain vegetable-tanned leather. While vegetable-tanned leather is very durable and long lasting, it does require regular maintenance and conditioning to keep it looking its best and to protect it from moisture as well as from drying out.
When you first receive your SALT Co. product, give it an initial inspection as you take in the rich and sweet new vegetable-tanned leather smell. Now it is time to get to work!
Remove all straps taking note how they were assembled. Also disassemble the shoulder strap and pad. Using a nonabrasive rag, liberally coat all external surfaces (including and especially the back side of straps and the underside of any loops) with a leather conditioner made only of natural oils and waxes.
We recommend a very heavy application, or multiple applications, to the underside of all the belts and a light application to the underside of the flap. You do not need to condition the interior of your bag. However if you choose to condition the inside, do so lightly so the conditioning product is thoroughly absorbed into the leather and does not transfer to the item you will be carrying. Liberally apply conditioning product to the raw edges of the leather, allow it to penetrate, then rub vigorously with your application rag to work the waxes into the fibers and to bring the edges to a polish.
A good conditioner has a combination of light oils, heavy oils and waxes. The lighter oils will penetrate the leather and lubricate and soften the leather fibers to prevent cracking while the heavier oils and waxes will remain on or near the surface and provide protection from water. Water can damage vegetable tanned leather, so be sure to cover all surfaces liberally—we recommend you make multiple passes massaging the conditioner into the leather to ensure adequate coverage.
Our recommended product is DropForge Leather Cream, but there are many other good options if you prefer. DO NOT use compounds that contain mineral/petroleum oils as they will damage the leather over time. We also do not recommend the use of saddle soap.
As you condition the leather you will notice that it will darken as the oils penetrate, “wetting” the fibers. This darkening is temporary and the leather will lighten back up a bit over the next few days.
After conditioning, allow your bag to sit someplace warm to allow the oils to penetrate. The surface may appear dull initially, but a light polish with a soft, dry rag, or just everyday use, will bring the leather to a nice shine.
Repeat regularly or whenever the leather appears dry.
Taking these measures will ensure your bag reflects the craftsmanship and design SALT Co. is proud to provide.