Understanding Buckskin Leather Handbags
Buckskin Leather: Dig Deeper– Buckskin leather is a hide that comes from male deer, elk or moose. The tanning process uses animal brains or other natural fatty elements to alter the leather. The resulting supple, suede-like hide is usually smoked heavily to prevent it from rotting. It’s tough, durable and cannot be mass-produced.
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Buckskin leather handbags are soft and pliable accessories that come from the hides of male deer, moose or elk. The hides are quite porous, tough, durable and tear-resistant, however, they do require a certain degree of care and understanding. A good place to start is getting a solid knowledge base about what is buckskin leather.
Understanding buckskin leather handbags:
- The fleshing or skinning of the animal must be completed with care. Any cuts or nicks in it which will be visible in the finished buckskin must be avoided.
- Next, the hide is cleaned and dressed in a brine made from animal brains or egg yolks. Also referred to as brain tanning. The fatty oils from this organic matter are a fantastic source of natural conditioning for the lifetime of the hide.
- Next, these oils sealed into the leather through a process of stretch drying. The hides, saturated in the brain tanning brine, continuously pulled and stretched until the leather is dry. This allows every fiber in the hide to absorb the fatty oils, keeping the leather well lubricated for many years to come.
- Once the buckskin is dry, the leather will be soft and pliable.
Understanding Buckskin Leather Handbags
- The smoking process follows the stretch drying stage. Smoking preserves the hide, protecting it from aging and giving it its typical dark honey color.
- Smoking is also a good form of waterproofing. This allows the smoke to hide to be washable. Un-smoked hide can’t be washed or come in contact with water.
- Because of this complex organic tanning and smoking process, buckskin leather handbags are more expensive and valuable than conventional leather purses. Buckskin can’t be commercially mass-produced.
- Be wary of imitation buckskin leather handbags. Some leather manufacturers label their hides buckskin, but they may be made of low-grade sheepskin, tanned the chromium sulfate method. Chromium tanning is a cheaper method that damages the hide’s fibrous structure, weakening the integrity of the leather and making it more susceptible to wear and deterioration.
How to care for and clean your buckskin leather handbags:
- Unsmoked buckskin leather will stain if it gets wet.
- Smoked buckskin has substantial water-resistance, however, do try to avoid unnecessary exposure to moisture.
- For most dust, dirt, and stains, simply wipe off your buckskin leather handbags with a damp, clean cotton cloth.
- Use only cold water.
- Be gentle when rubbing or working on the leather, otherwise, dye transfer can become a problem.
- Allow it to air dry naturally, indoors. Avoid hair dryers, radiators or other heat sources.
- Avoid most conventional cleaners and conditioners. The processing method used for buckskin leather makes it unique, both in its texture and in its maintenance.
- We can’t recommend a safe and effective cleaner, as we haven’t tested anything on buckskin leather yet.
- Nevertheless, if you decide to use one, we recommend testing it on a small inconspicuous area of the bag. Watch out for discoloration or dye transfer. If you see any signs of these, take it to a leather care professional.
- Beeswax can be used as an additional waterproofing protector. This isn’t really necessary when the purse is new, but over time, the protection provided by the smoking process could use a little help.
- When not in use, be sure to store your buckskin leather purse in a box or cotton dust bag. It needs to breathe. Never put any leather products into plastic bags where air circulation cut off.
- Don’t fold or stress the purse in any way. Allow it to rest naturally, with plenty of space and nothing sitting on top of it, pressing it under its weight.
- Tuck the strap inside, especially if there’s a chain or hardware on it. This will prevent it from scratching the leather.