ABOUT OUR LEATHER
The Connect Collection is made from Semi Aniline Semi Vegetable Tanned Full Grain Leather, with feature panels of Aniline Italian Tanned Bubble leather that originates from New Zealand. These leathers are sourced from Leather Working Group Gold Standard Tanneries. I'm are incredibly proud of these leathers. I spent an enormous amount of time researching and selecting our leathers. Swatch after swatch was laid out over months, compared to others, examined in different lights and then given a simulated punish testing (think fingernails, keys, concrete and water) as I didn't just want our leather to look incredible, I wanted it to stand up to day to day use, and not disappoint it's owner in any way. It would have been easier to settle earlier in this search, as towards the end I had amassed a collection of over 100 rejected black leathers, but I couldn't - a perfectionist at heart, I wanted it to meet my high standards, and more than that, I wanted to feel confident that what I was presenting for people to consider purchasing was something that I felt confident was the best possible version bag I could create. Our Tan is custom tanned and much care went into perfecting the Tan colour to bring to life the perfect rich tan.
Full Grain Leather:
So what is full grain leather? This means it has not been buffed and stamped with an artificial grain like some leathers, some leathers are even split into layers and coated with a pigment once they are stamped with an artificial grain. In full grain leather scars and imperfections remain part of the hide, and are part of the leather and we think this is a beautiful characteristic. There will be wrinkles and there will be scars... that's the reality of real leather. Any product that doesn't have wrinkles or scars either isn't a true 'full grain leather' or has very high wastage, meaning they are only using the very best sections of the leather, and the rest are being wasted... which isn't good for the environment.
I want our customers to adore there bag and be truly happy with what they have purchased, please see below a gallery showing how our leather can vary and what you would expect your bag could look like.
Love your leather and it will love you back!
Most leather lovers will understand that the information below is very standard for taking care of quality leather - don’t be overwhelmed, it’s all just a bit of caution and common sense.
Leather is a natural product and therefore each piece will differ with grain and scars. The colour of every piece can differ slightly. While we have put extensive effort into selecting leathers that balance the beauty of leather with durability required for a bag used daily, the leather will wrinkle or crease and stretch as you use it. This is not considered a fault, we consider any weathering of leather part of the charm. The leather may also scratch, creating a well loved look. You will notice that over time scratches disappear back into the leather, especially after conditioning with a leather conditioner. This is a mark of a good quality leather. It is expected that high use areas such as handles and corners will experience higher wear and tear.
Should you get your bag dirty (let’s face it, these bags are intended for life including motherhood, so it will happen), wipe with a damp (not soaking) soft cloth. Wipe gently, don’t rub hard, rinsing the cloth and wringing it out until just damp if the bag is very dirty. We don't recommend using baby wipes as most contain ingredients that can harm the leather and ruin the finish. If you are out and stuck use tissues, napkins, toilet paper or anything else you can get your hands on rather than baby wipes. If you have an issue you can't rectify with this damp cloth method get in touch with us, we are more than happy to offer some advice for your issue rather than you risk harming your leather trying other methods.
Please ensure to keep all pens, textas and highlighters away from your bag. It will soak in and it won’t come out, particulary to light leather.
Foundation, perfume, body or hand creams can stain the leather.
Be careful not to scrape it on rough surfaces such as concrete or brick, and do not leave it in the sun or hot places for too long as the leather will dry out. Likewise try not to get it wet. A light sprinkle if you dash through the rain shouldn’t cause you too much harm, but its best to dry it off with a soft material as soon as you can. If it gets saturated the leather may change in appearance. If you bag does get wet, absorb as much moisture as possible with a soft cloth, stuff it lightly with paper (not newspaper - ink!) to hold its shape and dry at room temperature. Never use a hairdryer or place near a heater or in the sun. It’s important to stuff it carefully with just enough paper to create a nice shape, but not overstuff it, as it will keep the shape it dries as.
The inside lining can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth. The removable lining once removed can be gently hand washed. If the inside of the bottle pockets get damp, be sure to store them unzipped so they can dry out.
The change mat can be spot cleaned or gently hand washed.
Toots + Co bags have been designed to carry everything you need for one or more children, and to be strong and practical. However, take care not to overfill your bag, as overloading in volume and weight may cause stretching and sagging, and will be considered misuse, not a manufacturing fault.
Overloading weight or volume may also cause the bag to rip.
Overloading in volume will put unnecessary pressure on your zip, and overtime will cause your zip to stretch. This may mean that your zip will then separate through the zip teeth over time when zipped up. If it's hard work to do your zip up, eg: you are forcing it or it's harder than usual you have too much in it and you are putting too much pressure on the zip.
When accessing backpacks that are not resting on the ground, ie: hanging from a pram or hook or on your back - take care to place a hand under the backpack to take the weight, otherwise as the zip opens the weight of the bag places pressure on the zip pull causing it to stretch over time or the teeth misshape - this will cause problems with the functionality of the zip.
If you will be storing your bag for an extended period we recommend that you stuff it loosely with paper (not newspaper) or cloth/or a towel, close all zippers and clasps and store it in a pillowcase to protect it from dust. Store the tote laying on its side, with nothing on top of it, the backpack on its back with nothing on top of it and the clutch face up with nothing on top of it.
We recommend using a protective cream on your bag every 6 months or so to keep leather supple and ensure you get many, many years use out of your bag. We have tested and recommend Collonil Water Stop Colours, it conditions the leather while maintaining the matt appearance of our leathers - Note: it is essential you only use the 'colourless version'. Details of the product can be found HERE. Other care brands may leave a temporary or permanent sheen to the leather, please ensure you patch test in an inconspicuous place should you choose to use another brand.