If you’re using your Duckworthy products as intended, then inevitably you’re going to see your waxed canvas and leather gear begin to take on the scars and character of your travels. The unique wrinkling of the waxed canvas and patinas of the leather are expected and will give your products a story of journeys that only you can retell. With a little know-how and the proper care, your Duckworthy products can take a beating, stand the test of time, and look good doing it. Let’s face it, these are heirloom pieces! Over the course of normal use, the canvas may begin to lose its waterproofing capabilities as the wax is worn from the cotton fibers, and the leather may begin to dry. But, don’t fret! This is expected and normal and is nothing a little T.L.C. can’t fix. The below care guide will give you insights into the simple, yet effective tips you’ll need to keep your Duckworthy products in shape for the long haul.
SADDLE LEATHER CARE
Leather is an incredibly tough material and can truly stand the test of time, which makes it perfect for legacy-worthy items. It’s important to remember, however, that leather is, in fact, the hide of an animal and just like your own skin, it requires care to maintain its softness, flexibility, and moisture. Luckily, this is fairly easy to accomplish. For the leather portions of your products, wipe regularly with a slightly damp soft cloth as needed after use. Every 3-6 months of consistent use, clean and condition the leather using a high-quality leather cleaner and conditioner product. There are a number of great leather cleaning and conditioning products on the market, and it is important to spot test in a hidden area prior to using the brand you choose on any of your leather products, as the results of any single product may vary slightly based on leather condition and type. Lexol makes a great product that I use on all my leather from duffels, to sofas, to car seats and is the “name” most people immediately gravitate to when it comes to leather cleaning and conditioning products. Once the leather is cleaned, conditioning is necessary to keep the leather from drying out. Apply a leather conditioner (again, Lexol is what I use), let sit a few minutes and wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Do this every 3 to 6 months (depending upon use and wear) and your leather will continue to look great! The difference can be seen immediately.
WAXED CANVAS CARE
Duckworthy chose duck waxed canvas as the base material for our products because it not only has a timeless, classic look when paired with saddle leather, but it is also an incredibly hardy, technical fabric that can last a lifetime right alongside your leather. For more information on our duck waxed canvas and waxed canvas origins, check out this article! The waxed canvas portions of your Duckworthy products are one of the easiest to regularly maintain. Simply brush off any loose debris and spot clean using a cloth as needed with cold water and a mild detergent. It is important not to expose your waxed canvas to excessive heat or excessively hot water, as the wax could liquify and prematurely limit the weatherproof capabilities of the canvas. Over an extended period of rough use (a year or more), you may see that the wax within the cotton fibers has worn and water does not "bead" up and roll off as readily. When you get to this point, a new coat of wax is necessary if you wish to maintain the weatherproof functionality and “crinkled” effects of use. There are a number of waxes available specific to use on cotton fabrics (Martexin or Otter Wax are good options, and Duckworthy is working on getting our own!). To apply most fabric waxes (note some waxes may have differing application instructions), rub them into the fabric with a lint-free cloth or applicator brush and use a blow dryer or heat gun to lightly heat the wax to a liquid state, which allows it to further penetrate the fibers and create an even finish. Let the wax cure at room temperature for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer (usually 24-48 hours) and you're good to go!
Your new Duckworthy waxed canvas and leather products may be somewhat stiff when they arrive, but they are most certainly not intended to stay that way. Their continued use will break-in the materials and your products will pick up scratches, scars, and stories over time. With a proper care regimen, your products will become worn in, not worn out and will leave a lasting impression for decades to come.