Leather Care

It is important to take care of your leather, and with regular use the natural oils from handling will insure that it ages beautifully and lasts a lifetime.

Friday & River leather goods and accessories are bench-made in San Diego, California USA. We source our leather from leading US, European and South American tanneries. All of our leather products are made to look better with age. Every piece is meant to establish its own wear pattern and patina that reflects the lifestyle of the user. Each piece of leather is special and possesses its own marks, color, grain, etc, and may vary depending on the piece it is cut from. These are not imperfections, but characteristics that make each item a one-of-a-kind.

Below are a few general tips on how to care for your leather. Note that any treatment should be done sparingly and may change the color of your item.

The true beauty of leather is that it is not meant to be perfect – it darkens with use and gains character and a wonderful patina over time. Our most important tip is to simply let that happen – don’t rush it, and you’ll not only enjoy the process but the lasting look and feel. We like to use them right off of the work bench and let them evolve from there.

How do I clean my leather?

Simply take a lightly damp clean cloth, wipe your item clean and let it air dry. Leather can stain and scratch, but it is meant to take on wear with use over time which adds to the character and patina of the piece.

What if my leather gets wet?

Let it air dry out of direct sunlight. Do not use a hair dryer or anything to speed up the process as it may damage and crack the leather.

Do I need to oil or use a leather care product on my item?

If you use your piece regularly you should not need to oil it. If you should feel that you need to condition your leather, it is recommended that you do so sparingly, once or twice a year, and apply a minimal amount of leather treatment when necessary.

What if my leather is dry or cracking?

This should only happen if you don’t use, or somehow neglect your leather item for a long period of time.  If leather is dry, rub with a light coating of a leather-conditioning product such as Friday & River Leather Conditioner, neatsfoot oil, mink oil, Obenauf’s Leather Oil, Feibing’s 4-Way Care, or Lexol Leather Conditioner.

Natural Veg Tan Leather EvolutionNatural Vegetable Tanned Leather
Vegetable tanned leather is treated with tannins found in nature from plants and will darken and take on wonderful unique characteristics over time. On occasion we will set our natural vegetable tanned leather pieces out in the sun for several hours, which darkens them a bit, then rub on a bit of neatsfoot or our all-natural F&R Leather Conditioner before use. This darkens the leather and gives it light sheen. Sometimes we will rub a bit of paraffin or beeswax on the edges and rub them with a canvas cloth to rejuvenate them a bit as well. See how natural vegetable tanned leather evolves here


Horween Brown Chromexcel WalletOiled Leathers (Horween Chromexcel / Dublin / Essex / Cavalier, Oiled Nubuck)

Leathers that are treated and “stuffed” with oil during the tanning process need little or no treatment at all. The oils and waxes that are already in the leather will keep it rich and supple over the life of the item. If an oiled leather requires conditioning, use a very light coat of neatsfoot oil or our all-natural F&R Leather Conditioner to rejuvenate the leather. If needed, apply additional coat slowly over a few days, allowing each coat to absorb and set for at least one day. Oiled leathers will darken and patina over time.

Horween Shell Cordovan, Japanese Shell Cordovan, Italian Shell Cordovan

Highly regarded as one of the most coveted leathers in the world because of it's smooth lustrous finish, durability and patina patter, shell cordovan wallets, card wallets, billfolds and shoes are to be treated with special care. Shell cordovan is made from the hind quarter of a horse and is treated over 6 months with a very special vegetable tanning process. Due to the very special finish of this leather we reccommend using a wax based polish or special cordovan cream formulated for this kind of leather. For simple cleaning, we recommend wiping your piece with a lightly damp cloth. 

Friday and River Natural Leather ConditionerFriday & River All-Natural Leather
Our premium Leather Conditioner is a specially formulated blend of natural seed oils, lipids and beeswax, made to protect, preserve, restore and condition your leather.