Care of clogs and leather goods
1. Unwrap them when they arrive
Clogs sent through the post will arrive packed in bubble wrap. You should remove them from this as soon as they arrive and let them breathe: this is because even very small amounts of residual moisture in the wood of new clogs can become trapped in the plastic and cause mould and discolouration over time.
2. Keep them dry if you can
You should try to keep clogs and leather goods out of the rain as much as possible. Vegetable tanned leather (from which most of my leatherwork is made) will deteriorate over time if constantly exposed to repeated wetting and drying; and heavy wetting may discolour some leathers.
Repeated cycles of wetting and drying will make the wood on your clogs more prone to cracking.
3. If they get wet, don’t try to dry them off too quickly
The worst thing you can do for wet clogs is put them next to – or on top of! – the radiator. This risks cracking the wood. Just let them dry slowly in a ‘normal’ environment such as a porch or hallway.
Standing water should be brushed or wiped off leather goods or clogs that have got very wet or saturated. After that, just leave things to dry out naturally – they all do, eventually. It’s a bad idea to rub them vigorously and turn the hairdryer on them. Your own skin wouldn’t respond well to that kind of treatment and neither does leather!
4. Treat them occasionally
Clog soles are varnished and wax polished before dispatch. If the soles are undyed, simply apply a beeswax polish every now and again to keep the wood looking good and to enhance its water resistance. If you have black soles which are looking scuffed and sad, the blacking can be touched up with Indian ink, any suitable wood dye, or even a black marker pen. You should wax them afterwards to seal in the dye.
On standard clogs, the ‘chrome split’ leather has a durable, surface-applied finish. However, it cannot really be revived with polishes if it becomes very scuffed or worn.
For the leather goods I make, and for clogs made from vegetable tanned leather or the softer more expensive leathers, shoe creams and leathercare products designed for the job are fine. If in doubt, Sedgwicks Leathercare is a tried and tested substance for keeping veg tanned leather conditioned. Simply apply a thin layer with a rag every now and again, more often if the leather has been exposed to lots of heat, cold, water or a combination of all three. Leave to soak in for a few hours then buff the leather with a soft cloth.
Suede linings should not require further treatment and can even be spolied by the application of creams and balms.