Caring For Your Man & Bear Accessories
All our handcrafted accessories in the Man & Bear collection are made using the very best materials available: premium quality sustainable leather, precision turned metals, and solid walnut wood, rich in natural character. A great deal of care and attention goes into handcrafting our products but to ensure the remain looking and working their best they do require some specialist care from time to time. Our products are made to last, and when cared for correctly only get better with age. To help ensure your Man & Bear products look just as smart in five years’ time as they did when they left our workshop, follow our helpful care guidelines below.
How to Polish Brass and Bronze Cufflinks
Our range of personalised cufflinks are made from precision turned brass, aluminium bronze and stainless steel. Our cufflinks are meticulously hand polished and are handled wearing cotton gloves in our workshop to prevent marking the surfaces. Each cufflink is wrapped in tissue and packaged in a leather pouch for protection, complete with an anti-tarnish strip.
Tarnish is a completely natural process for un-lacquered metals, particularly brass and bronze, and it is very common for your cufflinks to need a polish from time to time. Tarnish looks like a patchy dull grey coating on the surface on the metal and occurs when the combination of air and moisture causes them to oxidise – the rate of this is dependent on the atmosphere they have been stored in and how frequently they have been handled. Whenever your cufflinks are beginning to look a little duller than usual a quick polish will restore them to their original shine.
- Source the best metal polish available to you - we recommend Brasso but any high quality polish will be suitable.
- With a soft cotton cloth simply apply the polish to the face of the cufflink and rub lightly until coated.
- Buff dry with a clean cloth until suitably polished.
Our stainless steel products will be free from rust or tarnish due to the properties of the metal so do not require the same level of upkeep, however they are not completely stain-proof and can gather dirt over time. As necessary, use a soft cloth and gentle soap to clean away any dust or dirt. Be sure to clean along the grain to prevent scratching the metal and avoid soaking in water for very long. When finished, dry with a soft towel to prevent water spots.
How to Look After Leather
We carefully source the best quality leather to make our personalised wallets and travel accessories. Our leather is a bi-product of the meat industry and the tanneries we use utilise a veg-tanning process, using bark and other natural materials to prepare the leather hides, which means no harmful chemicals are needed. Natural veg-tanned leathers change over time, softening with use and developing a unique patina, darkening in colour.
Leather contains a number of natural oils but some of these oils can get lost in production after the leather has been cut, shaped and assembled, meaning they will need to be replenished. This is dependent on how the leather item is used, for example a leather wallet that is handled regularly will absorb oil from the skin and will last longer before needing to be conditioned, whereas a less frequently used item may begin to feel stiff quicker.
Caring for your Man & Bear leather accessories is simple and won’t take very long. All you will need is some leather wax conditioner and a soft cloth. We recommend a natural beeswax-based conditioner.
- First, apply a very light coat of conditioner with the cloth or your fingers to the smooth side of the leather and gently rub in a circular motion, making sure to reach all creases.
- Leave your leather to absorb all the conditioner - this can take between five and twenty minutes. A little goes a long way so there’s no need for a heavy coating.
- Once dried, buff with the soft cloth until your leather has a desired shine.
We recommend repeating the process around every six months, or whenever the leather begins to feel dried out. Please note, our leather is not water resistant and may stain when wet. If it does get wet simply wipe off excess water and allow to dry naturally in airy surroundings – do not apply unnatural heat like a hairdryer.
How to Care for Wooden Products
We have a selection of accessories made from solid walnut wood: a rich dark wood with a beautiful natural grain. Being a natural material, wood can begin to look a little tired without the correct nourishment, so occasional product care is necessary.
All of our wooden items are given an oil treatment before they leave our workshop to ensure they are looking their best when they reach you, and they won’t need attention until they begin to dry out. We use Danish oil to treat our wooden products but olive oil or similar will work just as well.
- Oil is best applied directly to the wood with a lint-free cloth – an old, clean t-shirt would work well. Apply generously to the wood, rubbing in a circular motion until the wood stops absorbing the oil.
- Allow the oil to soak into the surface for 10-20 minutes then wipe away the excess with a cloth in the direction of the grain.
- Let the wood dry for at least six hours, or preferably overnight, at room temperature and not in direct sunlight.
You should only need to treat your wood products once every six months to a year, or longer if they’re still in a well-nourished condition.