Our gear is built to provide years of enjoyment while aging gracefully. With only a little care to keep our natural materials in top condition your favorite items will keep serving you well for decades.
Paddles, Straps and Tawses
These items are almost exclusively made using vegetable tanned leather and thus need to be conditioned more often than other pieces. Once a moth should be plenty unless the item has seen extreme conditions or cleaning.
The best conditioner to use is FEED, our own signature blend of natural waxes and oils. Every piece of veg-tan gear is heavily treated with this conditioner before it leaves the workshop and it is designed with the long-term health of the leather in mind. Other options include Pecard's Leather Dressing (Classic or Antique) and Fiebing's Aussie Leather Conditioner. Be aware these both contain petroleum products that can gum up the fibers of the leather and leave the piece feeling soggy.
Use a clean, soft cloth or your hands to apply a coating of leather conditioner to the toy. Allow this to absorb into the hide for 12 to 24 hours and then buff the piece with a new, dry cloth. For very thick items , like the Judicial Straps, we suggest a second application.
Immediately after applying conditioner the leather darkens considerably but that will even out as the oils work their way deeper into the toy and distribute themselves throughout the fibers. Over time this buffing action will also further burnish the surface and produce a natural shine.
On some toys, like tawses, the flesh side will be visible. Only apply the conditioner to the skin side of the leather. It will not harm the function of the toy but the wax used in most conditioners can cause and unsightly matting of the suede.
If your item gets dirty you should treat it like a good pair of expensive shoes.
With a horse hair brush, go over the entire surface to remove any dry dirt. Follow this with a light coating of conditioner. This will help to lift dirt and even out light staining. Allow it to absorb and then buff the entire surface with a clean, soft cloth.
If your gear is heavily soiled or stained, you may need to use saddle soap. This process requires some care and can damage the piece if done improperly. Please only use this method if it's necessary, as in the case of blood exposure.
Start by removing all Chicago screws and other hardware that is removable. Remember that most D-rings are integral and cannot be removed without damaging the piece.
As described above, remove any dry dirt or dust with a horse hair brush.
Open your tin of saddle soap and wet the surface slightly. You should only need a teaspoon or so of water. Use your brush to work up a good lather and apply this to every surface. You do not want a water lather. If it is watery, keep mixing.
Do not scrub this into your piece. Use light, circular motions. Heavy scrubbing while wet will adversely affect the natural burnishing and patina and may even result in surface damage in some cases.
Dry your brush thoroughly to avoid mold.
Allow the piece to dry for a full 24 hours or as long as it takes for the piece to no longer feel damp. Do not stretch or flex the leather at this stage. There is still a lot of moisture in the hide at this point that will make it very susceptible to creasing and marking.
You'll notice a white, dusty coating of soap on the exterior of your item. Brush this away lightly with your dry horsehair brush.
Condition as described above. Because the soap has pulled oils out of the hide, it is advisable to do at least two applications on thinner pieces and three on thicker items.
Collars, Cuffs, and Leads
Handling, cleaning, and maintaining our signature restraints can be done in much the same way as described above. The few small differences in treatment come from the hides used in their construction.
For the exterior of our standard models we have chosen to use Horween Chromexcel, a leather known for beauty and longevity. The hide is saturated with a hot blend of oils and waxes at the tannery that makes it very resistant to both water and surface damage.
The interior utilizes Bridle leather from Wickett & Craig. This leather is also oiled and waxed but to a much lesser degree. This makes for a more dry and comfortable feeling on the skin while offering beautiful aging properties.
The best way to keep your collars and other restraints healthy is to get them in your hands and on bodies.
Bridle leather was chosen for the interior because it will breath in the wearer, absorbing and being conditioned by the natural oils present on the skin. The interior of each restraint will burnish as it is worn, resulting in a deep, rich patina that is unique to you.
If they are only being used a few times a year, a light treatment with conditioner every couple months will keep them healthy.
Light scratches on Chromexcel can be buffed out easily. Using a soft cloth or horsehair brush, rub the area to produce heat and bring more waxes and oils to the surface. For scratches that are a bit more stubborn, a small amount of FEED conditioner buffed into the area can help reduce their appearance.
For heavy scratches that have damaged the fibers of the hide, use the above method to reduce their appearance and accept them with pride. Marks like these are proof of use and our items weren't made to sit on shelves.
Do not use our handles for insertion
Do not use conditioner on the falls
Chrome tanned leather is softer and more stable than veg-tan and the other hides we use. It requires far less maintenance and applying heavy conditioners on this type of leather will result in staining, discoloration, and changes in the feel. It won't destroy the leather but the waxes and oils will weigh down the hides and gum up the fibers.
Once again, the best treatment is use on willing and enthusiastic partners.
If you absolutely feel compelled to condition your falls hold the flogger in one hand with the leather pointing downward. Twist and twirl the handle so the falls open up and very light mist them with Lexol. Understand that even this small amount can stain and darken lighter leathers. This will even out and fade with time but can be quite distressing at first.
The short answer is that there is no good way to sterilize chrome-tan leather that will not damage the hide and eventually destroy your gear.
In the absence of a perfect solution for disinfecting floggers, your best weapons are sunlight and airflow. Microbes thrive in moisture and darkness.
Store your floggers somewhere they can breath. Not all of us can display our gear proudly but it is very important that you not forget your items at the bottom of a toy bag or wrapped up in the back of a dark closet. After playing, hang or lay your floggers out so air can get between the falls. The leather will have absorbed some moisture during your sessions and drying this out will prevent it becoming hospitable to microbes.
UV light is highly destructive to microbial life but will also damage the pigments and fibers of your leather in the long term. Laying your flogger out with the falls spread open in a sunny spot is a great way to disinfect the leather and can aid in the drying process. It will take years but, it's important to understand that this method can result in color fading.
If you're still concerned about microbial transfer, the best option is to dedicate each toy to one partner and avoid the issue all together.
Delrin requires little to no maintenance. After use just wipe down the surface with your disinfectant of choice and allow to air dry.
Do not bend rattan canes by hand or throw them without striking a soft target. Over-flexing puts undue stress on the fibers of the cane and leads to shortened life and breakage in all rattan canes from all makers. It is of course fine to lightly check the flexibility of the cane lightly but the vast majority of breaks are due to this mistreatment.
Rattan is a natural reed and needs to be kept moist to remain supple and flexible. Our oil treatment infuses each piece to the core and rarely needs refreshing even in the most arid environments.
Every two months simply wipe the cane down with raw linseed oil and allow it to soak in over night. If the surface feels completely dry in the morning repeat the process until it feels slightly oily and then wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Rattan will breath with the environment and may transfer oil to absorbent items like leather. Keep your natural canes separate from other toys for this reason.