Caring For Your Products
When making your lovely items in our Create Gift Love workshop, we take the utmost care to ensure they turn out to be just as beautiful as you were expecting. The materials we use are of the highest quality and so to keep them looking their best they require some special care and attention from time to time.
We want your Create Gift Love products to look just as good in five years' time as they did when they left our workshop, so here we've put together some handy guidelines to help you with product care.
Leather is one of our most used materials at Create Gift Love and it is a key component in the manufacturing of our lovely personalised gifts. We use the best quality UK cowhide to make all of our leather products, which is a by-product of the food, drink and dairy industry, and we pride ourselves on our ethical sourcing and environmental sustainability.
The leather we use in our products is soft and supple from the first use, while also being durable. However, to ensure it remains long lasting and in the best condition your leather products will need a little bit of TLC every now and again. Much like us, our leather products will age better if they have been well looked after!
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 keyring 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. If your goods get wet this can also cause the leather to dry out.
Caring for you Create Gift Love leather product is simple and won't take you too long. All you will need is some leather wax conditioner and a soft cloth.
- 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 and corners.
- Leave your leather to absorb all of the conditioner - this can take between five and twenty minutes, or longer if a heavy coating was applied.
- 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 it begins to feel a bit dried out. Your Create Gift Love products will last longer if they are properly cared for, and with a bit of gentle conditioning, we're sure you'll be able to treasure them for years to come.
Many of our wood and leather gift products use brass fixings to add an element of luxury. Brass offers a timeless aesthetic and has a high gloss look, however in order for this to be maintained it will need to be polished every now and again.
When brass is handled regularly this can cause oxidation which leads to the brass tarnishing. Tarnished brass gives an antique feel which can be appealing but if you'd like your brass to keep its high shine, follow our simple care tips.
- Use a household metal cleaner to polish your brass fixings. We recommend Brasso but any high quality polish will work well.
- Using a soft cloth or an old cotton T-shirt, apply the polish following the directions on the bottle.
- Buff dry with a clean cloth, ensuring the cloth is soft to avoid scratching.
We recommend carrying out this process three or four times a year, or whenever you feel your brass could do with some extra shine!
Our gold plated jewellery range is a recent addition to Create Gift Love and offers elegant, timeless pieces that are of premium quality and style. The plating process simply means that a thin layer of gold is used to coat another metal, giving the impression of luxury for a fraction of the price of solid gold. However, as with anything in thin layers, this makes the gold vulnerable to damage and needs to be properly cared for.
Gold plating can fade and tarnish over time but there are a few things you can do to ensure it lasts for years longer. Substances such as perfumes, lotions, oils and chlorine can damage the gold plating due to the chemicals within them, so contact between these and your jewellery is best avoided. Always remove your Create Gift Love pieces when swimming and if you want to apply perfume or body cream, do this before wearing to prevent direct contact.
When it comes to cleaning, it pays to be gentle with gold plated items. The better you care for them, they'll stay lovely for much longer.
- Use cotton wool or a soft cloth, preferable microfiber, to remove dust or dirt. Rubbing in this way will also help to restore the gold's shine.
- If needs be, soak in warm water with a gentle soap to clean and allow to air dry. Exposure to water should be limited so only do this if really necessary.
- Avoid using jewellery cleaners or antibacterial sprays as these tend to contain harsh chemicals which could damage the gold plating.
As a general rule, being careful with your gold plated items and avoiding unnecessary polishing or products should be enough to keep them looking great. Store your items in a jewellery box to avoid scratching, or even better in your gorgeous Create Gift Love box that it was presented in.
Stainless steel can be deceiving because despite what the name suggests, it can get grubby over time. However, as it contains chromium which prevents the metal from rusting or tarnishing, it doesn't require a great deal of upkeep unlike some metals - all you need to worry about is the everyday dust and dirt.
Keeping your stainless steel items looking tip top is really easy and you'll only have to clean them if they look in need of a spruce up. At present, the only stainless steel items in our product range at Create Gift Love are flat pieces so there aren't any nooks and crannies to worry about, but it's worth noting all the same.
- Use a soft cloth, preferably a microfiber cloth, and a gentle soap or detergent to clean away any dust or dirt from you stainless steel items.
- Make sure to clean along the grain of the metal, not against it, as this will prevent scratches appearing on the surface.
- Avoid soaking in water for very long and when finished, dry with a soft towel to prevent water spots.
There are some products available on the market to polish stainless steel, however for the most part polish isn't necessary and we would recommend avoiding it as a rule. Never use silver polish to clean stainless steel and be wary of using toothpaste as some websites recommend. Toothpaste can be abrasive, but if you do choose to use it as a metal cleaner, make sure it's not a tooth whitening product and does not contain silica.
Keep your stainless steel products stored away from other metals to prevent scratching and give them a clean when needs be - other than that, you should be good to go!
Create Gift Love wouldn’t be anywhere without wood. It’s our most used material by a long way and we like to work with it whenever we can. Maple, cherry and walnut woods are our three particular favourites but others do feature in our product range.
As it’s a natural material, wood can become a little tired looking without the right care, but it can soon be brought back to life with an easy, nourishing oil treatment. All of our wood items are treated before they leave our workshop to ensure they’re looking their best when they arrive at your door, and they won’t really need any attention until they start looking dried out or discoloured – that’s when it’s time for some TLC.
We use Danish oil to treat our wooden products (except chopping boards – we’ll come to those shortly!) but olive oil or melted coconut oil will work well enough as a pick-me-up.
- 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.
Chopping boards require slightly different care but are just as easy to look after. Our boards are not dishwasher safe and should be hand washed only – don’t leave them soaking in water as this could cause marks or other damage. It’s important to use a food safe oil for your chopping board treatment – we use natural walnut oil but anything natural and chemical free will work equally well.