Heath Bags Care & Service
Heath bags, handcrafted onsite in our San Francisco facility, with the same creativity, quality, and functionality you’ve come to expect from everything Heath.
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Designed and made at Heath in San Francisco, we stand behind the craftsmanship and quality of our Heath + Stein and Reversible Totes. They’re made to last a lifetime from strong waxed cotton canvas, cotton duck, Napa leather panels and patch pockets, and hand-dyed saddle leather details.
Over time, the structure of the bag will soften and the materials will start to collect stains, markings, and creases — a visual story of where it’s been: dust from road trips, a shadow of indigo dye from your favorite jeans, the accidental spill of coffee. In particular, the waxed canvas will develop a patina over time; normal use will bring out unique character and qualities in the fabric that no other material can offer.
Some of our bags are made with lighter-colored materials — including untreated vegetable tanned leather with its unique coloring, markings, and striations — which means that scuffs will likely be more visible.
Bags must be unworn and in sellable condition to be exchanged for store credit.
About the Materials
This is a sturdy, tightly woven cotton material with a wax treatment that permeates the material, adding a smooth texture, intensifying the color of the cotton, and providing an additional layer of protection from the elements. Waxed canvas will develop unique visible creases over time, but they don’t affect the performance of the material. We like the creases!
Often called Marine Canvas, this material is tough enough to withstand the elements in the open waters. It’s water resistant due to the tight weave – liquids tend to bead on the surface of the material so it’s easy to wipe clean as soon as spills happen.
We use a high-quality Aniline Leather for our patch pockets and bottoms of the Heath + Stein bags. The color from this leather comes from transparent dyes that show off the natural grain and texture in the leather. It’s pliable but strong, and we carefully select each piece from the original hide to ensure that it’s free of major blemishes and scratches. Our saddle leather tabs are made of thick vegetable tanned leather that’s usually used in belts and saddlery. Vegetable tanning is an old-world process that uses tannic acids from plants to prepare the leather. Undyed vegetable tanned leather starts with a beautiful light tan color, and will darken beautifully over time. In some of our bags, the light tan color becomes the perfect canvas for applying transparent dyes by hand. Although durable, the both types of leather can absorb oils and stains.
Our Reversible Tote features selvedge denim from North Carolina based Cone Mills, using 100% US grown cotton. Historically woven on shuttle looms, the material tends to have a tighter, denser weave, in addition to beautiful and subtle variations on the surface of the denim that is unique to the weaving process. Similar to denim jeans, the indigo dye is intended to wear off over time for a classic look, so be careful when wearing light-colored clothing.
Cleaning and Maintenance
These bags are pretty low maintenance and should require no special handling. In most cases, you can lightly brush off dried mud and dirt from the canvas and leather with a brush or a damp rag with plain water. Some customers chose to apply a layer of Scotchbrite (available at most hardware stores) for an additional layer of protection. Make sure to follow the the manufacturer's instructions for application, and do a test in a small, inconspicuous area before applying to a larger surface.
For pulling oil stains out of the leather, use a fine sprinkle of Fuller’s Earth, cornstarch, or baby powder. Let it set for an hour to soak up the oil, and brush it off. Blue jeans will sometimes leave a residue on light colored leather, so wear with care!
Turn the bag inside out, and wipe off with water with a bit of Woolite in it, and set to dry.
Otterwax makes great products for fabric and leather, including a wax bar for light re-waxing canvas, heat activated fabric dressing for more serious waxed canvas reconditioning, and a canvas cleaner for pesky scuffs that don’t come off with just soap and water. Their products are made in Portland, Oregon, using ingredients like beeswax and plant-based materials. We’ve tried the canvas cleaner and felt it worked well on both waxed and boat top canvas.
If you need your Heath-made bag to be repaired — whether it has a manufacturing defect, or was a casualty of an unfortunate incident — we’ll make careful repairs in our San Francisco workshop and return it to you in almost-new shape. Please contact our customer service team for assistance: via this contact form, phone, or email.