see also Delicate Conditioner

Ostrich Skin

Alligator Skin


Exotic leathers tend to be delicate and easily damaged by water and heavy conditioners. While lizard and alligator skins are usually water resistant and don't pose problems, ostrich skin sucks water up like a sponge, and is often very light in color, such that any moisture will darken the leather. Thus, it is best to avoid using water on many exotics. Snakeskin poses problems because water can cause the scales to dry unevenly and curl up, which damages the appearance of the hide and greatly shortens its lifespan. Exotics generally respond more favorably to a delicate/exotic conditioner. Meltonian makes a good delicate/exotic conditioner, which is usually shelved with the cream-type polishes. Since exotics are more fragile, people tend to not wear them as much, meaning the leather is usually not as dirty as other boots one may encounter. Brush the dust off the boots and apply a very light coat of the conditioner. Allow the conditioner to sit for a few minutes and then buff gently with a clean, soft, low-lint cloth. If working on snake skin, always work in the direction of the scales. Any motion against the scales or across the scales can damage them.