Because of the texture trend for fall incorporating exotic materials, I thought I would pass along this useful How To on caring for your exotic materials. Partial credit goes to Neiman Marcus for providing information. Thanks for the customer service!
Per Kiss Curl at Etsy and eBay, you should use a soft baby brush or natural bristle paintbrush to comb your feathers back into place and remove any dust. Brush in the direction of the feather grain. Feathers are very fragile so do not get them wet if at all possible.
Alligator, Crocodile or Lizard:
If your accessory is of crocodilian genus (like my vintage lizard bag) you need to treat it with high-end leather conditioner more often than you would regular leather. But before you use conditioner all over, make sure to test a small drop on a hidden spot. To remove excess dirt, wipe with a soft, damp cloth.
On ostrich (like this Bottega Veneta hobo), don’t use any chemicals or conditioners. Simply sprinkle oily spots with talcum powder and wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
Like human skin, snakeskin will age more quickly if exposed to sunlight, so take special care to keep your serpentine accessories (like these Michael Kors Cairo pumps) out of the sun. While the scales will naturally lift over time, you should never apply any product; simply wipe with a lint-free cloth in the direction of the scales.
Exotic materials, whether new or vintage, are an investment and, like any purchase, require care and attention. They can be more delicate, but therein lies their unique beauty. Take care of them and they will make you look good for a long long time.