I prefer to not add any oils or dressings to my leather strops.
You can run your hand over the leather back and forth and the natural oils from your skin is sufficient to maintain your strop for years.
The linen strops are stiff. That is not a bad thing.
It is my experience that a stiffer linen strop works better than a softer one so there’s no sense trying to loosen it up.
If you are new to stops you’re more likely to go overboard and ruin your strop using oil and lubricants.
Unlike a straight razor your strop requires very little care and maintenance. Some people use “neatsfoot” oil. This too can ruin your leather if over applied. The important thing to know is that you cannot undo over lubrication. If you feel you absolutely must apply your favorite leather conditioner or oil to your strop, I recommend using as little as possible. You can always add more but too much will damage your leather. I use my strops for years without cleaning, or worrying about the leather condition.
You will want to work on your stropping skills and be sure to not nick it up with your razor. If you are cutting your strop it can be repaired with sandpaper but proper technique will prevent the need for repair. The way you can tell if you NEED to condition your leather is if you see lots of “leather dust.” These are leather particles shedding off of your strop like dry skin. If this is the case you should still start with a tiny amount of neatsfoot oil. Hope this helps! -The BeardKnife Boss-