Leather is a natural product that requires looking after just like your own skin does. Although the leather goes through a long tanning process before I get it, it still needs further conditioning to soften the leather and nourish it.
Leather is extremely absorbent, it will readily soak up whatever you put on it. Have you noticed how soft your leather boots go when they get a good soaking. An old Army way of breaking in new boots was to soak them whilst you were wearing them. Not a problem when on basic training as you spend most of your time wading through water and getting wet!
So to condition the leather properly when new, get hold of some leather conditioning oil such as neatsfoot oil, or if you have nothing else just plain old vegetable oil. Lay a load of newspaper out as you are going to make a mess, and place your leather item on to it. Using a brush or a sponge brush the oil on to both sides of the leather, making sure that you get under any loops and around the buckles. You will notice that the leather absorbs this very easily. Then leave it overnight to drain.
In the morning have a look at the leather. It should have absorbed most, if not all of the oil. It will be softer and more flexible. Using a soft cloth wipe off any excess. As you move it about you will notice that oil appears on the surface, again wipe this off. You are best now to leave it to drain and dry further now, wiping off surface oil when you see it. This is just to prevent you getting oil on your clothes or pet when you are using your leather items.
Once this first treatment is completed your items are ready to use. You will most likely only have to do this the once in your leathers lifetime so it is worth the effort. Oiling may only need to be carried out again if the item gets really dry because it was left in the sun for too long, or your dogs regularly go in the sea.
I’ll cover regular care in a later post.
Oh yes! If it is a leather belt you have you may not want to do this oiling as you may get the oil on your clothes. Again I’ll cover belts in another post.
There are lots of different ways to treat leather. Some recommend oil and others don’t. Some recommend glycerine soap and others don’t. It is is always a good thing to get other peoples perspective on things.
How do you treat your leather?
In : Repairs
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