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Leather conditioner for new A2 repro jacket?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by RRackleyAdams, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. I just got a Havana brown horsehide A2 from Spearhead Militaria. I would like to soften it and darken it slightly and have read about a lot of different options. Lexol, mink oil & saddle soap to name a few. Any thoughts here?

    On a side note, if I wanted to really darken it (say to a seal color)...would dye actually accomplish this or am I just edging closer to a disaster!?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  2. Best "conditioner" for a new leather jacket is...nothing.
    This is what the folks at Aero Leather recommend for their new jackets.
    Your jacket does not need...nor want... a "conditioner" at this stage.
    Many "conditioners" contain silicone..which basically stays with the jacket forever..rubbing off on other surfaces....producting an "unnatural" feel to the leather.
    Many soak the leather to the point where it becomes heavy.
    After a year or so...if the leather seems a bit dry... stick with what museums use to care for their old leather items....Pecard's.


    A very light dressing. Applied...let it sit awhile, then remove the excess.

    Re; the color...
    wear it out in a the rain a few times. Let it dry naturally..away from a heat source. The color will naturally change.
    Yes..,,you can get it died..but that will wear off. I'd say if you want a seal brown leather jacket sell this one and order one with that color.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  3. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    I would just leave it alone. Havana Brown is dark already. If you want to soften the leather, do nothing other than wear it. If you are dead set on making it darker, go to an English tack shop there in Philly and get a can of Hydrophane. It is a blue can with white horse heads on it.

    I have used it many times on new English tack and tack that has gotten dried out. I would not put it on a jacket, but it probably wouldn't hurt it. Might make it darker, and it might not. As Jeff M says, best to just leave it alone. Pecard might darken it, but since it is Havana already, probably won't.
  4. Fifty150

    Fifty150 A-List Customer

    If your jacket is brand new, then the factory has already done everything that it needs. Just wear it. Break it in. Earn the patina. Get into a few fist fights. Fall off a bar stool. Introduce your wife to your girlfriend. Take a break dancing lesson. Go for a swim like Indiana Jones. Get an Asian massage. Go to a curry buffet. Get a cannabis card.

    I like mink oil. I have a practice of using mink oil on all my smooth leathers. You want it darker? Get some shoe polish. Don't laugh. It will work.
  5. polocoat

    polocoat Familiar Face

    If you want seal color, sell what you have and buy a seal color A-2. Experience has shown that if you muck about trying to change the color, you're inviting trouble. Your jacket doesn't need conditioner this early in its life. Good luck and enjoy your new A-2.
  6. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

    From (where else) Wikipedia:

    "Wartime-issued A-2 jackets appear in a wide range of color tones and hues, although all are based on two distinct colors: Seal (dark brown to almost black) and Russet (pale red-brown to medium brown). Most seal jackets were russets re-dyed during the war to cover scuffing and discoloration, although some contracts, like the Aero Leather 21996, were dyed seal right from the start. Original knit cuffing typically matched the leather or came close, but exceptions exist, such as Aero Leather's eye-catching rust-red cuffing on seal brown hide."
  7. Grayland

    Grayland One Too Many

    That is great!
  8. dr.velociraptor

    dr.velociraptor One of the Regulars

    Pecards is good stuff, I condition all my leathers once a year. It's not the popular opinion here but it works for me, helps soften and break them in. It also helps waterproof them and for riding leathers it's a good bonus.
  9. Jaguar66

    Jaguar66 A-List Customer

    I bought an Aero FQHH Halfbelt in brown, and it came to me not broken in, and very stiff, and a size too large. After hot water/drying procedure, I applied Pecards, and it is now very pliable, flexible, and loose and looks broken in, and fits me much better. I too like Pecards. It always soaks in, and after a few days, the slippery surface of the Pecards is gone, leaving the leather in great shape.

    I use Pecards a lot, especially if the jacket is too stiff. Great stuff. If you haven't tried it, get some and apply it to a spot and see how you like it.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
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  12. aswatland

    aswatland My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I agree with those who advocate nothing apart from wearing the jacket to break it in.
  13. archbury918

    archbury918 One of the Regulars

    I've got jackets that are more than ten years old and have never needed any conditioner. I wear them in all seasons and weather. In Wisconsin we get the full range of conditions too!
    I can say that applying anything to a lighter shade as yours can be tricky. You have to be careful that any coating should be very light. You risk ending up with a mottled finish. I learned that with screwing up some decent shoes....
  14. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61 I'll Lock Up

    Yeah, leave that one alone - for a long time. It will look better for it (IMO) That finish will be tough to break through.

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