cracks on old horsehide jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Raul, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. Raul

    Raul Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Italy
    A jacket I could be interested in has these cracks on the hide, even though the leather is thick and still pliable in these areas, are these kind of superficial cracks a real bad thing in any case? Is there anything that can be done to eventually reduce them? Thanks
    [​IMG]
     
    Guivil likes this.
  2. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    Yes, these cracks are a bad thing. They will only get worse and you will not be happy. I know of no remedies, lotions, potions, or elixirs that will save this fiber rot.

    I'm sorry to say that, but I have seen it many times, always look for it and always pass it by it you can.
     
    ton312, BobJ, Jin431 and 7 others like this.
  3. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    ^^ Sadly this has been my experance as well. I have similar (and deeper, wider) cracks on a pair of Whites Packer Boots which appearently, were rebuilt not all that long ago. It's in the base section of the "uppers" so was not replaced in the rebuild. I am keeping them going for now, but once they start leaking water in, I will have to get them repaired.
     
    Jin431 and Monitor like this.
  4. Monitor

    Monitor

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    13,825
    Epidermis drying up. Either that or top coat but by the looks of it, doesn't seem like it's got much of that goin' on. Other than dye, that is.
    Anyway, bad thing is, as Terry and Randy said, leather's started to crack and it will get worse with time. But the good thing is, time is very relative in this case. We're talking a good decade or more here with proper care, of course. Nothing is going to fix this but you can keep it in check with a good leather oil. Plenty of time left till it cracks through.

    I wouldn't personally spend major money on it but if you can have this beautiful looking jacket for a good deal, I'd go for it.
     
    ton312, Jin431, Yamahana and 4 others like this.
  5. Boyo

    Boyo One Too Many

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    I agree with monitor, the jacket cant be fixed but it can be worn....my concern with this one is it looks like there is shoe polish or paste rubbed into it to make the cracks seem smaller.
    If it’s affordable buy it and enjoy it..
     
    BobJ, navetsea, Jin431 and 1 other person like this.
  6. Entropic Thunder

    Entropic Thunder New in Town

    Messages:
    41
    I kind of disagree with the others, those cracks look to me to be mostly topcoat, and will progress very slowly. If you oil it, they will be a non issue for many years. If it were to become worse, I’ve had success repairing weakened cracked leather by simply opening the lining and using leather glue to bond a thinner, healthy piece of leather to the bottom side of the weakened portion. If you skive down the edges of the piece you’re bonding, the outline of the patch won’t show from under the leather, and the repair will last for many years, being easily redone if and when it does eventually fail.
     
  7. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    What jacket are we looking at? Barring it being some sort of grail, I would wait for one in better condition.
     
    dannyk, HoosierDaddy and tmitchell59 like this.
  8. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,666
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    I fully get wanting to preserve and restore leather jackets. I bought a jacket recently that has more advanced deterioration, it also has a western yoke with damage. I knew it had issues, I knew who made it, I knew I could use it for "parts/project". It was the maker but the condition was less, the leather was different and that made it worth the money.

    So I get the want. I would welcome any product or technique that can fix deterioration like this or stop it.

    I've found these areas worsen with conditioning. The moisture further erodes and softens the fibers.

    this says it well

    this is it in a nutshell.
     
    Marc mndt, willyto and dannyk like this.
  9. Raul

    Raul Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Italy
    The jacket we are talking about is a Buco J-21/22, pics below.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  10. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    6,253
    I better understand your dilemma. From a distance the jacket looks incredible. But it’s not super rare like some other jackets. Unless the price was real low, I would keep searching. The flaking and cracking would bother and concern me. Though it looks like it wouldn’t bother others too much.
     
    Monitor and Marc mndt like this.
  11. Raul

    Raul Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Italy
    other known issues:
    - the liner is very good so maybe it has been replaced at some point in the past
    - one sleeve zipper puller has been replaced with a modern buzz rickson puller and it should be replaced with a old brass conmar
    - several wrinkles on the collar
    - the chains on the pocket zippers seem replaced with random parts
    I probably will pass, anyway how much would be a fair price for the jacket in these conditions?
     
  12. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,942
    Location:
    China
    Way I look at it with Buco J-22/24, there are quite a lot around and condition is kind of all over the place and sometimes even a very poor condition one cost or rather priced at USD2000. Reason why there seems to be so many around is people knows they fetch a decent price and therefore dig up whatever they find in whatever condition and slap a USD2000 price tag on it. Thing is if you are working on making your own repro, you would pay the price because after all that is part of the investment. Also if you are a collector, you may consider paying the price too for a very high profile piece in your collection. If you are thinking of buying it to wear it regularly, then that is where it gets tricky. A good repro costs around USD 1000 to 1500 2nd hand in like new condition which you can absolutely wear regularly. An original Buco unless it is in deadstock condition like the one a fellow lounger found is not suitable for regular wear. And coupled with the "market price", it is gonna be a collection talk piece which you can only wear occasionally to gathering. In that case, you may even sell it and recoup after a while since you won't be putting much wear and tear on it.
    I paid around USD800 for my J-24L steerhide set jacket and pants. The jacket has no crack only some dye peeling off, every zipper is in working condition, original quilt in place also no tear just some of the diamond placed threads are loose. The pants has no crack also dye peeling off, a seam is torn and needs repair, lining needs to be replaced. I am happy with it but am not saying that is the market price just that is the most I would pay for mine in that condition. I am also not going to wear it like I wear my RM and the Few repros.
    One observation about the one you are looking. The fact that the seller is placing it on the snow kind of shows the seller (current owner) knows nothing about the maintenance of valuable vintage leather jacket and that is a bad sign. You may do that to a beater Schott you bought for USD200 but a vintage leather jacket you wish to fetch well over USD600? You need to take better care of it.
     
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  13. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,666
    Location:
    Illinois
    Said well again. I too see the dilemma clearly now. The issues remain no matter the Jacket, just sadder.

    Great example of how a very desirable jacket, that looks great, can have very serious issues. These are the examples of Vintage jackets that turn people off to Vintage. I think of this as a Cancer that can never be successfully treated and will continue to grow. Not all older jackets have this rot. I have many that do not and pass on the ones that do.

    This is my favorite Buco model and year, I can feel your pain. Be comforted that you have seen the rot and can make an informed decision. I

    This model in a 42 an above is harder to find. Tuned in Sellers know this and the price goes up. This is one jacket that originals bring near the money of the remakes.
     
    JMax likes this.
  14. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,942
    Location:
    China
    IMO from left to right of the parts you circled.
    1) cracks
    2) could be paint peeling off
    3) cracks but likely a combination of both cracks and paint peel.
     
  15. Raul

    Raul Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Italy
    Just out of curiosity, did anyone ever try on jackets those "liquid leather" products used to repair cracks on leather upholstery?
     
  16. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,253
    I’ve used professional leather fillers to repair small, single cuts or gashes with success. As an example, a few months back I got hit by a rock while riding and it sliced a tiny bit of leather. And some conditioners have light fillers for the little cracks you sometimes see on the cuffs of vintage jackets.

    I can say with great confidence that it won’t work on the cracking and flaking seen on the Buco. Just applying the fillers, etc. can lead to more damage and the end result of my experiment looked awful. I got rid of the jacket. It probably flaked all the way to my brother, who used the jacket for parts.
     
    tmitchell59 likes this.
  17. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    12,887
    Location:
    Chicago
    The only way to repair a cracked panel is to replace it. As Terry said it's also something I look to avoid (unless a replacement panel can be easily done). I've had cracked jackets and worn them. I'm always afraid of them. Near daily conditioning, etc to keep it moist just ends up feeling like a burden and ultimately sucks the joy out of the piece over time. I do see your dilemma though. Sometimes the only way to find out is to dive in head first.
     
    tmitchell59 likes this.
  18. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,454
    Was at the Cal shop today dropping off a bunch of stuff in need of various repairs. Her dad owns the upholstery shop attached to the Cal front and I started talking to him. He confirmed what pretty much everyone here said, once it cracks, it's pretty much impossible to reverse. BUT, he said he would try Skidmore's depending on how severe and worst case, he was pretty confident it would do a hell of job keeping it stable. It's what he's used in the past. Does a lot of car upholstery and stuff that's in the sun, etc. Also has a 50's Cal, original owner, just saying, can't be all that bad of guy LOL.

    Amazon.com: Skidmore’s Original Leather Cream | 100% Natural Non Toxic Water Repellent Formula is a Cleaner and Conditioner | Repair a Horse Saddle, Riding Boots, Jacket, Gloves, Chaps, Shoes, Belt | 6 Oz

    And no, I don't get any money from that link ;)
     

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