How do you know when a leather collar is about to crack?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by zebedee, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    I've owned my Aero Highwayman for about a decade and it's been in all weathers and worn often. It's usually worn over a t-shirt or a collared shirt. Like most leather jacket collars, it shows folds. I've given the collar a thin coat of Renapur in years 6 - 10 of owning it about once a year, maybe less (probably less). I tend to wear it with a collar underneath now, but I was wondering if avoiding cracking is possible. Hope so - some jackets seem to be decades old and this hasn't happened...
     
  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I don't have any real data to prove it, but i think leather cracking in the neck is due to sweat/skin oil buildup that doesn't get cleaned regularly and attacks the leather.
    If i wear a jacket when it is pretty hot and get a sweaty neck i will usually wipe it down with a damp cloth at the end of the week or whenever i think about it.
    I also do that on all my worn jackets once a year or so.
    Some people also have sweat that is more acidic/aggressive than others and might need to do it more often.
     
  3. willyto

    willyto One Too Many

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    It’s a good routine to do that after every wear if you don’t wear a collared shirt. Takes less than 30 seconds.
     
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  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I agree with Carlos. I would like to know more about the variables. I have not seen goatskin do this (but maybe I haven't seen the right photos) and I wonder if some hides and tanning processes are more susceptible, like chrome tanned versus veg tanned. I wonder if David Himel or John Chapman have any insights on this.
     
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  5. JMax

    JMax My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    ^^^i agree. Riding in the heat, this area is bombarded with my natural juices. After every ride I wipe it down with a damp cloth. Once or twice a year I put some conditioner or Vaseline along the interior of the collar that makes contact with my skin.
     
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  6. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    Yes- not seen this on goat. This is a slightly disgusting and worthy thread. Sorry, but it's all to the good :).
     
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  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Staff Member Bartender

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    Agree with Carlos, Seb and JMax. Treat the collar at the beginning, or the end of the season, whichever is easier for you. By frequently wiping it down and treating it once a year, you should be able to indefinitely postpone any cracking.

    I have leather tack that is over 30 years old. By cleaning the sweat off and conditioning after each use, it is still soft and pliable. Ought to get another 30+ years out of it.
     
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  8. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Thanks Peacoat for bringing some empirical rigor to this.
     
  9. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Screenshot_20200703-104413_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20200703-104446_Gallery.jpg I have a minor cracks happened on my grey jacket since I live in tropic and I wear my jacket often and that hide is absorbing, so the appearance is first they get shiny and darker without being polished, and then it gets scaly, and then cracks appears. I think the more absorbing the hide the more it absorbs skin oil and salt and the sooner it shows cracks so probably this kind of hide need more maintenance wipe and conditioner, while the more pigmented or the more water resistant the less it absorbs and the less it requires maintenance too since it won't absorb much anyway. Screenshot_20200703-104413_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20200703-104446_Gallery.jpg
    Since then i already condition and re coat the leather with leather varnish, so hopefully it gets a better protective layer and not getting worse, i didnt find similar problem on my other jackets so far with similar construction piping around the neck. So i might replace the piping but for now i leave it alone and see how it develops
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  10. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I "theorize" again.... probably this happens more on the thicker and less flexible hide, because in my own theory probably the thickness of the leather give more surface tension when folded outward like over a piping or on collar fold, so when the surface dried out it cracks and then once it cracked it loses tension and shrinks and make the crack looks worse, with thinner skin it doesn't get enough tension to crack it apart since with tension they just flex and change shape or crease differently to avoid it, while thicker hide is more stubborn they don't learn new crease as easily when tension appear and try to bear it while maintaining its old set in creases and eventually cracks
     
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  11. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    The main factor in how leather wears is how well the leather is tanned and processed when manufactured from raw skins.
     
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  12. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    its not about tannage when it comes to salt
    if the leather is deteriorating everywhere then it says something about tannery.

    I bet the least quality leather with heavy plastic coat is stronger when it comes to blocking out sweat than vegetable tanned leather, with naked or aniline finish.
     
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  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Lee, who used to make jackets for me at Mars Leathers in Melbourne, said that some leathers crack in places (not all over) and this is generally because they are cheaply or poorly treated (this includes but is not limited to tanning). The only leather I have seen crack is very old leather and cheap leather. And it is usually at the wear areas neck, shoulders, elbows, etc. Maybe it's because some cheaper leathers don't have the appropriate chemical treatment and old leathers have lost the appropriate chemicals.
     
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  14. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    salt extracts all the oil in the leather, I think that makes it cracks when we talk about collar
    I dunno about shoulder or elbow never experience it yet
     
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  15. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I don't think it is just salt. Some leathers are more prone to cracking. On jackets with necks cracks there are often shoulder cracks - they do not make contact with skin. I think the skin contact is only part of this issue.
     
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  16. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    yeah in that case then it might be the quality of the leather or how the jacket has been abused by the owner, hanged on a hook left in the sun or over a hot surface or left inside a car in a sunny day for long hours.
    if the leather if bad I feel the crack would appear on the peak of every sharp creases and the crack or cut probably going in the same direction of the creases more or less like how pleather cracks, I think it looks different than leather that in the process of drying out. drying out cracks to me is more of small cracks criss crossing going all directions like dried out pond.

    to me when the leather is getting glossy out of the blue without being waxed or buffed especially along the cuff and collar, it might be drying out and it is now a call for conditioning.
     
  17. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    since my leather is so absorbing and turned dark when conditioned I rarely treat it, probably bee waxing collar would have protected it more, but currently I use top coat cream / final coat cream from more chemical base (it smells like turtle wax) it claims to waterproof and UV protect it, I apply it only on the collar though as it darkens probably permanently since it is absorbed and dry like that.
     
  18. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I have seen jacket collars almost dissolve from contact with some people's skin. Not just cracking but the entire surface abrading and coming off. I wonder if diet and/or alcohol affect the sweat which affects the leather or maybe it's acid versus alkaline skin. I also know some people who can't wear silver as it constantly breaks down and blackens on their skin. I wonder if they are the same people with cracked collars. :D
     
  19. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I wonder how suede lasts since there is no way to condition feeding them, and they also comes from the worse layer of a hide... maybe their breath-ability kept them drier thus better preserved? maybe even when they weaken you don't see it as they don't show cracks.
     
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  20. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    has to do with genetic and diet perhaps, probably not only the sweat itself but bacteria that thrives in it different from person to person, perhaps bacteria who like to ingest sweat from broken down meat diet is different from bacteria who lives from another person who like dairy products, and different again in person who is vegetarian, and perhaps these bacteria also behave differently when they get into leather product, probably bacteria who likes protein would digest the leather too :confused: and bacteria who likes vegetable would eat cotton .. just connecting dots here, totally wild guessing.
     
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