Leather sweat band care?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by SET, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. SteveFord

    SteveFord A-List Customer

    Messages:
    409
    Lexol leather conditioner from Wally World is what I use on sweat bands inside of hats. Put it on with my finger and wipe any excess away after an hour or so.

    For leather jackets, pants and boots it's Red Wing Boot oil scrubbed on with an old tooth brush, allowed to sit over night and then buffed with an old gym sock (still moist and presently owned by Carl Zappa, ha, ha).
     
  2. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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  3. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    WE HAVE AN ANSWER!!

    https://www.leathercleaningrestorat...owthread.php?16313-Sweatbands-on-Vintage-Hats

    “In layman terms, leather deteriorates in the presence of alkalinity.
    When the sweat that has been absorbed into the leather starts to ferment, it turns alkaline.

    Leather is acidic, with an ionic positive (+ve) charged, the other constituents like the tanning agents and the fatliquor has an ionic negative charged (-ve). Since leather behaves amphoterically it shifts from a positive (+ve) charge into a negative (-ve) charge. Behaving like a magnet the changed negative (-ve) charged of the leather protein fiber breaks the hydrogen bond with the negative (-ve) charged tanning agents and the fatliquor (fat and oil).

    How to pH neutralized the sweat and replenishing the faliquor (fat and oil) will save the sweatbands. The original fatliquor contents of leather is about 15% and any fat and oil content that is way below the optimum percentage will eventually crack. Any insufficient fatliquoring allowing to dry will also suffer from cracking from the known “London Forces” or “Van der Waal Forces”. A proven technique is by cleaning the leather with a low pH value degreaser or cleaner such as Degreaser-2.2 or CleanPro-1.5 and rinse with Acidifier-2.0 and while still damp (safe from ‘Van der Waal Forces’ Hydrator-3.3 relax and separates the stiff leather and before it dries Fatliquor-5.0 is replenished, repeatedly each time before it is fully dry until full saturation. The leather is let to slow dry and any surface residue is clean away with Hydrator-3.3

    Note that all the product suffix numbers denotes the pH value of the product.

    Let me know if you need further information.”



    Anyone have questions? I think I understand it now, it is a pH imbalance.

    Woohoo!
     
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  4. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    The guy who answered, Roger Koh, is the founder of the Leather Doctor company and uses the leather cleaning forum as part of the company publicity and marketing.

    If you search for the leather doctor’s products in general they show up a lot in testimonials on autocare threads. I checked three or four and they appeared to be posted by genuine individuals, not publicity plants.

    This products and formulas look legitimate, I imagine they are best applied on sweatbands taken off the hat. His answers are pretty technical, but here on the product website there is a more basic description for the hydration and then fat replacement. At least one autocare enthusiast swears by it.

    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/fatliquorls-5-5/

    It might be a while before I can test these out, but I think I’ll definitely give them a try.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  5. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    16,010
    Location:
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    I appreciate the technical nature of your post. It was very informative and made complete sense.
     
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  6. I've heard of beerbellys before but never heard of fatliquor. Just one more thing to fear in life.
     
  7. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    1,077
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  8. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    I found reading the above short article very interesting. I scanned through the site but could not come up with any notable changes to the tanning process that would give us different reactions or qualities for our late 40s, 50s Stetson leather sweats.

    I agree with the observation: today I received a 1910s Stetson bowler with a dry sweat, I wiped on some Pecard dressing and it looks and feels great. The sweat just drank up the oil. It has one or two internal lines or pre-cracks.

    In contrast, last week I was working on and wearing a late 40s 7X CB. The sweatband took forever to absorb the oil, and the first time I sweat in the thing it went to pieces.

    Maybe Stetson switched to vegetable tanning (or chromium?) or a similar chemical process change?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  9. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Well I lost another 7X CB sweatband with stars on the crest...a defining heartbreak for late 40s, 50s Stetsons.

    I gave in and ordered the Leather Doctor’s hydrator and fatliquor stuff. First we’ll see if it makes it through customs, then we’ll see if it works. It will no doubt take two months to reach me, but I am pretty convinced by his pH imbalance argument and will give the products a shot.
     
  10. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

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    7,289
    Keep us posted please.
    Thanks
    Bowen
     
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  11. Tukwila

    Tukwila My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Yes, please let us know how the products work for you.

    How did you lose this sweatband? After treatment? From simply wearing the hat and sweating, or?
     
  12. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    1,077
    Another classic story. It looked fine, I oiled it liberally with Pecards, then I sweat in it a little. It did not disintegrate, but separated from the threaded section with a distinct burn-black line. The top, inside of the sweat with an embossed line also burned black and fell off.

    This sort of reaction looks to my four semesters of chemistry class eyes as very much in line with the kind of pH, acid-base reaction the Leather Doctor fellow describes.

    Alan also mentioned a while back that these events appear to affect more late 40s and then 50s era higher end Stetsons. My observations and small data points match his - primarily the beige, cowboy hat Stetson 3Xs, 25s and up. My fedoras with dark brown sweats have yet to display the reaction.



     
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  13. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,421
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Keep in mind, when choosing materials for treating your sweatbands that the leather is in contact with your skin. One of our members years ago posted that he would only treat sweatbands with moisturizers designed for human skin - specifically shea butter. I did try this on several hats, never noticing much of an improvement or a worsening of the condition of the sweat. But it did seem a plausible natural approach. It smelled nice too.
     
  14. Tukwila

    Tukwila My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Daniel, which Pecard's do you use, the Antique leather dressing?
     
  15. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

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    Never had a problem using Pecard. I always apply it, let it seat for about an hour, always making sure to remove it.
     
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  16. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    The regular. I don’t have access to the antique right now. I wish I did to be more specific/scientific.


     
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  17. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    This from Roger Koh at/aka the Leather Doctor:

    The "burn edges" is alkaline over-exposure and body oil will need to be degrease with Degreaser-2.2 > and or pH balance with CleanPro-1.5 and rinse with a lower pH value rinse using Acidifier-2.0. The suffix number of the products denotes its pH value, thus we are working with a pH 2.2, pH 1.5 and pH 2.0 products. You will observe that the browning effect is reduced and rinse any tacky-feel is rinse reverting to a healthy squeaky feel for the tanning agent to be re hydrogen bond back to the protein fiber. While still damp Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system applies. The entire process is known as the "wet system" and the leather should not be allowed dry during any of the step (to prevent the Van der Waal Forces to set in). Leave to slow dry and gently massaging it prior to entirely dry to save any sweat contaminated leathers. What I mentioned is also practice by leather chemist in today's modern tannery.
     
  18. Silver-Wolf

    Silver-Wolf One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    South Australia
    I use what my grandfather used for his hat (well all his leather items, saddle, boots etc even all his wooden gear and furniture I think he used it on.) and that's just a simple bee's wax with orange oil. Only ever so lightly, more I just get my finger greasy and then rub the leather band when the weather is warm. I let it sit for an hour and then rub and wipe all the leather with a clean cloth. He always said the trick is to not get too much on areas of stitching etc because if it builds up stitching could rot.

    edit: Added a couple of pics of my oldest/most abused and worn hat after DIY refurbishment and adjustment. Man it came up clean, just had a fresh rub of beeswax.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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  19. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

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    7,289
    Wondering how we did on this??
    B
     
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  20. Just Daniel

    Just Daniel One Too Many

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    I just started experimenting. The first attempt was a bit of a disaster. I am trying a second and will write the “Leather Doctor” for a bit more advice.



     
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