my dry cleaner he cleans leather jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by kojax, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    I washed all mine in cold water in washing machine with a little bit of mild detergent for dark clothes to get rid of their newness, hang dry them on a wide shoulder hanger in the shade, and in front of a standing fan to speedup the drying, I hope for color loss and more contrast on worn areas like jeans... but it didn't happen or at least non visible to my eyes.
    came out a bit stiffer/ felt drier and duller, but if you wear them afterward it will record creases at much faster rate, and when you're happy with the the new creases after a week or so condition them with your trusted leather care creme, they go supple again, gain back some sheen, and won't record new creases so eagerly.

    However if your lining is light colored or you have fur collar then don't throw them in the washing machine... it might stain or ruin them.

    I won't suggest this, but personally I did it on my cows, goat, and sheep and they look fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  2. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I understand that some are timid but so far my role of the dice has been 100% success: twenty out of twenty. I personally think you are more likely to beak your washing machine - especially if you have FQHH.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  3. JVanBro

    JVanBro Familiar Face

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    I take mine to a professional leather cleaner and although I am inside the area with the clerk where they do the work, I can never see the actual machines they use. I do believe the big hulking apparatus just out of sight is a giant washing machine.

    Sent from my Venue 8 3830 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Cooper A-2

    Cooper A-2 Practically Family

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    I bath most of my leather jackets in max. 35deg warm water, mixt with my own recipe natural soap...Rince them....Air dry them on a " clone torso "... Rewax or oil them.... ALL MANUALY AND WITH A LOT OF CARE...
    Best results only.
     
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  5. regius

    regius Call Me a Cab

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    goatskin gets stiff after wet and dry, but not getting brittler, just wear it or oil it, it will come back to life, use Leatherette rejuvenator, or obenouf.
     
  6. regius

    regius Call Me a Cab

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    just went to buy rolls of veg tanned russet goatskin (the best i'vve ever seen) from my local tanner who used to supply goatskin to contractors for A2 jackets, they say it will get stiff but its ok, just wear it.
     
    nick123 likes this.
  7. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    iu.jpeg
     
  8. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    or perhaps more TFL appropriate.

    iu-1.jpeg
     
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  9. regius

    regius Call Me a Cab

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    Often wonder, why we bother to wash the leather shell, we can totally use lexol or whatever leather soap, leather rarely needs to be cleaned. It's really the lining. In which case, how about flip it inside out and dap with detergent solution and cloth?
     
  10. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Rather than start a new thread I thought I would ask here.
    Does treating or conditioning a jacket with Vasoline or other similar suitable treatment effectively make your jacket look newer or less used/less vintage? I don't want to clean it as such, it just looks a little dry...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
    JVanBro likes this.
  11. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Leathers will react differently depending on condition and original finish - but generally they will look shiny and less newer for a while til the shine evaporates away and then the leather looks pretty much the same as they did before you began. I am unsure that treating leather does anything much except make a cosmetic difference for a while, especially those lotions with wax.
     
  12. Plumbline

    Plumbline One Too Many

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    It really depends on the leather ...... so to speak. I'm an advocate of machine washing if the leather is chrome tanned and does not have a specific finish e.g. buckskin, suede and aniline. It's not that these can't be washed it's just that the outcome is more variable. My leather washing activity was started back in the late 80's with leather racing suits when I started running race teams .... these quickly stink as a result of sweating and packing "wet" they also get filthy from fall-offs and race dirt. This isn't patina .... it's dirt :) So I asked our suppliers at the time ( Kushitani) what we should do ... the answer wash them on a cool cycle (30 Deg) in the gentle setting in the washing machine. Now given these were high end $3000 race suits I was naturally a little hesitant ... needn't have worried they came out superbly. I must have washed race suits over 100 times with no ill effects except a little ( and I mean little) fading of bold or fluro colors.

    I have washed 1980's connolly leather Highwayman jackets bought on the bay and reeking of smoke and damp, Vanson Cafe racer which stank of smoke and weed, a Bill Kelso G-1 which stank of smoke, A Goodwear A-2 with a lining which looked like it had been used as a french fry wrapper ( I suspect some sort of hair pomade), a few Aero's both CXL (this is combination chrome and veg tanned and is designed to take everything nature can throw at it ... including gentle washing) and steer, a Lewis Monza who's lining looked black instead of red, and a few Schott perfectos which had clearly enjoyed a party or 40 ... to name but a few.

    Gentle wash with mild detergent ( I like Nikwax wool ), low temperature and air dry on a broad hanger with pipe insulation on the shoulders. Never had a bad result. I've posted a few on here in the past e.g. an Aero Bike Jacket ( 30+ years old) which was sold and seen by many on here as having the most amazing "patina" .... read mostly muck and dirt ..... a trip through the washing machine and it looked amazing.

    So long as you remember the caveats you'll be fine. Chrome tanned, not specialist finish or aniline.
     
    bn1966, Seb Lucas and Monitor like this.
  13. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Thanks for this info!

    Plumbline, what's with all the talk how washing leather jackets (and other leather garments) shortens their lifespan?

    I've never bought into this as leather by itself starts out dry and water, if I understand this right, shouldn't have any consequential effect on the properties of the hide anyway. I mean, it's soaked up in all sorts of crap during tanning and then dried up (or the other way around in some cases). so water is the least you can do to it. Plus, Vanson says we should more be worried about the sunlight.

    Also, should you know, are silicone based leather conditioners really bad for the leather? And why? I've acquired a ton of this medical grade, water based silicone stuff that I applied on one old leather jacket that I have and the results are beyond fantastic. Literally raised the jacket from the dead. TBH, the results I've gotten from Pecards were okay but on most jackets, it never lasted long if it even got to the point of actually being soaked up. It works much better on naked hides, in my experience.
     
  14. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I reckon if you wash your leathers every 5-10 years, there's very little this can do to shorten the life of them. Also, I know from my brief exchange with a Smithsonian Institution's conservation manager some years back that, contrary to the myth, they never use any conditioners on leather as, in their view, they make no difference.
     
  15. Plumbline

    Plumbline One Too Many

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    Pecards is a petroleum distillate based "conditioner" ... just like John C's top recommendation - Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (read petroleum grease ). Waxes ( natural and petroleum based) and oils and greases have been used for 1000's of years on leather and in my experience have little or no detrimental effect on the hide itself except through over application or the effects on cotton stitching ( read weakening or "rotting" .. though it's not a rotting process it's more weakening due to the weakening and lubrication of the cotton fibers ). Equally silicone based "conditioners" again ( in my experience) have little or no detrimental effect on leather ... indeed mars oils and various "proofing" sprays for leather boots and clothing in the motorcycling arena are often silicone based to improve water resistance and they have little negative effect. Leather ( and particularly Chrome Tanned leather) is incredibly robust as a material and will last a VERY long time if treated well. Veg tanned and Aniline leathers are more "delicate".

    We used a silicone based spray on M/C racing leathers (and teams still do) to enable risers to be move around the bike without the leather binding or sticking to paintwork and saddles. Equally we used fabsil (spray silicone fabric proofer) to make leather suits more resistant to watering and wetting with no ill effects. I have no idea of the long term effects ... race suits are used for a season ... but there was no evidence in testing by Kushitani, Alpinstars or RS Taichi ( these are the only three I know did testing) of seam or leather weakening as a result of silicone proofing or lubrication.

    To be honest with historic and "natural" products, you're more in danger of oil and grease rancification ( oils oxidizing and going rancid) with natural oils e.g. Jeffries fat based leather conditioner and you are unlikely to see similar with silicone, beeswax ( which is incredibly stable) and petroleum based products ( which again are very stable and consistent in their formulation). By and large most of these "conditioners" are simply surface finishes and lubricants to make leathers more pliable and flexible ( as well as adding a little bit of shine to the top finish) .... I know that doesn't sit well with the marketing and hype of things like "Pecards" .. but that's just how it is. Equally the fats and wax "conditioners" soaked into Horween products can be highly viscous and solidify at low temperatures - that's why they keep it hot to apply it :) ( which is why your Horween jacket gets more flexible when it gets warm .. but is stiff as a board in the cold). Silicones and Petroleums tend to have a much lower freezing point and as such can alleviate this issue to some effect.

    There's less science than experience applied in the area of leather tanning IMHO and many here and elsewhere believe that traditional and natural tanning is better than modern techniques ( this is by and large nonsense to be frank - sorry just MHO - and much is more more "marketing" than "fact") ...... that may not sit well with many on here but BMW want a car seat to look like new after 10,000 arses have sat on it, and you don't get that without science - chrome tanning, silicone conditioners and modern production techniques :)

    HTH
     
  16. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Thank you for this post, @Plumbline! Holy crap, you know your stuff.

    In any case, it's exactly what you say and the same conclusion I've reached from using different leather conditioners on different kinds of leather but yeah, while some did have some effect on some leather, neither was universally successful and most I haven't found worthy of the effort at all. The leather looks good for a few days until the thing either soaks up or drys out and then it's the same as it was before I applied anything to it. Naked leather and the specific type of naked leather did in fact benefit from Pecards. Shinier leathers with any sort of top coat - zero effect.

    On the other hand, the silicone stuff that I mentioned really did help my jackets a lot. One I initially tested it on was a bit stiff and most of the shine had been worn off but once I applied a generous amount of the stuff to the jacket, it plain and simple rejuvenated it. So far, there hasn't been any sign of the thing reverting back to how it was. Got caught in the rain wearing jacket a few days ago and while I didn't notice any significant water repellence that Silicone conditioner makers swear upon, once the jacket dried out, it remained the same as it was after the treatment.

    In any case, maybe I'm wrong but it seems logical to me that stuffing something that's been processed to lose as much of its organic properties as possible with "natural", organic greases is not the wisest course to take. Good conditioner should stick to the stuff leather is made of, those strands or whatever, and keep them oiled up. Silicone based conditioners should be able to do this just fine. Theories about it clogging pores and preventing leather from "breathing" are... Well, I personally never bought into it.

    Langlitz sells their own in-house silicone based conditioner and advertises it for their leather. How bad can the stuff be?
     
  17. CRAZYBUBBA

    CRAZYBUBBA Familiar Face

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    Another vote for pecards. It's the only thing I'll use on my vintage jackets.
     
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  18. JVanBro

    JVanBro Familiar Face

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    Personally I will never be without Pecards again, both the regular motorcycle leather dressing and the black dressing which have given me great results every time. Edited to add some jackets I've purchased did go to a professional leather cleaner who I'm sure for $30 tosses them into a giant tumbling washing machine, and they needed no further treatment afterwards.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  19. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Any info? That may be of interest to us history freaks!
     
  20. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    Pecards.
    Vaseline.
    Lexol on new leather to clean.
    After a couple days, none of them look any different.
    Just use a light coat - I use my bare hands and normally put it in the sun trip warm-up first. Jacket and the stuff I'm putting on it.
     
    ProteinNerd and CRAZYBUBBA like this.

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