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Periodic Sweatband cleaning

mooglesrcute

New in Town
Messages
32
Location
utah
Hi, My search didn't yield the specific answer I sought, so hopefully I won't antagonize anyone ;)

I recently took the plunge and bought an art fawcett VS! It's great, but I'm wondering what you'd recommend for periodic cleaning of the sweatband?

The hat is still fairly new, so the whole hat doesn't need a cleaning yet or anything, nothing that would require soaking it in naptha. But I figure a little regular cleaning of the sweatband could go a long way to make my hat last, is that a correct assumption?

Thanks
 

masiaka

Familiar Face
Messages
69
Location
Alabama
Saddle Soap cleans leather well, and is equivalent to Lexol-pH cleaner. Mink and neatsfoot oils or baseball glove conditioner (when used sparingly) will preserve the leather and prevent cracking between cleanings.
 

ILB Frank

One of the Regulars
Messages
118
I have searched and read through the various sweatband care/cleaning threads and this seems most relevant for my concerns. I am not a collector so I have no need for caring for an old sweatband (at least not yet). On my new hats, I have worn them for about a week and then treat the front and back side of the the sweatband with pure lanolin. I put the lanolin in a small bowl and put that bowl in hot water to melt/liquify the lanolin and then apply it to both sides of the sweat.

Once a year (I just did this) I will clean the sweatband (finished side) with saddle soap, let it fully dry and then apply the liquified lanolin to both sides of the sweat. Since both felt hats are just one year old that means I have applied lanolin twice and cleaned them once. Cleaning them made a noticeable difference in appearance and the lanolin has made them very supple. They do not seem to be weakened (but they're only one year old).

In the 4-5 sweatband threads many treatments have been discussed and throughout all of those threads and posts lanolin was mentioned exactly one time and that was in the form of a question asking if it is OK to use on a sweat. Additionally I only remember seeing saddle soap mentioned once (in the thread just prior to mine). In my pea-brain, lanolin makes a lot of sense since it is oil that seeps through animal skin (albeit a different animal). So, does anybody have any insight on saddle soap for cleaning and lanolin for treatment? Any reason I should do something different?
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,591
Location
vancouver, canada
I have searched and read through the various sweatband care/cleaning threads and this seems most relevant for my concerns. I am not a collector so I have no need for caring for an old sweatband (at least not yet). On my new hats, I have worn them for about a week and then treat the front and back side of the the sweatband with pure lanolin. I put the lanolin in a small bowl and put that bowl in hot water to melt/liquify the lanolin and then apply it to both sides of the sweat.

Once a year (I just did this) I will clean the sweatband (finished side) with saddle soap, let it fully dry and then apply the liquified lanolin to both sides of the sweat. Since both felt hats are just one year old that means I have applied lanolin twice and cleaned them once. Cleaning them made a noticeable difference in appearance and the lanolin has made them very supple. They do not seem to be weakened (but they're only one year old).

In the 4-5 sweatband threads many treatments have been discussed and throughout all of those threads and posts lanolin was mentioned exactly one time and that was in the form of a question asking if it is OK to use on a sweat. Additionally I only remember seeing saddle soap mentioned once (in the thread just prior to mine). In my pea-brain, lanolin makes a lot of sense since it is oil that seeps through animal skin (albeit a different animal). So, does anybody have any insight on saddle soap for cleaning and lanolin for treatment? Any reason I should do something different?
My hesitancy around saddle soap is the amount of water needed to achieve the foaming and then more to rinse and I would worry about water stains on the ribbon. I just use a real light dab of Lexol cleaner and then an even lighter dab of conditioner. My wife is a fabric artist and we always have wool being cleaned hanging in the bathroom......I dont care for the smell of the lanolin but maybe the commercial lanolin has been fractionated to eliminate the odour
 

Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,526
Location
Minnesota, USA
I use Collonil 1909 for my sweats. This is the leather conditioner that I dab a drop on the toe and brush around and into the shoe. Shines up great! I put a small dab on the sweatband of the fedora and take a clean light bristled shoe brush and brush it in. I used to put it on both sides, but found the conditioner easily bled through the sweat barrier into the felt.

"A little dab will do you."

My wife uses it on her expensive handbags and we have used it on furniture.

Cheers, Eric -
 
Messages
15,880
Location
Central California
My older sweatbands seem to prefer multiple light coats of neatsfoot oil and new and old get Pecard Antique leather dressing. I used to use Bick 4 as well, but I’ve come to prefer the others.

I’m off to Amazon now to see if I can find Collonil 1909! As I’ve learned from two brothers-in-law and a son-in-law it’s usually safe to trust perfectionist engineers.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,591
Location
vancouver, canada
My older sweatbands seem to prefer multiple light coats of neatsfoot oil and new and old get Pecard Antique leather dressing. I used to use Bick 4 as well, but I’ve come to prefer the others.

I’m off to Amazon now to see if I can find Collonil 1909! As I’ve learned from two brothers-in-law and a son-in-law it’s usually safe to trust perfectionist engineers.
I used Neatsfoot oil on my baseball gloves as a kid....it brings back such great memories.
 

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,980
My hesitancy around saddle soap is the amount of water needed to achieve the foaming and then more to rinse and I would worry about water stains on the ribbon. I just use a real light dab of Lexol cleaner and then an even lighter dab of conditioner. My wife is a fabric artist and we always have wool being cleaned hanging in the bathroom......I dont care for the smell of the lanolin but maybe the commercial lanolin has been fractionated to eliminate the odour
I think pure anhydrous Lanolin is about the safest product you can use on sweatbands. I’ve used it on several vintage sweatbands that were quite fragile for that very reason. Works well but takes forever to absorb and stays tacky. Probably my fault overdoing it.
Saddlesoap scrubbing a sweatband seems messy so i’ll pass.
B
B789EAE7-83EE-413F-B19E-AD68B8C63333.jpeg
 

Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,526
Location
Minnesota, USA
Bick 4 cleans and moisturizes, no solvent, not expensive. Saphir Renovateur and Collonil 1909 are similar and moisturize with a high gloss shine. They're more expensive. Venetian cream has what smells like turpentine in it and is great for cleaning and conditioning old shell leather. The silicone that is in Bick 4 is likely a siloxane, which is a VOC and evaporates off the leather. It is used to emulsify the water and oil and help it spread.

Shoes: For conditioning shell leather, I use Bick 4, Saphir Renovateur, VSC and Collonil 1909. For calf, I use Bick 4, Collonil and Saphir Renovateur. For CXL, I use Bick 4, Collonil and Saphir greasy. For colour, I use Saphir MDO, Moneysworth, and Collonil 1909 shoe creams.

Collonil nuetral will condition and give a protective shine.

A leather sweat in a hat, IMO, needs some protective coating. I had a Gannon fedora made with a natural leather(no treatment) and a couple times it has absorbed sweat and transferred it to the hat.
 
Last edited:

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,980
My older sweatbands seem to prefer multiple light coats of neatsfoot oil and new and old get Pecard Antique leather dressing. I used to use Bick 4 as well, but I’ve come to prefer the others.

I’m off to Amazon now to see if I can find Collonil 1909! As I’ve learned from two brothers-in-law and a son-in-law it’s usually safe to trust perfectionist engineers.
I’m not trying to be argumentative Brent, but the guru leather guys over in leather jackets overwhelmingly advise against neatsfoot oil as a conditioner due to the fact it can become rancid being an animal byproduct and can/will degrade thread stitching.
I too used it as a youngster on ball gloves, it was the go to back then but i believe there are much better/safer products today.
I swear by Pecard Antique Leather Dressing for all things leather. It’s magic. Probably why the Smithsonian uses it although they don’t endorse it.
B
 
Messages
15,880
Location
Central California
I’ve used Saphir Renovateur exclusively for my dress shoes for several years. I have no complaints, but on such a strong recommendation I’ve just placed an order for Collonil nuetral.
 
Messages
15,880
Location
Central California
I’m not trying to be argumentative Brent, but the guru leather guys over in leather jackets overwhelmingly advise against neatsfoot oil as a conditioner due to the fact it can become rancid being an animal byproduct and can/will degrade thread stitching.
I too used it as a youngster on ball gloves, it was the go to back then but i believe there are much better/safer products today.
I swear by Pecard Antique Leather Dressing for all things leather. It’s magic. Probably why the Smithsonian uses it although they don’t endorse it.
B


I appreciate you sharing, B. I had no idea that was possible. I’ve never experienced problems with it myself, but it makes sense that it could cause issues. I have a four ounce bottle of neatsfoot oil that I’ve had for at least seven years and it’s still over half full. It isn’t used much, but I’ve had good results…then again I don’t know what long term damage may result. I’ll stick with Picard Antique while I try out Eric’s Collonil nuetral.
 

ILB Frank

One of the Regulars
Messages
118
My hesitancy around saddle soap is the amount of water needed to achieve the foaming and then more to rinse and I would worry about water stains on the ribbon. I just use a real light dab of Lexol cleaner and then an even lighter dab of conditioner. My wife is a fabric artist and we always have wool being cleaned hanging in the bathroom......I dont care for the smell of the lanolin but maybe the commercial lanolin has been fractionated to eliminate the odour
I appreciate the insight on saddle soap. I went light on it to good effect (these sweats weren't too dirty) but I think I'll look for a less intense cleaner.

I think pure anhydrous Lanolin is about the safest product you can use on sweatbands. I’ve used it on several vintage sweatbands that were quite fragile for that very reason. Works well but takes forever to absorb and stays tacky. Probably my fault overdoing it.
Saddlesoap scrubbing a sweatband seems messy so i’ll pass.
BView attachment 435206
I have had good luck with the lanolin not being tacky for too long. Maybe melting it helps with absorption and it's generally good for skin.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,591
Location
vancouver, canada
Bick 4 cleans and moisturizes, no solvent, not expensive. Saphir Renovateur and Collonil 1909 are similar and moisturize with a high gloss shine. They're more expensive. Venetian cream has what smells like turpentine in it and is great for cleaning and conditioning old shell leather. The silicone that is in Bick 4 is likely a siloxane, which is a VOC and evaporates off the leather. It is used to emulsify the water and oil and help it spread.

Shoes: For conditioning shell leather, I use Bick 4, Saphir Renovateur, VSC and Collonil 1909. For calf, I use Bick 4, Collonil and Saphir Renovateur. For CXL, I use Bick 4, Collonil and Saphir greasy. For colour, I use Saphir MDO, Moneysworth, and Collonil 1909 shoe creams.

Collonil nuetral will condition and give a protective shine.

A leather sweat in a hat, IMO, needs some protective coating. I had a Gannon fedora made with a natural leather(no treatment) and a couple times it has absorbed sweat and transferred it to the hat.
I use the Saphir cream for exotic leathers on my western boots, ostrich, gator, lizard....great product. For shine I am an old school Lincoln guy.
 

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,980
I appreciate you sharing, B. I had no idea that was possible. I’ve never experienced problems with it myself, but it makes sense that it could cause issues. I have a four ounce bottle of neatsfoot oil that I’ve had for at least seven years and it’s still over half full. It isn’t used much, but I’ve had good results…then again I don’t know what long term damage may result. I’ll stick with Picard Antique while I try out Eric’s Collonil nuetral.
Leather maintanence, preservation and restoration are all totally different animals. Discussions and experiences abound with each and are dizzying at best when researched.
I know the longterm results of what we do to sweatbands or jackets probably won’t be seen by us unless it is a disastrous result fairly immediately, such as the horror stories of sweatbands disintegrating shortly after using Lexol Conditioning that was posted a few years ago.
People still swear by that product but who knows.
Seeking the perfect product and finding it is a never ending journey that gives me a brain ache so i’m fine where i’m at.
Best we can do is try and see with crossed fingers.
B
 
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