putting the shine back on old leather?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Hidebound, May 20, 2019.

  1. Hidebound

    Hidebound New in Town

    Messages:
    21
    I recently bought an old horsehide leather jacket that dates roughly from the 50's. There are some parts of it that have a sort of shiny, smooth surface (which I guess is how horsehide looks when new) but there are a lot of places where the "shine" has worn off to the point that it has a texture similar to very short grain suede.

    Is there some kind of coating that wore off, or is this just the natural progression of wear on the leather?

    I'm mostly interested in preserving this jacket and preventing further damage, so I'm wondering if I should treat those worn places or leave them alone.
     
  2. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,797
    Location:
    SoCal
    Pictures would help...
    I tend towards conditioning these old jackets (others don’t). There are many to choose from depending on what you want to achieve.
     
  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Australia
    You can't hurt it by putting on a good conditioner - even though it probably won't help much. May prevent further drying out. My experience over 30 plus years is that conditioner makes the leather look better right away but evaporates out and does nothing to fix cracking and wear.

    I conducted an experiment with two identical chairs as per the car seat photo above. The chair with treatment looked like the after photo - restored. In a few weeks it looked like the before photo again and just like the chair I didn't treat.

    Leather is meant to look worn - dye fades and leather creases. Enjoy.
     
  5. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man A-List Customer

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Australia
    In the recent past I have used this product on a 30 year old jacket ( that I had worn from new and had "worn out" )

    That jacket was an Eastman Luftwaffe in black Horsehide , and it had 'tea-cored" to the max , looked brown and tired !

    I had the jacket relined , and then "treated" the outside with Kiwi Kids Scuff . Comes in black and brown from the supermarket here in Australia. It works really well , and made the jacket appear "new" , so much so that some of my motorcycling mates thought it was a new jacket ! Kiwi kids scuff.jpg
     
    Dm101 likes this.
  6. dan_t

    dan_t Practically Family

    Messages:
    827
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Huh?
    That’s basically the same as painting it.
    Not really in the same vein as restoration or preservation approaches.
     
    Carlos840 likes this.
  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

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    @dan_t I think that product is a dye, rather than a paint. I haven't used that particular product, but I have used another Kiwi product that was a dye. Haven't used it on a jacket, but have used it on shoes.
     
  8. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man A-List Customer

    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Australia
    I was answering the OP's direct question

    "Putting the shine back on old leather"

    So Scuff Stuff sure will do that ! I wish I had "before N After" photos of my original Eastman Luftwaffe.

    3+ years on the jacket still looks OK from that treatment. Contains beeswax yada yada..

    Several mates of mine have since used the same technique and product on motorcycle jackets and all worked out well.

    I had it to hand as I have used it for years on the heels and sole sides of "Western and Cowboy" style boots
     
    dan_t likes this.
  9. dan_t

    dan_t Practically Family

    Messages:
    827
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    That’s exactly how I use it, on the heels of my RMW’s.
     

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