1. Thread galleries are live! Please let us know what you think of them in the thread in the Observation Bar.

Red Rot, Cracks, and Flaking...When is a jacket too far gone?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by handymike, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    SoCal
    Today is the second time I’ve heard the term “red rot” in a discussion regarding a vintage jacket. What exactly is it? Can it spread to other jackets? And how can we avoid or fix it? What other issues are there with vintage jackets that should be avoided or could lead to costly repairs? Is it worth repairing/ restoring an old jacket? When is distressed actually a write off? I would love to hear the thoughts of or members on what situations would push you to fix a jacket vs. giving up the ghost.
     
  2. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Bristol
    My oldest Aero jacket is almost a decade old, but I had other leather jackets before, some of which had dried out a lot- these were cheaper ones that generally responded to a bit of face cream or shoe polish in the short term, but were probably not worth the effort overall. I had a couple of good Korean lambskin ones that I fixed small tears in by taking them to jacket makers there. Whereas I really like the look of vintage jackets, expense and being unfamiliar with restoration would make me hesitate before spending on one in the first instance. Any of the Aeros I currently own I'd pay for repairs to, providing repair costs weren't more than 40% than the price of a new one (although I might if it were the Highwayman that needed fixing...).

    Red rot is acid deterioration- happens to leather-bound books, etc., that have been stored in high humidity for a very long time. I've had Aeros with me in very high humidity for years in Hong Kong/Shanghai- not one even got mould on it (probably due to initial treatment), and I am not an air conditioning user, particularly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  3. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    SoCal
    I follow a Japanese company called Souvenir Repair Works. They seem to be able to fix anything made of leather. I watched a video of them fixing a cracked old A2. I couldn’t believe how great it looked when completed. Is this service unique in Japan? Are there others out there?
     
  4. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,108
    Location:
    Alabama
    "Red Rot" in the context I'm familiar with, is the deterioration of the leather to a point of no return. No amount of conditioner wil bring it back and sometimes hastens the breakdown. The fibers of the leather will usually begin to flake and they will eventually pull apart as rotten flannel will. The "Red" is from the color the leather begins to take on during this process. Oxidation maybe?
     
    AbbaDatDeHat and handymike like this.
  5. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Bristol
    Most museums would be able to put you in touch with their restorers. Pliancreme is quite widely used in the industry, but I think it's used for leather book covers...

    Anything that kills mould spores will probably work somewhat. A water/oil/fungicide combination should do the trick. As nuts as it sounds, I sprayed a previous (non-expensive) leather jacket down with a water/vinegar mix and then, when dry, wiped it down with a wet cloth with Nivea hand cream on it. I didn't pong like a chippie or an auntie. Jacket lasted a full seven years through Guangzhou summers and Shanghai summers and winters without moulding or any obvious damage. Finally gave it to a charity shop when I started this expensive hobby.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    navetsea and handymike like this.
  6. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    SoCal
    Never heard of Pliancreme either...
     
  7. Lebowski

    Lebowski Practically Family

    Messages:
    668
    That's interesting Eric, could you post that link please?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    AbbaDatDeHat likes this.
  8. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Bristol
    I think it went by two trade names, both prefixed by Plian. Only reason I know about it was a rare book dealer in HK.

    I use Renapur on jackets, but very rarely.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  9. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    SoCal
    49F836FD-CB87-4E9E-B7B5-342FCC5DB7E6.jpeg
     
    willyto, AbbaDatDeHat and Lebowski like this.
  10. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,455
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Main zipper replacement is not cheap and when done improperly it can ruin a jacket.
     
  11. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Bristol
    I wonder how many things people think they need to repair but actually do not, or do not count as flaws from a structural point of view, even if the aesthetics are annoying.
     
    Ernest P Shackleton likes this.
  12. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton Practically Family

    Messages:
    863
    Location:
    Midwest
    The Japanese are masters of leather work. They've been for centuries. They can do amazing things with baseball gloves (they're nuts about their gloves). You can search youtube for glove break-ins, repairs, and various other leather know-how.
     
  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,852
    Location:
    Australia
    If leather is exposed to the environment for a lengthy period (eg, stored in a barn for 25 years) it may rot. Rot is permanent and, as I understand it, the end result of leather drying out. You can cut it out and sew in patches but a museum display piece that is 'restored' is almost never wearable or usable. I would not bother restoring a jacket with rot. I would not buy a jacket with cracking or rot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    Peacoat likes this.
  14. TheGuitarFairy

    TheGuitarFairy Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Just West of Boston
    a few months back i found a Cal Leather CR here locally for cheap .. upon first inspection it appeared "ok" ... got it home and started wearing the thing? it literally tore big 6" tears like wet cardboard. never experienced anything like it.
     
  15. Never heard of ' I didn't pong like a chippie or an auntie'. Just what does this mean..??
    HD
     
    AbbaDatDeHat likes this.
  16. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,769
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Pong like a chippie (smell like a fish and chip shop - smell of vinegar - used as a condiment with salt); pong like an auntie (smell of an aunt wearing Nivea scented hand cream).
     
    JMax, HoosierDaddy and felix03 like this.
  17. Oh I see..a British saying. Pong means smell? Interesting....
     
  18. zebedee

    zebedee Practically Family

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Bristol
    'Pong' is a smell, usually slightly unpleasant or overly strong. Sneakers 'pong'. The rest of it I just threw together (but it worked, the water/vinegar spray- no mould).
     
    HoosierDaddy, El Marro and navetsea like this.
  19. navetsea

    navetsea Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,549
    Location:
    East Java
    i use water + vinegar on my leather jackets, and water +dettol on the liner side and fabrics jackets too, it clean up mold and its spores very effectively, more effective than alcohol.

    my riding gloves were overgrown with mold in the inside very badly since I rarely wear them as I haven't ride as often, I manually peeled the excess mold fibres first, and then I soak it inside out in a bucket with vinegar water for an hour and then air it out until the vinegar smell evaporated, mold never comes back so their spores are also cleaned up.
     
  20. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Japan
    @handymike,
    Souvenir Repair is currently not taking orders (this is usually a way of saying 'out of business', but not always).
    I've never heard of them or seen anything like that before. The Japanese usually pack winter clothes (leather shoes/jackets) in plastic boxes with bags of silica gel and insect repellent over the summer to stop them going moldy. Or they take their chances and throw them out after rainy season.
    White vinegar and water has killed mold on some of my textile jackets.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.