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The best leather conditioner ?

rick howarth

New in Town
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31
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cornwall
Although with Internet buying one can get ones hands on just about anything I haven't seen Pecards Antique leather dressing available. Obviously it is as many people on this forum mention its use. Currently I am using Mars Leather conditioner, is there any real advantage in Pecards over this make? and if old leather is inherently weak other than preventing cracking do these dressings strengthen it in other ways.
 
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rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
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2,612
Location
England
Although with Internet buying one can get ones hands on just about anything I haven't seen Pecards Antique leather dressing available. Obviously it is as many people on this forum mention its use. Currently I am using Mars Leather conditioner, is there any real advantage in Pecards over this make? and if old leather is inherently weak other than preventing cracking do these dressings strengthen it in other ways.
Hi, there are quite a few threads on this subject, Pecards always comes up as it is more than likely the best known. I have been using leather conditioners for 30+ years and have never used Pecards, my recommendation is Ko Cho Line simply because 30 years of use on an original wartime A2 with no adverse effects says it all to me. It's probably cheaper than Pecards as well but anyway it's your choice.
Hands up who has used Pecards as long as I have used Ko Cho!
PS, dont bother using any leather dressing if it is a new jacket(Quote by Aero Leather), also once leather has started to crack it is very hard to stop the rot. Doubt your jacket will fall apart but dried leather fibres cannot be repaired, collars often go on A2s, shoulders are another problem so be careful. Application here will help prevent further deterioration but remember this kind of jacket is now nearly 70 years old, some designs older.
Just my views. You will probably get a million recommending Pecards though.
Johnny Tee
 
D

Deleted member 16736

Guest
Don't use Ko Cho Line on aniline leather!

Per manufacturer's directions.
 
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11,580
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Covina, Califonia 91722
Although with Internet buying one can get ones hands on just about anything I haven't seen Pecards Antique leather dressing available. Obviously it is as many people on this forum mention its use. Currently I am using Mars Leather conditioner, is there any real advantage in Pecards over this make? and if old leather is inherently weak other than preventing cracking do these dressings strengthen it in other ways.

David Morgan carries that one.
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
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2,612
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England
Don't use Ko Cho Line on aniline leather!
Per manufacturer's directions.
Mine must be an old tin as it doesn't mention anything about Aniline Leather.
What adverse effects? The tin only says may darken leathers, as most conditioners do, but it lightens after a while.
I have used it on my 'Lucky & Seven' wartime jacket since 1983, nothing noticeable has happened to it in all that time.
J
 
The world of "preservation" products is a bit like the old snake oil market. Toss in a bit of this and that...put in in a fancy bottle..sell it for a nice profit.
A LOT of "care and preservation" products contain things you don't want near your possessions...often containing silicone or other chemical products that may make something "shiny" that can cause problems down the line.
Are there disadvantages to using Pecard's as opposed to something else? Never heard of any.
I imagine folks in charge of preserving museum items would be pretty picky about what products they use on fragile, irreplaceable items.

Re; the issue of "treating" your leather, I go with Aero Leather's recommendations;

http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/break-in.php

"This is even easier. Do nothing, absolutely nothing. Do not oil it, don't treat it with hide food - even ours, this is for old steerhide jackets and dried up old vintage horsehide jackets from the 1930s and 1940s, not for your Aero, well not until maybe 2035"
 
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D

Deleted member 16736

Guest
Mine must be an old tin as it doesn't mention anything about Aniline Leather.
What adverse effects? The tin only says may darken leathers, as most conditioners do, but it lightens after a while.
I have used it on my 'Lucky & Seven' wartime jacket since 1983, nothing noticeable has happened to it in all that time.
J

Per the Amazon website. Must be because it darkens leather. "Not suitable for unfinished or aniline leathers."

http://www.amazon.com/Ko-Cho-Line-L...F8&qid=1357429877&sr=8-1&keywords=ko+cho+line

What contract is your Lucky 7 jacket? I always liked that one.
 

frussell

One Too Many
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1,409
Location
California Desert
I like Pecard's, but for most things I've been using R.M. Williams Saddle Dressing for at least 25 years. It won't rot stitching (a big question with some of the "oils" I see recommended here), never over-penetrates or makes leather soggy, and even slightly waterproofs leather. If I remember correctly, it's made with lots of the old-school ingredients that our forefathers used, like beeswax and rendered animal tallow. Even smells pleasant. It may darken some dry leather, but usually lightens with wear if that happens. A fellow that runs a well-known (and pricey) Western auction house told me they only use Blackrock Leather 'N' Rich on their fragile, antique saddles and tack, and I've used it on an antique saddle I found rotting away in a barn, to fine results. It smells a little weird, but is great for old, dried out leather. Like rocketeer posted above, I've never found ANY product that will repair rotted or overly dry old leather, but these products will slow down or halt the damage a good deal. Good luck to you. Frank.
P.S. - The gentleman in my avatar is my great-grandfather, and his son used the R.M. Williams product on Great Grandpa's Miles City saddle (circa 1890) for years. It's still rideable today, and the leather is in fine condition. Frank
 

IXL

One Too Many
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1,284
Location
Oklahoma
I purchased a jacket that came with a couple of small tubs of "Snow-Proof Weatherproofing", Snow-Proof Div of Fishing Inc, Milwaukee, WI. They claim to have been making this since 1904. Anyone heard of or used this? Is it something I want to treat my leather with?
Also, why should one stay away from silicone?
 
....
Also, why should one stay away from silicone?

The best description of how silicone behaves is in this article by guitar builder/author William Cumpiano;

"BE SKEPTICAL ABOUT OVER THE COUNTER CARE PRODUCTS
The chemical industry provides thousands of products for home and industry. In the process, untold thousands-more compounds result: you try to create one useful chemical, in the process you end up with half a dozen other chemicals as by-products which you must get rid of. Or find a new use for. As a result, another industry has risen which busies itself in finding uses for all that stuff. Is it slick and oily? How about fingerboard oil!. Does it dry slick and shiny? How about furniture polish! Or guitar polish! Well, if its slick, and stays slick, it's probably loaded with silicones, and as a deep-throat-secret industry insider once revealed to me, many of the over-the-counter spray-on or rub-on guitar-care products are just that: silicone-based secondary by-products from the chemical industry.

Now silicones are really oils that never, never dry out. Now that could be a good thing, but that means that the stuff can "migrate" forever. You get some on your guitar, then on your hands, and you touch the table and leave some on the table, or the guitar leaves some on the case fabric, and then someone else touches the case fabric and carries some onto their guitar, and the stuff migrates every where and forever, because it just stays slick and sticky forever. For people who work on guitars, the stuff is hellish because NOTHING will stick to it, wherever it happens to be. Glue, finish, nothing. Whenever I see the lustrous, oily-slick, sticky film on a guitar from a well-meaning owner who has been persuaded that the guitar will somehow "die" or "dry up" because they're not lathering it ("nourishing it") with some commercial fingerboard oil or spray on guitar goop), I go into hazard-avoidance mode: I quarantine the case and take a roll of paper towels and disposable plastic gloves and wipe as much of the goo off as I can, and then go over the whole guitar with a good guitar "cleaner" (Martin makes one) and then toss all the paper and cloth debris into a plastic bag and ditch it. Then I wash my hands with soap and water. Then I start work on the guitar."

http://www.cumpiano.com/Home/Articles/Articles/fbrd oil.html

No, not talking about leather...but still. Do you want that stuff on a nice piece of leather?

(The article is titled "Don't love your guitar to death"...a philosophy which I also apply to leather jackets.)
 
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frussell

One Too Many
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1,409
Location
California Desert
The other side of what that guitar builder says about silicone is that not only will nothing stick to it, virtually nothing will ever penetrate it again. That includes any leather treatment you may want to use on your jacket, which may still get dry, since the silicone is only applied to one side of the hide. I've seen saddles with a super lustrous shine from products with silicone that were basically dying from the inside out because no leather conditioner would soak through that shiny silicone layer. I've also seen a popular glycerin-based leather treatment have the same effect, but it would eventually break down and let some other conditioners in, after you "wore it off." I tend to look for something that doesn't leave any greasy residue, or a layer of "protection" that's hard to get rid of. I don't like my leather to shine and squeak, just to be in good condition, and still "breathe," which some products will prevent. Frank.
 

rocketeer

Call Me a Cab
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2,612
Location
England
Per the Amazon website. Must be because it darkens leather. "Not suitable for unfinished or aniline leathers."

http://www.amazon.com/Ko-Cho-Line-L...F8&qid=1357429877&sr=8-1&keywords=ko+cho+line

What contract is your Lucky 7 jacket? I always liked that one.

Thanks for that:)
Well it has an Aero leather Beacon NY label in it but Andrew says it's actually some unknown contract. To be honest I did not note down what contract he said it was as I am not really interested in that finer detail. To me it is an A2 and there are no real significant differences between any of them except the ones with the pocket corners cropped off and maybe the collar stand, but you cannot see that unless the collar is up.

I have conditioned this jacket every couple of years and yes the application darkens the leather but always lightens up, I only ever put a small amount on, usually with the same rag I have been using for years so it(the rag) is well soaked in the stuff.
Cheers, John.

PS. The RM Williams stuff sounds good, might have to try that on my boots.
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,862
Location
East Java
I can't claim anything but personally I use:
Howard leather conditioner (lanolin, aloevera & coconut oil, carnauba wax, beeswax) for finer leather (thin jacket, thin gloves) it has nice lemon smell and claims to Penetrates, preserves, protects "restores& revives"
Mink oil & Leather cleaner (from Columbus brand) for thicker leather (thick jacket, belt, boots, wallet) since it stops creaking and soften it quite significantly.
 
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