Washing my old cowhide jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by handymike, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    for a new jacket, washing it obviously give permanent change to the look, for the better, on my new jacket I wear it around for a week after washing without recondition, it really records new creases during that time, when finally conditioned the creases mellow quite a bit but I guess it has to be done. for an old jacket I really have no experience, if its only the smelly lining, I would clean it with upholstery cleaning foam spray they sell for car and sofa/ carpet, that's how I clean my cap liner too last week. some of the grime diluted by the water is what people call "patina" too I'm afraid.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    handymike likes this.
  2. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    Yeah, to dry spread a large towel (or two) on a flat surface like a table or a floor and place a dripping wet jacket on them. Put another towel inside the jacket, maybe small towels inside sleeves. They will quickly soak up excess water, you will need to change them once. I would not spin, too much mechanical stress. Monitor is right, they will come out different - stiffer initially, but much softer after Pecards or Obenaufs. Obenaufs will darken them a shade, no problem with a black jacket unless you want to keep the patina contrast; it will reduce that contrast somewhat. The effect will lessen with time, but lighter areas will darken a bit for a long time. Don't know about Pecards. I can say my stiff 50 y/o HD Sportster became soft as baby's ass after 3 Obenaufs treatments after wash. Much softer than initially, and infinitely softer than right after wash. To Monitor's point - has the cowhide weakened by becoming this soft? I don't know, but it feels great to handle and wear.
     
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  3. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    I washed a 1950’s G-1 in the tub with Woolite dark and the water turned brown. Drained the tub and rinsed it a couple times until the water was almost clear. I then put the jacket in the dryer on low heat cycle for about an hour. A coat of Pecards once it had dried and the G-1 was good as new.
     
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  4. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    We just bought a new top-loader washing machine, so I’ll be doing the soak in a tub. The jacket weighs 7-8lbs dry, and I don’t want to risk breaking the machine.
     
  5. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    HandyMike - just FYI I had a very smelly leather recently that reeked of cigarette smoke. I ran it 3 times on the Gentle cycle on my top-load - non agitator washing machine. Used tide the first two washes, and woolite the thrid time, once it dried out, it was about 50% less smelly. It took leather treatment well, but the smell was just too prevasive. So I donated it.
     
  6. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    This is after 3 mins of soaking:
    D03B6B65-D2B2-4B29-A9FA-22C213AE33B6.jpeg
     
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  7. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Resting peacefully after 10 rinses...
    C773C572-6AE9-42CE-90EC-80C88042928E.jpeg
     
  8. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    Exactly what I said in one of my earlier posts. The amount of crap that comes out of these old jackets is unbelievable. Not really surprising.
     
  9. jpk_NJ

    jpk_NJ Practically Family

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    IMO- as a fellow jacket bather, I’ve had very clean looking jacket produce this dark brown/burgundy runoff color when draining and can almost certainly say it is dye residue from the lining and or hide. And if you let it soak for too long, especially if you added Lexol Cleaner into the bath, it’s stripping too much color out. Now I only soak until I see the first tinge of color change in the water, then start rinsing.
     
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  10. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I agree it's mainly dye.
     
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  11. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man Practically Family

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    I have machine washed jackets for the "whiff" or "vintage bouquet" for the most part up until now.
    For sure some dye comes off , but on old jackets I find it's brown gunk of the ages predominates.

    If the outer is showing bug splatter (as in a motorcycle jacket) but there is no "whiff" of damp storage, just a good external sponging down with saddle soap or some similar product before re-treatment with RM Williams (or whatever).

    I have ben known to hang jackets over a flower bed and carefully low pressure hose down the external avoiding as much as possible wetting the inside. I find the flower bed minimises the splash on your feet AND "recycles" the water here in Australia
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  12. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    When I wash brand new jackets with no gunk the water is every bit as filthy, possibly more so.
     
  13. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    ^^
    You guys are not wrong there. While I have not seen loss of color on black jackets I washed (and I washed only those), it does appear that the brownish stuff that comes off very quickly is some dye component. I try to keep the manual warm wash cycle to 5 minutes or so, then rinse.
     
    Monitor likes this.
  14. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    yeah either dye or accumulation of leather care products applied to the jacket, and not urine or filth :D
     
  15. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    This collar lifts my spirits!
    73ABC4DD-C8DB-4668-B9B4-1507C0990F15.jpeg
    It’s actually double the size of Aero’s premier collar. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  16. marker2037

    marker2037 One of the Regulars

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    That's a good looking collar and grain.
     
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  17. Jin431

    Jin431 A-List Customer

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    Wow, what a collar
     

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