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What's your care routine for Veg-Tanned Horsehide?

sshack

A-List Customer
Messages
380
Location
California
So I recently got my hands on a Double Helix veg-tanned horsehide jacket (semi-aniline). Appears to have a black pigment finish with a gloss top coat. I'm still in the "meet-cute" phase with this jacket and will post more once I figure out the "warts and all..." But yeah, I'm real happy with it so far!

In the meantime, what do you guys do to maintain/care for your veg-tanned horse hide?

The jacket is marketed as tea-core, but wearing down the black pigment isn't my priority. I just want to keep the leather in good condition. In fact, after a few CXL jackets that required no maintenance, I'm looking forward to doing some hands-on conditioning. I actually enjoy that stuff!

So, please post your care routine for expensive jackets that need to be taken care of!


PS-- Excuse my kid's fit pic. Will post for real when I get more time!
 

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Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,311
Location
South of Nashville
Simple answer: Do nothing. Your jacket will need no conditioners for 20 years or so. This isn't me saying this, but it comes from the people who actually know leather jackets–Aero and others.

One thing you might do is to wipe the inside of the collar with a conditioner once a year to remove the oils and sweat that seem to hide out there.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,180
No conditioning needed. My DH was wearable right out of the box, no break in no special treatment needed. Great pick up. I was trying to find one of these with handwarmers. Did you get it through their main website?
 

dudewuttheheck

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,277
Don't do anything to it. The biggest mistake most people make with conditioning leather jackets is conditioning it too often. You shouldn't have to do anything to it for many years. I have veg tanned jackets that are over a decade old that have never been conditioned and they're perfectly fine.

There are exceptions, but generally you should just leave it alone and wear it.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,859
I own a Double Helix jacket in the same leather. The pigment coating on it is so thick that water doesn't penetrate at all. Therefore applying a conditioner won't have any effect because it won't penetrate the leather.

Apart from that, as mentioned above the leather doesn't need any conditioning for at least 20 years.
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,920
Location
London
The only preventative maintenance i do on jackets is cleaning the back collar and inside of the wrists with a damp cloth a couple times a year. I then quickly wipe it with my "Pecard's rag" without adding any pecard to the cloth.
The natural greasiness of the cloth is enough, i don't want to saturate the leather, just give it a slight protecting layer in these areas.

I have started doing that after buying a few older jackets that had dry collars and inside of wrists, i think the contact between leather and human skin is really not a great thing for longevity of leather. (I saw that happen on a couple 90s Vanson, probably jackets that saw a lot of road use on MC, but still avoidable with a little clean)

Other than that, a spot clean with a damp cloth should be all you need for the next decade or two.
If you see the leather is drying add something, but keep in mind that less is more.

Case in point this jacket that i now own is a great example of what not to do:

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...st-worlds-leather-before-during-after.101774/

Is the worst feeling LW i own, it is caked in a heavy layer of wax and schmoo, none of it was necessary, it really didn't do any good to anything. The previous owner meant well, but i whish he had left it alone...

LESS IS MORE!
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,859
Is the worst feeling LW i own, it is caked in a heavy layer of wax and schmoo, none of it was necessary, it really didn't do any good to anything. The previous owner meant well, but i whish he had left it alone...
Have you tried degreasing the jacket using cleaning fluid? I used this successfully on jackets that were over-conditioned by their previous owners.

5709798D-6E6A-4083-B2BC-5864E4BFB97F.jpeg
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,859
I thought about it but i'm afraid it will attack the top coat and make more of a mess...
Has it been a 100% succes rate for you?
I used it on a 50s hh Buco and on an ELMC Californian without any problems. But maybe it's different with jackets that have a thick topcoat.

You could try it first on the inside of a pocket or the inside of the hem.
 

sshack

A-List Customer
Messages
380
Location
California
Thank you for all the advice! Doing nothing was my first instinct... but then I did what I always do and started to over-think it. And google it... and then the rabbit hole...

What I found: lots of' manufacturers of Veg-Tanned leather products (wallets, bags, shoes, jackets) have lots of "avoid this" and "condition periodically" in their care instructions.

What gives? "Do nothing" works fine for Horween CXL as I can attest, but isn't veg-tanned a different beast? Is the "do-nothing" instinct more of a marketing ethos we've embraced because we want to show the world our very $$$ jackets can defy the laws of physics? Thus we wear them in the rain on purpose, drop them from hot air balloons, swim the English Channel... etc. I mean, CXL leather is supposed to look battered, right? That makes it look boss.

But seriously, what if you want your leather jacket to look new-ish only for a few years?

Just yesterday I accidentally grazed a painted wall in my house with a corner of the new DH jacket. Then I saw a faint shadow streak on my wall. At first I didn't think much-- the wall was painted by the builders with really cheap chalky paint that needs to be redone (ugh). The wall picks up stains like a magnet.

And then I saw a tea-core spot on the jacket. The wall (which isn't very rough) was enough to strip off a spot of the black pigment coating. Hmm... 1). I guess this is the point of buying a tea-core jacket? 2). But is grazing a house wall really all it takes to remove the black finish? 3). I don't mind a "vintage" looking jacket... but not in the first week.

dhspot.jpeg


This post is getting long. Anyway, I'll touch up the tea-core spot with some black Angelus paint & gloss finisher (an experiment, yes!).

BACK ON TRACK: I submit that perhaps Veg-tanned leather jackets needs more care. Attached pic: The following backpack was my first "expensive" leather purchase ever. Made by now defunct "Holland Sport." Full grain steer, veg tanned. I'm guessing full-aniline finish.

It is now about 25 years old. Leather has a nice patina, but feels dry and stiff in spots. I've conditioned this periodically (when I remembered)-- has probably received about 8 coats of stuff (lexol, honey leather, other stuff) throughout the years. And it always felt/looked better afterwards.

So... for full Veg-tanned leather jackets-- seriously, no one is doing anything? And after a year or two or five, your jacket still looks/feels okay?

20230130_095216.jpg



20230130_095146.jpg
 
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sshack

A-List Customer
Messages
380
Location
California
No conditioning needed. My DH was wearable right out of the box, no break in no special treatment needed. Great pick up. I was trying to find one of these with handwarmers. Did you get it through their main website?
Yes, the website! And yes, I constantly an reaching for handwarmer pockets that don't exist!
 

sshack

A-List Customer
Messages
380
Location
California
I own a Double Helix jacket in the same leather. The pigment coating on it is so thick that water doesn't penetrate at all. Therefore applying a conditioner won't have any effect because it won't penetrate the leather.

Apart from that, as mentioned above the leather doesn't need any conditioning for at least 20 years.
Yes, I saw your pic from the store! It looks great and you helped me make my buying choice. Your pic was much better/helpful than the DH website pic.
 

MrProper

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,885
Location
Europe
Thank you for all the advice! Doing nothing was my first instinct... but then I did what I always do and started to over-think it. And google it... and then the rabbit hole...

What I found: lots of' manufacturers of Veg-Tanned leather products (wallets, bags, shoes, jackets) have lots of "avoid this" and "condition periodically" in their care instructions.

What gives? "Do nothing" works fine for Horween CXL as I can attest, but isn't veg-tanned a different beast? Is the "do-nothing" instinct more of a marketing ethos we've embraced because we want to show the world our very $$$ jackets can defy the laws of physics? Thus we wear them in the rain on purpose, drop them from hot air balloons, swim the English Channel... etc. I mean, CXL leather is supposed to look battered, right? That makes it look boss.

But seriously, what if you want your leather jacket to look new-ish only for a few years?

Just yesterday I accidentally grazed a painted wall in my house with a corner of the new DH jacket. Then I saw a faint shadow streak on my wall. At first I didn't think much-- the wall was painted by the builders with really cheap chalky paint that needs to be redone (ugh). The wall picks up stains like a magnet.

And then I saw a tea-core spot on the jacket. The wall (which isn't very rough) was enough to strip off a spot of the black pigment coating. Hmm... 1). I guess this is the point of buying a tea-core jacket? 2). But is grazing a house wall really all it takes to remove the black finish? 3). I don't mind a "vintage" looking jacket... but not in the first week.

This post is getting long. Anyway, I'll touch up the tea-core spot with some black Angelus paint & gloss finisher (an experiment, yes!).

BACK ON TRACK: I submit that perhaps Veg-tanned leather jackets needs more care. Attached pic: The following backpack was my first "expensive" leather purchase ever. Made by now defunct "Holland Sport." Full grain steer, veg tanned. I'm guessing full-aniline finish.

It is now about 25 years old. Leather has a nice patina, but feels dry and stiff in spots. I've conditioned this periodically (when I remembered)-- has probably received about 8 coats of stuff (lexol, honey leather, other stuff) throughout the years. And it always felt/looked better afterwards.

So... for full Veg-tanned leather jackets-- seriously, no one is doing anything? And after a year or two or five, your jacket still looks/feels okay?

View attachment 485234


View attachment 485233
I don't do anything with my veg tanned jackets. However, I also only have three of them left (possibly my shearling is veg tanned? I don't know). But they are also only two years old.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,180
Sounds normal to me for pigment finish type of leather. I use shoe polish to touch things up if I wanted them to look new. I find the pigment/teacore leathers tends to look more "cracked" than "fade", but that's just the paint on the top. I doubt it actual harm the leather. I have an older RMCNZ jackets that could be at least 15 years old, the lining has holes but the leather is still good and there isn't much I needed to do except to wipe down with a damp cloth to clean the dust.
IMG_8374.JPG
 

sshack

A-List Customer
Messages
380
Location
California
Sounds normal to me for pigment finish type of leather. I use shoe polish to touch things up if I wanted them to look new. I find the pigment/teacore leathers tends to look more "cracked" than "fade", but that's just the paint on the top. I doubt it actual harm the leather. I have an older RMCNZ jackets that could be at least 15 years old, the lining has holes but the leather is still good and there isn't much I needed to do except to wipe down with a damp cloth to clean the dust.
View attachment 485236
Ahh, thank you for this! +1 for the scientific-ish method... Assuming the former owner did nothing as well.
 
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