Subscribe
  1. RPF Premium Member temponaut's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2005
    From
    Tokyo, Japan
    Messages
    3,361
    May 27, 2007, 1:52 AM - Need advice: How to soften very old leather #1

    I've got a couple of old leather items I would like to revitalize, and I'd like to ask the advice of the experts on the RPF with regard to what products would work best.

    One of the items is the leather straps and handle of a Dickel Tennessee Whiskey bottle (the type that was used on Star Trek: TOS as the bottle for Saurian brandy). This leather is about 40 years old.

    The other item is a pair of authentic, unissued Kamikaze pilot's gloves that my father-in-law bought at a black market in Tokyo shortly after the end of WWII. This leather is over 60 years old.

    Both the Dickel straps (man, that sounds funny ) and the gloves are hard, brittle, and cracking in some places. But both items are unused and otherwise in mint condition.

    Is there some kind of oil or other product that might make these pieces supple again and bring them back to life?

    Can anyone give me some advice? All suggestions gratefully received!
  2. BlindSquirrel's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2005
    From
    Phoenix, AZ
    Messages
    1,543
    May 27, 2007, 2:08 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #2

    Mink oil? I use it to soften new leather but I don't know about the old stuff....
  3. Gman666 is offline Gman666
    May 27, 2007, 3:05 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #3

    I used baseball glove conditioning oil. I used it on several gloves from the 1920's and it worked great. I also used it on an old pair of hockey gloves. I do not know about restoring in your case. The items I used it on were for using everyday. Sorry I couldn't be more help. I would call a leather store.

    Thanks!

    Greg
  4. RPF Premium Member Gigatron's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2002
    From
    Staten Island, New York
    Messages
    5,373
    May 27, 2007, 8:42 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #4

    I use Pecard's leather conditioner on all my leather stuff; shoes, holsters, whip and bag strap.

    Here's their home website http://www.pecard.com/en-us/dept_13.html

    The stuff works great for reconditioning old and brand new leather.

    -Fred
  5. Member Since
    Feb 2004
    From
    living in the USA / originally Germany
    Messages
    217
    May 27, 2007, 9:10 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #5

    Yep - PECARDS is the way to go... they have a product called: Antique Leather Care which they claim is: The ONLY product you should use for your older leathers (http://www.pecard.com/store.php?crn=207). Lots of the guys that are into collecting vinatage/WWII flight-jackets/moto-jackets swear by the stuff.


    Gigatron said: View Post
    I use Pecard's leather conditioner on all my leather stuff; shoes, holsters, whip and bag strap.

    Here's their home website http://www.pecard.com/en-us/dept_13.html

    The stuff works great for reconditioning old and brand new leather.

    -Fred
  6. RPF Premium Member temponaut's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2005
    From
    Tokyo, Japan
    Messages
    3,361
    May 27, 2007, 12:20 PM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #6

    Thank you very much for the quick and detailed responses, everybody. Lots of very helpful information all around, right down to a specific product recommendation. I'm grateful for all of your comments and the links.

    My next step will be to shoot Pecard's an inquiry and, in the meantime, seek out a local leather shop as Gman suggested.

    Many thanks again for all your ideas. If anyone else has further advice, please don't hesitate to add it.
  7. DoctorEight's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2013
    From
    South of Pittsburgh
    Messages
    222
    Dec 14, 2013, 1:34 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #7

    Neatsfoot oil.

    i am currently prepping my Saurian Brandy bottle, and it has brought the 50 year old leather back, supple as can be.

    hard to believe it's already a half century old. (The bottle, the show's still got a few more years ). TOS doesn't seem that long ago.
  8. Badsprout's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2010
    From
    UK
    Messages
    172
    Dec 14, 2013, 7:29 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #8

    I used good old-fashioned Dubbin on my re-enactment gear. Not only does it make leather soft and supple, it waterproofs it as well.
  9. RPF Premium Member bookface's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2010
    From
    UK
    Messages
    355
    Dec 14, 2013, 7:51 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #9

    Guys, this thread is 6-1/2 years old.
  10. DoctorEight's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2013
    From
    South of Pittsburgh
    Messages
    222
    Dec 14, 2013, 8:00 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #10

    Sorry. I was looking for additional information on my Saurian Brandy bottle and didn't check the date.
  11. Badsprout's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2010
    From
    UK
    Messages
    172
    Dec 14, 2013, 8:00 AM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #11

    Blimey! So it is
  12. pennausamike's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2006
    Messages
    737
    Dec 14, 2013, 1:46 PM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #12

    DoctorEight said: View Post
    Neatsfoot oil.
    Badsprout said: View Post
    I used good old-fashioned Dubbin on my re-enactment gear.
    Not only does it make leather soft and supple, it waterproofs it as well.
    bookface said: View Post
    Guys, this thread is 6-1/2 years old.
    Old or not, the additions are still useful.
    I have a couple of WWII ammo pouches I'd like to clean and soften;
    I'm going to look into some of these products.

    Mike
    My Firefly/Serenity Collection:
    SerenityMovie.net :: View topic - Firefly/Serenity Weapons Collection
  13. Member Since
    Sep 2013
    From
    Thailand
    Messages
    44
    Dec 14, 2013, 7:04 PM - Re: Need advice: How to soften very old leather #13

    A friend of mine used to restore horse saddles and she swore by a product called Dubbin.

Similar Threads

  1. Dark Knight UD replica - Does it soften up?
    dwmcguff, DC Costumes and Props
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Apr 18, 2013, 10:46 AM
  2. Replies: 8
    Last Post: Nov 25, 2009, 8:47 PM
  3. Replies: 14
    Last Post: Oct 19, 2008, 12:22 AM
  4. leather whip maintenance - advice?
    rickrickrick, Replica Props
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 11, 2008, 8:52 AM