Darkening/aging leather

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Sulla, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Sulla

    Sulla Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How do I darken/age leather without making a mess that will rub off, or dirty clothing and furniture, or weaken the material?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    My favorite method (depending on size of the material) is a light sanding to roughen up the surface, a few coats of brown and black shoe polish and a top coat of Pecard's leather dressing. Then you can use a very fine grit sandpaer (like wet/dry) to add highlights and distressed areas.

    Haven't had any issues with ruboff in over 2 years, and that's on a bag strap I use everyday.

    -Fred
     
  3. Mechinyun

    Mechinyun Sr Member

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  4. Sulla

    Sulla Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Kewl thanks.

    The leather is trim on a canvas repro WWII bag. I will need to figure out how to weather/distress the canvas duck, but I have some thoughts on that. I may just take the darned thing on a heavy camping trip...
     
  5. rocketeer25

    rocketeer25 Sr Member

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  6. Eaglewood

    Eaglewood Sr Member

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    Tandy Leather is the place to go--They WILL have whatever you need to color and seal the leather. Google them or I can send you a link.

    Appliedmetal

    PS--I have an account with them so I get discounts... Let me know if I can help
     
  7. Zendragon

    Zendragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have had good luck with Pecards and a hair dryer
     
  8. gnrlotto

    gnrlotto Sr Member

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    Also, good old fashioned mink oil works too.
     
  9. Sulla

    Sulla Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to head to Ladwerelyn's leather here in central Indianapolis and see what they have. Last time I was there there they had two huge tables groaning under the weight of leather tratment stuff.

    You've been a huge help. And that canvas bag tutorial was great. I dunno if I wanna burry my bag in the wet clay we call soil here, but not bad, not bad.
     
  10. Lukes Roommate

    Lukes Roommate Well-Known Member

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    For a suede-ish type leather, I HIGHLY recommend Atom Wax.
    Rubbing it in creates that sweat-stained look that comes with abuse, age and well, sweat.
     
  11. Mechinyun

    Mechinyun Sr Member

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    Mink oil is actually horrible for leather. Now if its a cheap item and you want something quick from walmart or whatever to do it, sure. But if its an item you want to keep and preserve for however long dont use mink oil, it will rot out the leather over time.

    Pecards as I recommend above is known to not harm leather at all. The smithsonian institute uses pecards to restore historical leather items (we are talking hundreds of years old) and keep them in good shape for future generations.

    -Cliff
     
  12. gnrlotto

    gnrlotto Sr Member

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    That's utterly bizarre to me, as centuries ago they only had things like Mink Oil and Neetsfoot. I'm fairly certain there weren't medieval barkers hawking "Ye Olde-timey Pecard's Leather Dressing--Also good for boils and the gout."

    If you buy shoes from The Bostonian, they only sale Mink Oil. Guess they want folks to ruin their shoes...
     
  13. Mechinyun

    Mechinyun Sr Member

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    Yes they do, if they didnt wear out they couldnt sell your another pair. ;)


    A simple google search about mink oil will bring up plenty of sites with studies and results about these "leather dressings". Trust me they are all bad news. Sure people have used this stuff for years, but people also ate poision to cure sicknes for ages too. Times change, technology and research advances.

    http://www.watchpolishing.com/leatherguide.htm

    Quote of the important part:

    Ample studies have proven that leather dressings and saddle soaps, rather than preserving aged leather artifacts, actually hasten their deterioration. Oils in dressings are intended to provide internal lubrication for leather that is still in use; the oil allows the bundles of fibrils to slip over each other as leather is flexed, keeping it supple. Historic leather artifacts in a collection no longer need to be flexible, since they are no longer functional objects. Research has shown that many oils and fats used in leather dressings (neatsfoot oil, mink oil, lanolin) oxidize and harden over time, causing the leather to become even stiffer and brittle; oils also will darken with time, thus darkening the leather. Saddle soap originally was developed as an emulsified dressing for leather. Its ability to clean a surface is dubious, as the "soap" in it is employed to emulsify the oil/water mixture, leaving little reserve cleaning power. Saddle soap is also alkaline and leaves residues that cause degradation of the leather.


    So yeah, mink oil is bad. B)

    Most leather items I own are props and I have done extensive research into the subject, specificly keeping leather in its best possible condition. This was due to my first David Morgan Whip which I purchased in 1989, I used mink oil on it for years and I could see the leather had deteriorated alot in just 5 years. Lesson learned. :)

    edit for url link.
     
  14. Sulla

    Sulla Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow, thanks for the heads up. I've been using Neetsfoot oil on my SCA straps and belts for years now... Guess I need to change to Pecard's?
     
  15. stevdelphi

    stevdelphi New Member

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    Def Pecard's
     
  16. Serenity

    Serenity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Mate, the last post in this thread was over five years ago. :confused I think Sulla figured out Pecards quite a while ago...
     

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