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#1 wingman68

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 02:49 AM

Following in the foot steps of the Web gear preservation thread, can we do the same for leather, we all have leather items, I am waiting on some old Navy PAL Knifes to arrive and they look dry in the pics, usually I would saddle soap and then a saddle oil on my leather gear but what do others do to keep there leather pliable and supple.


Just kicking back to the webgear thread someone mentioned webbing that wouldnt lay flat, no remedies for that but I always found displaying ammo pouches specially he big Pommy Bren Magazine pouches and the Standard basic pouches a pain, I now stuff my pouches and packs out with paper and in some cases wood, this keeps everything taught, when you have a pile of webbing gear in a heap or stored in bulk things tend to get out of shape, might help someone out

#2 Jeremiah

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:27 AM

I tend to just leave leather goods alone. Anything you introduce will need to be continually reapplied over the remainder of the item's existence. In addition, most products darken the leather and can obliterate ink markings such as names or manufacturer's codes.

Best bet is to buy leather items in tip top shape. They will cost more but will last longer with minimal care. Just keep them out of humid or very dry places or direct light.

#3 cavsaddle

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:13 PM

Following in the foot steps of the Web gear preservation thread, can we do the same for leather, we all have leather items, I am waiting on some old Navy PAL Knifes to arrive and they look dry in the pics, usually I would saddle soap and then a saddle oil on my leather gear but what do others do to keep there leather pliable and supple.
Just kicking back to the webgear thread someone mentioned webbing that wouldnt lay flat, no remedies for that but I always found displaying ammo pouches specially he big Pommy Bren Magazine pouches and the Standard basic pouches a pain, I now stuff my pouches and packs out with paper and in some cases wood, this keeps everything taught, when you have a pile of webbing gear in a heap or stored in bulk things tend to get out of shape, might help someone out


 I know for a fact that the Smithsonian uses only pecards on the leather in their care.
George.

Edited by Shenkursk, 26 May 2015 - 04:01 PM.


#4 Blake_E

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:43 AM

Is there any kind of treatment out there that will give leather items (i'm thinking boots) that nice dark, deep, shiny, rejuvenated shine, also what do you guys polish leather boots with? I've just got some here that have a rather dullish, faded type of look to them, and want to darken them and give them that spit polish type of shine.
As for regular leather gear, its best left alone, if possible. Most of my holsters and other leather gear have their 'as found' finish on them, bar a few that just really NEEDED a treatment. I use nothing but Connollys, much much prefer it over the Pecards, and it does an outstanding job.

#5 Shenkursk

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:10 PM

I know for a fact that the Smithsonian uses only pecards on the leather in their care.


No disrespect intended to Cavsaddle, but that has been asserted here and in other places, but is absolutely no longer the case. It is true that some of the best museums have used leather dressings in the past, and a few still continue this practice. I even know of one very well-respected collector who has been known to slop used motor on painted leather flight jackets claiming a "better result than Pecards". I'm sure the resulting greasy leather rags were indeed soft, and he is very happy with his results. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif

I am also sure that some conscientious collectors have used Pecards and other leather treatments sparingly over the years, and are pleased with the results. There are also plenty of people who will take original Civil War belt buckles and shine them on a buffing wheel, and they are also pleased with the results.

ASSUMING that you do not mind turning light brown leather into very dark brown leather, and further assuming that the leather object you are 'treating' will never, ever come in contact with any other artifacts - wait - one more - assuming also that there is no brass or metal as a part of the object that will react with the Pecards to form verdigris... no, sorry, I can't think of one good reason to ever get that substance anywhere near an artifact that has any kind of value.

Since this controversy broke in Military Trader a few issues ago, I have talked to a number of friends and acquaintances who are currently employed in the museum field as curators, conservators, and registrars. I asked them all one question: "would you recommend using Pecards or any other similar leather treatment on artifacts?" Their first response was always laughter, followed by horror stories about items in the museum collection that are a mess and require constant attention due to what one curator called "Pecard bloom", a white waxy substance that rises to the surface of the leather like oil still leaking from the USS Arizona. Items so treated in the past can never be put in displays where they will come in contact with other artifacts (especially cloth) because they will stain the other items. They are also a constant source of irritation as over time they stain, discolor, and contaminate whatever display material or storage system they are in contact with.

Now the Pecards people and their devotees will say "well, if you've got those kind of problems you're just not doing it right." Really? Sorry, I personally am not interested in chemotherapy for my collection. If just a tad will (best case scenario) create the false illusion of a cure, but too much will absolutely ruin the item and potentially everything else it comes in contact with - no thanks.

I have no financial gain to make by posting this here. Quite the contrary - I catch tons of flak whenever I speak this heresy, and would rather avoid offending people if possible. I have shied away from controversial subjects on this forum because I am here to make friends and not alienate people. This one is too important not to speak out, though. I know that if you are already devoted to this stuff, nothing I can say and no parade of wrecked artifacts will likely change your mind. It is a religion, and those who worship at the sinister webbed feet of that collection-wrecking (though cute) little red and black duck have way too much invested to turn back. I do not wish to upset or insult them. My only hope is that a new collector will read this and make the decision to preserve his collection by storing it properly and not doing harm to it by engaging in non-reversible courses of action such as impregnating leather artifacts with oily substances.

OK, so I guess I do have something to gain here. If more people will abstain from using these products (or putting swords and rifles on buffing wheels, spraying lacquer on painted helmets, using brasso on Confederate buckles, etc.), there will be more good militaria in good condition available to buy and sell in the years to come.

I have purchased a number of collections over the past few years, and have seen up-close and personal the long term results of this stuff. The best, most valuable, expensive, and nicely preserved collections that I have seen and / or purchased all have one thing in common: NONE of them used any sort of treatment on their leather material AT ALL.

Edited by Jeff Shrader, 12 August 2008 - 08:34 PM.


#6 Shenkursk

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:20 PM

Here is a reply that I received from a museum tech with the National Park Service museum system on this same topic a few weeks ago:

Dear Jeff,

Ahh Pecardís, the much beloved leather dressing of military memorabilia
aficionados everywhere. Why it is so popular is beyond me, but I digress.
(And despite what Pecardís will tell you, the Smithsonian does not use
their product anymore.)

First off, let me say leather is a really hard item to conserve by nature.
So many factors contribute to the characteristics of the final product,
from what sort of animal, how long it was dead, its age at death, the skill
of the skinner and tanner, the processes and chemicals used in the tanning,
to the finishing, the use, the duration of use, care or lack of, age, and
more prior to your acquiring the item. There are no real hard and fast
rules. Most conservators now agree preventive conservation in the form of
storage and support is most important, even in objects showing severe
issues.

In general, leather likes it around 65 degrees or so, and prefers the
humidity between 45%-65%, depending on a number of factors; including mixed
composition such as metal components. It is best to clean leather by
brushing it toughly with a soft, natural bristle brush and use a screened
vacuum to remove the dust and debris so it is not redeposited. The object
then should be fully supported with UNbuffered materials, to keep the
leather from becoming stiff in an awkward position. Leather likes it dark,
especially dyed or painted items. Hands off is preferred, because even
super clean, dry hands can leave oils.

Any good conservator will tell you that the code of ethics followed
dictates that no object receives any treatment that is not fully
reversible. Obviously, dressings of any kind are not. Dressings are just
that, dressings, and research has shown they do not actually restore the
leather in any way.
Now lubricating leather can affect (in the short term)
the brittleness and therefore may be used sparingly if desired, but do not
use a petroleum based product such as Pecardís. Pure lanolin is really the
only thing conservators will recommend. (You can buy lanolin quite easily,
be sure itís pure). Dressings are only surface deep, and may for a short
time appear to stop problems such as the dreaded red rot, but in actuality
are only making things worse as the petroleum will actually contribute to
the disintegration of the fibrous tissues.

Cheers,
Sarah

(Red emphasis is mine)
For full disclosure, I should also come clean and confess that in my early days of collecting, I was a BIG advocate of leather dressing and Pecard's in particular. It was only after going through the museum conservation classes and seeing examples in collections of artifacts damaged or destroyed by misguided (though well-intentioned) tinkering that I realized the error of my ways.

JS

Edited by Jeff Shrader, 12 August 2008 - 08:22 PM.


#7 Blake_E

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:50 PM

The same chalky effect is why i don't use Pecards and prefer the Connollys, it seems to be working great for me, no problems, but as i said before, only if it REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY needs it, otherwise it's left as is.

#8 jagjetta

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:46 AM

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to buy a number of items from an "old collection". Telltale signs of using leather treatments were all over it: The chalky white of old leather dressing and the deep saturated brown of too much dressing.

The funny thing is, Pecard's own 'conservator' implied (in an article in Military Trader) that the chalky or saturated leather is the result of not applying the correct amount. However, neither he nor Pecard states what is the CORRECT amount. Apparently, it can only be determined after the fact. In my humble opinion, that is like using a lit match to see if the shirt on my back is fire retardant!

(Incidentally, Pecard's conservator is just a dealer who is a strong proponent of their product--his claim to authority is having sold a lot of high-priced leather which seems to imply, "if someone pays 10,000 for a saddle, then the leather treatment MUST be good. When I asked for some sort of credentials, I received a serious out-lashing at museums and "professionals")

By the way, I passed on the chalky leather and the saturated leather items. I have seen too many quality items not sell because of having been assaulted by leather treatments. I knew it made little financial sense to buy them.

John Adams-Graf

Edited by jagjetta, 13 August 2008 - 04:52 AM.


#9 jagjetta

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:10 AM

I thought some folks may not know what some of us refer to as "chalky" leather, so am posting a couple of images.

The leather frog (South African) on the far right is untreated leather.

The first frog and detail is a WWI P14 frog that has been "lightly coated" with Pecards several years ago. The owner said it looked "fresh and soft" when he was done. This is the "after" photo--that is, after about 12 years. You can see the dry white "chalk" in all the cracks. That is the chalky bloom that emerges from leather that has been treated. It doesn't go away. You can't brush it out. More treatment "hides" it, but even the most oblivious will probably recognize the downward spiral that this creates.

And finally, I have attached images of two victims of overzealous treatment...notice all the extra oil and finger prints. I am not going to show the tops of the helmets because I don't own them and don't want to embarrass anyone. But, suffice it to say, the person who thought they were "preserving" the helmets coated them with varnish and pecard. The helmets were ruined beyond recognition. And still, the owner insisted he was "preserving them for history!"

John Adams-Graf

Attached Images

  • frog_treatment_detail.jpg
  • frog_treatment.jpg
  • frog_no_treatment.jpg

Edited by jagjetta, 13 August 2008 - 08:13 AM.


#10 jagjetta

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:12 AM

The two helmets that underwent "preservation":

Attached Images

  • Helmet_resized_1.jpg
  • Helmet_resized_2.jpg


#11 mrhell

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:51 AM

Interesting post and I always welcome information, but there are just too many variables in this example. Such as...What was the leather condition of the left frog before being treated? I have doubts it was as pristine as the right photo and if so, then why was it treated at all? Also "lightly coated" is vague as well. Was it simply wiped on and left? How was it stored? As for the helmet example, I'll dismiss that issue and concentrate on the topic of this threadóleather.

While I appreciate any information this forum offers, I can only take such evidence under advisement. Before making an informed decision I need supporting facts. So far the only facts I have are my experiences of trial and error and other people's experiences and opinions. This includes museum curators. I heed what they say, but it's far from gospel. Don't misinterpret my reply; I have no goal to prove me right and you wrong. All I know is sometimes perceptions can be as distorted. I may very well regret treating my leather collectibles years from now but I guess time will tell. I'm just over half-way to the 12 year mark since my first use of Pecard's, so we'll see. Fortunately I have not experienced that nasty spiraling effect or any similar eyesore.

I simply posted my experiences; results may vary. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

#12 jagjetta

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 09:45 AM

Thank you so much, Mrhell! That is the point EXACTLY...one doesn't know what is too much or too little UNTIL they have applied the magic potion to the leather. But unfortunately, then it is too late. Like peeing in a pool...once its in there, you can't take it out.

Leather was once a living tissue. There are no magic potions for bringing it back to life. You can mask the aging process, but you can't erase the fact that it was once a living tissue and now it is a dead tissue. The tanning process, by its very nature, was an attempt to stop the decay. Left untanned, well...we all know what the results are there.

We all want to feel that we are "preserving" something. And as long as it looks good in our life time, we feel we did just that. Nothing wrong with that. There are no governing "rules" that collectors have to follow. If folks like leather that feels soft and oily today, that is their own business. The fact is, though, many dealers and collectors are refusing to pay full value for leather that has been 'treated'. That is the only 'fact' of the matter that I can point to with certainty.

The same thing happened in the daguerreotype world in the 1980s. Up until then, people believed that thiourea solutions could literally erase the tarnish of time. Then, a few scientists and museum curators (Grant Romer and Susan Barger come to mind) said, "HALT! The tarnish you are removing is also taking microscopic levels of the image." Furthermore, they demonstrated that images that were "washed" (as folks called it then), began to show a brown hue after several years. They proposed the NEW wonder drug of cleaning daguerreotypes with electrolysis. That was all the rage through the 1990s.

Then, further studied produced some caution...etching was occurring at the ATOMIC level! "HALT!" went up the cry a second time. Now, the photo-history world says, "no treatment is the best treatment."

But does that mean I as a private collector has to be content with looking at tarnished images of Mexican War soldiers? Of course not. If I want to dip my $6,000 image of a US Mexican War soldier into thiourea that is my business. However, watching the prices of images that have been "cleaned" verus those that are in "original condition" leaves no doubt in my mind that original condition is the way to go.

Another example can be found in the muscle car world. Find a Shelby Cobra in a barn with all the 'original' dirt and patina of a glorified past still on it, and you have a price-record breaking car. "Restore" it, and the price drops considerably. The muscle car guys have figured it out. "As found condition" equals TOP DOLLAR.

I mentioned this to the Pecard folks a few months ago...there is nothing wrong with folks wiping goo all over historic relics as long as they own them. Just don't misrepresent the stuff as "preserving" leather. The National Park Service, the British Museum, and the Smithsonian all agreed that the product does not reverse the effects of aging on leather, just as a fresh coat of paint doesn't keep a fox out of the chicken coop.

Nevertheless, people will do what they believe is right in spite of "facts". They have to, especially if they have been committed to it for years. If one read the NPS, British Museum or Smithsonian reports on leather treatments, the chances are they will say, "Well I know it works for me!" and keep right on doing what they are doing. Admitting that they have done irrepreprable damage to historic objects is a heavy burden. It is much easier on the mind to defend a practice and look for those who hold the same faith then it is to investigate, evaluate and modify collecting practices.

(Just so ya'all know, it is as recent as six years ago when I applied WD-40 to a helmet because I thought it "looked better" and made the rust look less obtrusive.) It takes a heck of a lot of will power to admit that nothing can be done when everything we have learned is that "wet" or "moist" or "shiney" is the same thing as "preservation". Believe me, hang around with a few conservation lab types and they will tell you that "wet", "moist" and "shiney" is exactly the opposite...usually points to slow-speed destruction and devaluation of an artifact.

I realize that I have rambled on and on...I don't supsect that anyone will change their current collecting trends because of it. But I hope some folks will have the humility to say "we don't have the answers on leather preservation and until we do, leaving an object alone is better than doing something that can't be reversed". Science has come a long way since the 1980s (and an ESPECIALLY long way since the pecard formula was hatched prior to WWII!). It has a long way to go. If we can simply not speed up the decay process by slathering goop on leather, we will have done a good bit for the prolonging of original artifacts.

Thanks for letting me share these views,

John Adams-Graf

Edited by jagjetta, 13 August 2008 - 09:49 AM.


#13 mrhell

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 10:29 AM

Yet another interesting post. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif And while reading a question came to mind, "So what's the correct preservation method other than doing nothing and proper storage?!? :P

You happen to touch on this in the LAST paragraph. :o "we don't have the answers on leather preservation and until we do, leaving an object alone is better than doing something that can't be reversed"

While I understand the point of your reply and agree with some of the examples, I just cannot standby and watch historical items (of mine) turn stone hard and rot away like those pieces I see in some museums. It's too bad we have to wait on a future technology for long term leather preservation (maybe that is), especially since time itself is part of the problem. So although I may be totally in the wrong on a cellular and even an atomic level....I choose to take a risk and treat my items should I feel the need to do so.

Thanks to this thread, I think I'll try pure Lanolin next. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif I'm always open to try something new, but feel compelled to do SOMETHING (even though future collectors may curse my actions).

--appreciate your information

Edited by mrhell, 13 August 2008 - 10:35 AM.


#14 Shenkursk

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:49 PM

Mrhell - what a name - I love it!!

I read your last post with interest and sympathize completely. We all want to see these items in the best condition possible for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there is no fountain of youth or magic wand that will make these things (or us) last forever. Everything around us is temporary - even the mountains erode over time.

Just as we will, all of these artifacts that we collect will eventually disappear; they started that journey the minute after they were manufactured. If properly cared for and sheltered as much as possible from the elements that work as agents of change to speed the decay, many will last for a good long time. Assuming proper storage, the ultimate possible life expectancy for different artifacts varies dramatically depending on the material they were made from. It is reasonable to expect a 75mm field gun that is stored inside in a controlled environment to last for perhaps thousands of years; a wool uniform.. not so much, but still with proper care there is no reason why it cannot be around many hundreds of years from now.

Leather is one of the substances that elicits more immediate cause for concern among collectors, though, because by its very nature (it is after all the flesh of a dead animal), it just simply does not have as long of a life expectancy even under the best of circumstances. Leather that is dried out has not been stored properly and consequently shows more deterioration than like or similar items that have been stored properly. You can 'treat' a piece of dried leather to make it temporarily more pliable and create an illusion of youth, but this CAN NOT rebuild or restore the cellular structure of dead tissue. Unfortunately, the 'treatment' (regardless of brand name) has very serious negative side-effects as mentioned in previous posts, and as Sarah said within the leather itself it is actually accelerating the decay.

I understand the desire to do SOMETHING... ANYTHING, even if it turns out to be 'wrong', to preserve this stuff. You stated that we can't wait for the perfect restoration product to be created many years from now because time is our enemy as well, so we need to do something today. I suppose it is possible that some day in the future they will discover a product that reverses cell damage in dead tissue and restores it to a pristine condition indefinitely. Unfortunately the only way that is going to happen is as a bi-product of some new technology designed to reanimate corpses and turn them into an immortal army of the 'undead'. Personally, I hope they are not working on this - I think I've seen that movie and it does not end well!!!!

Your desire to do something is not in vain, though. There IS an answer to this question, but strangely it is just not what anyone in this hobby wants to hear. In many cases, the eventual lifespan of an artifact is determined as much by what those who have cared for it have NOT done, as it is by what they have done.

Edited by Jeff Shrader, 13 August 2008 - 12:50 PM.


#15 copdoc

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:14 PM

Very interesting comments. Here are a few more for what they are worth.

A Luger collector(WWII vet) who used saddle soap on half and Pecards on the other half told me always use Pecards. One of the last things he said to his son was get that saddle soap off my Luger holsters. He was very scientific and one of the most knowledable collectors I have ever known.

Dad used neatsfoot oil on his WWII Sears holster and although it is very dark is is still in great shape. He used it frequently after WWII and I carried it quite a bit and gave it some rough use camping and hunting.

I have a WWII holster and I have put nothing on it. It has not been used and is still very pliable. I would appreciate comments on preservation of this esentially new item. A very knowledgable collector told me to do nothing to a new one but keep it out of sunlight and not with a dehumidifier.(makes sense)

Some where there is a link to a museum on preservation of leather, metal and wood that was very informative. It was so good I think my wife printed a copy. Still even if it sounds good we don't know if it is actually right.

Out of interest, here is a can of saddle soap from Dad's WWII duffle bag.

Posted Image

#16 wingman68

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 04:47 AM

Some very useful information with the replys, I was oblivious to how leather can actually worsen with treatment, I have a few leather items mainly Australian Light Horse 02 pattern bits, as stated I have two PAL 36 Navy Knifes coming, one is salty and a genuine Pacific carried item, the leather looks dry on both the knife and the scabbard, so leaning towards the leave it be theory how do I ensure its not going to deteriate ?, I thought to display I would make a nice box with a glass front and display them in this way,
I have a 100 year old leather bandolier that I have been rubbing a lanolin based oil on for over 20 years and its still very usable ie soft, pliable, it will out last me.

#17 mrhell

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:04 AM

Yes wingman; 20 years and it has held up well. My experience also.

Jeff, I understand the complexity of scientific testing (well actually I don't), but my point is that who am I to argue against proven cellular evidence? That being said, here is where I stand and an example of why, even though research proves me dead wrong.

First of all every leather piece is different so for the sake of my example let's say we have a leather holster from the '30s that is in very nice condition. All stitching is tight, there is no cracking and the leather is pliable, BUT it is very dry and starting to become stiffer year after year. So I understand that nothing should be applied and that proper storage, blah, blah, blah. I get it. So then as an estimated guess, how long before the leather becomes stiff as a board and starts to crack? 20 years? 100? How much longer before the item cannot be handled and support it's own weight? 250 years? If so great, that is a long time.

Now for my personal, selfish theory but first a quick background. I'm the type of person who loves to handle history and "play with it" it if you will... I don't care to have my items secured under glass where they can only be viewed and not touched. No way to run a museum I understand, but I don't own a museum. So back to the holster...If left untreated in a typical "home environment" this holster will surely turn rock hard and become destroyed because I can't keep my hands off of it and even must put the pistol in it once and a while. So my guess is it might last 20-30 years tops. Just long enough that my children will wonder why I didn't take better care of it.

Then despite what science tells me, I still choose to apply a product that appears to soften and rejuvenate the leather. This takes time and always makes my hands hurt for a day or so, but I'm always happy with the results. Now the holster appears less delicate and I find myself handling it with less concern, plus it flat out has a better appearance. Now 20 years later it sure seems like the holster is as healthy as ever and by God I think it's time for another rub of magic conditioner. (grin)

So what would be the estimated guess on how long this treated holster has before it's fibers collapse due to my ignorance? Another 20 years? 50? Maybe 100? Unfortunately no one really knows and once again time is the master. Sure science "may" develop something that is the magic pill for old leather but I doubt it. There are much more important issues of course.

For me I guess it all boils down to: A. Do nothing and watch the holster slowly degrade BUT it will last 100 years longer than those that were treated with conditioners. OR, B. Treat it with conditioners even though you know your great, great, great grandchildren will ask..."Why didn't Grandpa take better care of it?"

I choose the selfish path; the holster won't last as long, but I will enjoy it more if I condition it and besides, once I die it doesn't really matter anyways. That's what museums are for... :rolleyes: :lol:

Edited by mrhell, 14 August 2008 - 06:11 AM.


#18 MattOravik

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:11 PM

Ok several have pointed out that if you use a product to 'preserve' leather, you must keep up with it for the rest of the items life. Well was the item not originally treated with something? Didn't soldiers put some sort of treatment on leather items(holsters) to keep them nice?

-Matt.

#19 Blake_E

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 05:07 AM

jagjetta, well said on all accounts

#20 jagjetta

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:04 AM

I know for a fact that the Smithsonian uses only pecards on the leather in their care.
George.


This is 100% inaccurate and false. The Smithsonian and National Park Service have totally rejected the use of any treatment to leather with any product. This was covered, in depth, in Military Trader articles in 2008.

John A-G

#21 Klorvin Borno

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 01:26 PM

I think before you can even remotely consider this subject you first have to state the use of the item in question.

If you're going to wear an old pair of leather boots on a daily basis, your feet will sweat and add moisture to the leather and you will scuff the boots as you accidently rub against walls and posts and your car, so in that case you will probably want to continue to polish the boots as they were originally intended, however if your boots are going to be kept in a drawer for the next 100 years it probably doesn't make sense to polish the boots on a daily basis, or do anything to them aside from removing the dust.

I think if you add oil to a leather that has totally dried out it may look better for awhile (or for sale), but I would think it probably hurts the leather long term.

On what I think is an interesting side note I belong to a Forum for a relatively new car I own and leather care comes up often with everyone claiming the best product and/or UV protectant however interestingly enough the manufacturer suggest to only use water and a soft cloth to clean the leather and maintain it.

#22 Minnvol

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 05:35 PM

I will add my name as a FORMER staunch pecard's fan. 20 years ago, I thought it was the best. Then, over time, the "bloom" came out, and some former VERY nice artifacts soon became "pretty good" artifacts. I don't like having to periodically retreat an item to make it look almost as good as it did when I first got it. I also feel weird when it comes time to sell something, and I have to tell the buyer, "you should get some pecard's to treat this periodically" so they won't feel screwed a few months down the line.

leave it well enough alone. Get some nice soft cloths and acid free paper. lightly brush dust off of iitems, keep an eye on verdigris, and let air get to items so they don't get mold or other leather cancer. wrap loosely in acid free paper (which mainly keeps the leather from touching other contaminants in the boxes you store stuff in) and hope the roof stays on the house.

I haven't tried Connoly's so I can't say. After one hard learned lesson, I am a bit skeptical....

#23 SergeantMajorGray

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

So if I clean my ww1 helmet chinstrap with saddle soap and water that's all I should do?

#24 Bluehawk

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:32 PM

Given that militaria is, by definition, artifact(s) and given that the purpose of dressings et al is either for "looks" or to keep the leather supple for usage, then leaving it alone extends its lifespan as much as it can be.

#25 Nack

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:42 AM

So if I clean my ww1 helmet chinstrap with saddle soap and water that's all I should do?


Damp is as wet as you want any cloth cleaning leather. Too much water can harden it.


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