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Suggestions on how to restore these holsters


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Been busy these past few days but i wanted to finally pick up on some restoration projects i pushed to the side. I got these holsters back in November for 25$, i had made plans to restore them but school got me off track and i basically forgot about them until i found them buried in my web gear pile. What would be the best course of action to restore these holsters, all of them exhibit mold, and oxidation on the brass, also some of them are missing hardware and i’m wondering where i could get replacements. Also for anyone who is curious, they’re 43-44 Enger-Kress holsters.E0A0850C-C90F-44EB-90EE-F529E51F6942.jpeg.616d723e1a71e63f8c14d21e43977b41.jpeg1076DB3D-F909-429A-9DFC-1BDEA998797B.jpeg.547ee3262c411468e3b7681d7b38fd55.jpeg

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I cleaned up some old leather this way: Wiped all the dust and dirt off with a wet rag. After it was clean, I rubbed/polished it with vaseline. Looked good, even after years. It didn't make the leather look like new, but it preserved it and was cleaner. Not sure what to do about the mold though. 

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There is a long thread on this forum about treating/restoring leather goods and by the number and vigor of the posts people feel very strongly about their opinions on the subject.  If you have awhile read it and form your own conclusions.   
The purist will say only to wipe clean at most and then do nothing else.  I would venture that if it is between a hard, filthy piece of unusable leather with little value and making it usable and presentable again I would use Pecards Antique Leather dressing after wiping clean with a damp cloth and allowing to throughly air dry before application (hopefully the grime and mold you mention will be removed by this step).  Use the leather dressing sparingly and work it into the leather with a clean dry soft cloth- I use an old t-shirt.  It will darken the leather a little (I have not found this too noticeable) but will restore flexibility and shine it up.  I only treat things that need it (are otherwise ruined/unusable) and don’t apply enough dressing to make the leather feel gooey or sticky once it is rubbed in and allowed to sit for about a day before tucking away.  I have only experienced two items that got the white oxidized look after being treated- this showing up months later.  For these a reapplication takes care of this.  A lot of people hate having to reapply anything- but again if it’s between a common item being essentially junk and bringing it back to life, I would treat it anytime.  

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The Rooster

Ive read a bunch on the forum on this subject.

I have read folks who say Pecards is the best and others who say its the worst.

Like mentioned above study up on it.

Personally I have found that cleaning it and applying 100% pure Lanolin works good to soften the leather.

100% lanolin is sticky gooey not greasy like Vasoline.

Its also natural made from lambs wool.

The way to get it to soak in after you apply it, you hit it with a heat gun.

Heat the leather a bit apply it and heat it some more until it soaks in.

It takes some days for it to soften up the leather.

It softens and preserves the leather but you have to get it to soak in. It will also darken the leather.

Test it on the back first in a small spot. You can get it online, do a google search, but it has

to be 100% pure lanolin.

Like the Doctor said above there are many topics on the forum on how to treat leather.

For holsters, I would use Lanolin. But you have to clean the leather and apply it and heat it up.

Its tacky stuff. But its natural. It preserves softens and waterproofs the leather.

I would not apply it to a leather flight helmet of course....

In the end its up to you what you use and how you use it but I would do more research on it.

Are you using them keeping them selling them? All things to consider....

Many folks like things untouched etc etc...

Nice Holsters !

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Thank you all for your advice. I’ve begun the restoration process for the holsters today, i picked out the grimiest and worst condition holster out of the lot as a sort of experiment piece for this whole project so if something goes wrong, i don’t ruin all of them. My first plan of action was to wipe it down with a rag, which seems to have done amazingly well and has seemed to clean it up very well which gives me hope that the others will clean up even better. This also brought out some previously unnoticed initials which was interesting, don’t know the provenience of these initials but i’m meaning more towards it being military-related as the seller stated these holsters never ended up being used and just sat in their garage or barn, don’t remember which as its been a while. Anyway i just wanted to provide a update to progress of the restoration of the holsters and i plan on doing more continually after i finish my restoration of a barnfind Talker helmet.19BA4E07-E84F-44DB-8EB8-B5625E4586D0.jpeg.c42b55196ff1e4ebcc6a714ed745a8e9.jpeg8FA19C74-1CEC-480A-B3E6-42F3918A90ED.jpeg.03a12d9f96080f304e3f6a94829c7dc4.jpeg3988CF3D-FB96-475E-A705-0C65AC9DCA6C.jpeg.b2de838beb8282e4e09d5b233f2d1649.jpegA3488625-AD5F-4D1A-B84E-8F9C0A2C28BB.jpeg.6e0462b83c806d9114811e7118d8440f.jpeg1FC2AF2B-99E6-4C2E-8B3A-878E3B35E290.jpeg.4c32a902162a1b05e058c5830d6980b5.jpeg

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