Making a leather moistureizer, conditioner & rejuvenator, possibly with UV protection

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Aug 5, 2014
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I have a number of pieces of leather that I'd really like to try some restoration to as it looks like it is cracking (not totally through), some of it is colored leather (black, grey, tan, red, brown, natural, & some others). The leather cracks and there are little "islands" of color surrounded by little "cracks" of non-colored leather. I've been told that this is because the leather has dried out and many people have said it is possible to get it back to very close to original condition if you put the time and effort in.

There are a lot of oils, butters and fatty-acids that we use in soap making that are actually excellent for leather care. I've tried a number of butters (forget off the top of my head) and after rubbing it into my shoes they went from a very light/dry/fuzzy leather look, to a beautiful rich brown that looked basically identical to when I bought them (25 years ago w/o no care for them that entire time!). I found you really need to massage the butter into the leather, really work it in and I even left them in an oven at 100F so the butters would remain melted and allowed a very thin layer of melted butter (avocado and or almond butter) and allowed it to sit in the oven for over 12 hours then I used my fingers to really massage it into the leather every 3 hours (so 4 times) and then a final time, then I used a 100% cotton cloth to remove excess and buff the leather.

The shoes actually looked better than they did new and they were actually VERY water resistant as it just beaded up and ran off, where the original shoes would get water marks (turned the leather darker where wet) and soaked in pretty quickly and it always left some small marks after it dried, it didn't look great but you had to look closely.

So the other thing I'm thinking about is trying glycerine which is supposed to be good for restoring leather and I know gylcerin soap is often used on horse saddles. I've never tried this but have heard plain glycerin (maybe with a little distilled water) works as well, but it's best to follow up with a butter or oil to give a protective layer and it can also restore color a little better.

What I'm really interested in is finding something that will offer UV protection (either a blocker and or antioxidant as they all protect leather, just like skin) and if anyone knows of something that does this I'd love to hear your ideas.

I'm waiting to find a large leather chair or couch on Craigslist that is in bad shape and i'm going to try a number of things to restore it, so I can try many different oils, butter, glycerine and see what kind of differences it makes.

On a side note, there are a lot of leather conditioners/restorer's on the market and many of them are petroleum based adn they make the leather look great (good as new very often) for 1-3 months or so, but many of them actually deteriorate the leather badly, extracting any remaining moisture from them and after a few applications, the leatehr can often rip very easily but the thing is people don't catch on that it's the product doing this, b/c they think it was in just too bad a state when they started to recondition it.


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Jan 20, 2018
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not for FB to know
Sorry too long to read all of this for me this morning.

Usually if it is totally cracked it will be Very hard to get back to what it was.

Oils go rancid so you have to watch that.

Only thing I use on Leather (good leather) is Lanolin.
There used to be a tin with Mink Oil I used on my Police/Military boots back in the day. Stuff lasts for ever and I had the tin from back in 1988 till I lost it in 2010 move....... gawd I loved that stuff but I have no use for it now anyway.

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