Antique Leather Dressing
bringing leather back to life


Leather Dressing - Frequently Asked Questions


These are some of the questions that we are asked most often!
  1. What is Pecard made from and why is it so effective in reviving antique leather?
  2. How do I apply Pecard leather dressing?
  3. How often should I re-apply Pecard Antique Leather Dressing?
  4. Can I speed up the drying process if I place my A2 Jacket near a heat source after treatment?
  5. I have noticed after treatment a white film sometimes appears on my vintage saddle – particularly when it is cold. Why is this and how can I remove it?
  6. Why is Pecard different from other commercial leather dressings available on the market?
  7. Can Pecard only be used on vintage leathers?
  8. How long should I leave Pecard on before polishing?
  9. The strap on my great grandad’s rifle, which he used in WWI, is brittle, cracked and starting to fall apart. Will Pecard Leather Dressing restore it to its original condition?
  10. What size tubs of Pecard Leather Dressing do you supply?
  11. Does Pecard Leather Dressing have a shelf life, as I can’t see a “use by date” printed on my tub?
  12. Will Pecard change the colour of my vintage leather map case which was used in the Boer War?
  13. I have a WW2 Irvin jacket. I talk to collectors in the States who swear by Pecard for horsehide, steerhide and goatskin, but what about shearling/sheepskin?
  14. I'm restoring a vintage WWII flying helmet and oxygen mask for display in a museum. Can you recommend Pecard Antique Leather Dressing for renovating and feeding the very dry leather helmet? Also, the rubber components of the oxygen mask and tube are rather brittle, showing signs of cracking. Can you recommend a product that may halt further degradation under display conditions?
  15. I want to use Pecard Leather Dressing on an old leather suitcase that I found in the loft - it is very old, and quite dusty in places - I've been told that I should clean it with Saddle Soap before putting the Pecard dressing on it - is this correct?
What is Pecard made from and why is it so effective in reviving antique leather?

Pecard is made from a food grade petroleum base, combined with a blend of natural waxes including bees wax. This formula of natural ingredients softens and feeds the leather; prevents further hardening and cracking; resists most acids, and repels water – whilst still allowing the leather to breathe.

Top How do I apply Pecard leather dressing?

Apply with a lint free cloth or, for best results, use fingers to work well into the leather. Take care to keep away from non-leather parts of the item. When Pecard is well worked in, leave on a non-absorbent surface until fully absorbed – often 2-3 days. Allow to dry at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Re-apply second coat and wait another day. Repeat until item will not absorb any more. Brush with lint free cloth, or clean shoe brush if a shiny finish desired.

Top How often should I re-apply Pecard Antique Leather Dressing?

Depends on the item, usage and storage conditions. In dry climates, every 4-6 months is fine. In humid conditions, say 6-8 months. If the item is frequently used, treat a little more often – if it seems to be drying out it’s time for a feed!

Top Can I speed up the drying process if I place my A2 Jacket near a heat source after treatment?

No! For Pecard to work properly, always allow your jacket to dry naturally, out of direct sunlight, at room temperature.

Top I have noticed after treatment a white film sometimes appears on my vintage saddle – particularly when it is cold. Why is this, and how can I remove it?

Low temperatures cause this reaction. The natural oils in the dressing harden, resulting in the white/opaque film. This can simply be rubbed off with an absorbent cloth or shoe brush and it will not effect or damage the saddle in any way.

Top Why is Pecard different from other commercial leather dressings available on the market?

Pecard Antique Leather Dressing has been in production since 1902 – so the guys in Wisconsin have had time to perfect their product! While the actual formula is a closely guarded secret, it is based on a vegetable grade lubricant similar to Vaseline with the addition of various natural waxes including bees wax. Pecard works by penetrating the leather and allows the fibres to bend and flex without chaffing and breaking. It also coats the fibres to inhibit further oxidation and maintains the moisture level within the leather. Sounds too good to be true? Try it and prove the performance for yourself!

Top Can Pecard only be used on vintage leathers?

Pecard Leather Dressing is designed specifically for antique leathers but is equally effective when used on modern leather. An application every 6 months will maintain the lubrication put in by the tannery and will keep the leather flexible.

Top How long should I leave Pecard on before polishing?

Allow Pecard time to do its magic! It is chemically neutral and contains no solvents and does not decompose to form damaging chemicals. In order to obtain the maximum benefit from the treatment, allow several days, or perhaps a week, for full penetration of the leather to be achieved.

Top The strap on my great grandad’s rifle, which he used in WWI, is brittle, cracked and starting to fall apart. Will Pecard Leather Dressing restore it to its original condition?

No! Pecard is a great product – but it cannot work miracles – you need Harry Potter for that! One of the main enemies of antique leather is oxidation and chemical damage. Their combined effects will eventually turn the leather to dust. Pecard will inhibit further oxidation and correct the moisture levels in the strap, so preventing further deterioration, but it cannot reverse the existing damage.

Top What size tubs of Pecard Leather Dressing do you supply?

We try and have in stock 3 tub sizes. The smallest PLD-6 is 6 fl oz (US) (0.18 litre), the standard size PLD-16 is 16 fl oz (US) (0.48 litre), and the choice of the professional is PLD-32 at 32 fl oz (US) (0.96 litre). Pecard goes a surprisingly long way, so given its performance it represents great value for money – but don’t just take our word for it, try a tub and prove it for yourself!

Top Does Pecard Antique Dressing have a shelf life, as I can’t see a "use by date" printed on my tub?

No! Pecard is basically inert. All we ask is you keep the lid firmly on the tub when not in use to prevent foreign materials polluting the dressing. We recommend you store the product in a cool place, out of direct sunlight.

Top Will Pecard change the colour of my vintage leather map case which was used in the Boer War?

Pecard is colourless and adds no colour to the leather. However, tanning, heat, dry air, wetting or drying, ultra violet rays, high humidity, bacteria, stress, abrasions and salts from the body can cause leather treated by Pecard to slightly change in colour. We recommend, therefore, you test on a small trial area to make sure you are happy with the effect, before you carry out the complete application.

Top I have a WW2 Irvin jacket. I talk to collectors in the States who swear by Pecard for horsehide, steerhide and goatskin, but what about shearling/sheepskin?

Geoff Pringle, of Oldnautibits, says: "I've been collecting Irvins for the last 20 years. Pecard has always been my dressing of choice, I rate it as being the best on the market for vintage leather - that includes Irvin and B-3 jackets made from shearling. I've had 'hopeless' cases which, after a couple of treatments, are absolutely transformed."

Geoff's article about the Maintenance of Vintage Leather provides more information on this subject.

Top I'm restoring a vintage WWII flying helmet and oxygen mask for display in a museum. Can you recommend Pecard Antique Leather Dressing for renovating and feeding the very dry leather helmet? Also, the rubber components of the oxygen mask and tube are rather brittle, showing signs of cracking. Can you recommend a product that may halt further degradation under display conditions?

We shudder when we see the state of historical Irvin's, and associated historical flying kit, in some Museum displays! We can certainly recommend Pecard for vintage leather flying clothing. We apply it with our fingers (although you can use a soft cloth or brush), and then work it well into the leather. We then let it absorb naturally; this can take up to a week, depending on how dry the leather is, and the storage conditions. The leather surface can be slightly sticky during this process, but it is definitely worth the wait! Be careful to keep the Pecard dressing away from the rubber parts of flying helmets and the zips and the cloth sections of jackets.

On the supplementary query relating to the rubber of oxygen masks and tubes; this is a question we often get asked. We don't know which mask you refer to, but we find RAF WWII 'G' pattern are the most prone to the dangers of rubber fatigue, whereas patterns 'E' and 'E*' seem to have a more stable rubber mix. We haven't used it ourselves, but we have customers who apply a thin coat of 'Armor All' to seal the rubber and protect it from UV rays. 'Armor All' is manufactured for use on synthetic car dashboards, so it tends to result in a slightly gloss finish, but we are told it does a good job in sealing the rubber and prevents further degradation.

The 'Armor All' website is www.armorall.co.uk

We always stress that, when trying a new treatment, you carry out a test application on a small section first. This way you can make sure that it doesn't adversely affect the item, and that you're happy with the result. While working on the rubber, we recommend minimum handling and the wearing of clean cotton gloves. We hope this information is of some assistance, and good luck with your restoration work!

Top I want to use Pecard Leather Dressing on an old leather suitcase that I found in the loft - it is very old, and quite dusty in places - I've been told that I should clean it with Saddle Soap before putting the Pecard dressing on it - is this correct?

We would suggest using a soft cloth, or sponge, with warm water to wipe down the leather before using Pecard. Keep rinsing the cloth while wiping - when it runs clean, apply Pecard before the leather is totally dry. The water will evaporate from the leather and the oils in the dressing will be drawn in.




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