Leather Dressing - Treatment & Care
Fine Leather Deserves Good Care
The appropriate treatment of a leather item depends upon its condition,
or the degree of deterioration when treatment is started. Leather
deteriorates largely by four means:
is most readily seen in very old dry leather, with surface cracking
and flaking, and over-all weakness. Oxidation will eventually
turn leather to dust. It is inhibited by a thorough impregnation
with an inert dressing which coats the fibres. Leather items should
not be sealed in a display case and forgotten - they must be kept
full of dressing.
- Chemical damage can be through the effect of ultraviolet light,
ozone, acid from sulphurous and nitrous pollutants in the air,
or through chemical action following treatment with tallow or
neatsfoot oil compounds. Both oxidation and chemical damage occur
faster at higher temperatures. Leather should be stored away from
heat, and not needlessly exposed to sunlight.
- Internal chafing or breaking of fibres occurs when dry leather
is flexed. A lubricant is essential to allow the fibres to slide
one against the other. Dry leather should not be flexed prior
to thorough lubrication.
- Abrasion can be external, from rubbing on the outside, or internal
from dirt particles ground into the leather.
The First Treatment
Use your fingers (Pecard Leather Dressing is clean
to use and nearly odourless), to apply the paste to all surfaces
of the leather item. Take care to avoid any non-leather areas. Place
the item on a non-absorbent surface, at room temperature, for a
few days until Pecard gently softens old fibres. NEVER
artificially heat leather or set old leather in the sun. If the
paste is completely absorbed, reapply a lighter coat and wait another
day. When the paste remains on the surface, wipe it off with a clean,
lint free cloth. Buff with a soft shoe brush and watch the leather
GLOW with life. If the leather surface is not flaking,
buff with a lint free cloth for a higher, sleeker shine.
Antique leather in dry climates will require more
frequent re-treatment with Leather Dressing - approximately every
4 to 6 months. For less dry climates, a 6 to 8 month schedule is
adequate. In either case, a lighter application may be made and
the period for absorption will be shorter.
whitening of the surface of some treated leather can occur if the
temperature drops low enough to harden the heavier oil in the leather
treatment. Do not worry, this is totally harmless - the residue
can be wiped off with a soft, absorbent rag, or gently buffed off
with a soft shoe brush.
For dirty, but smooth-surfaced antique leather, use saddle soap
applied with a shaving brush for a soft foaming action, then gently
wipe with a clean, moist sponge. After a short drying period, apply
the Leather Dressing to your clean leather article. Despite the
gentle nature of this procedure, flaking leather will continue to
flake during this cleaning process.
Leather Aging and Colour Change
Pecard is colourless and adds no colour to leather.
However, tanning, heat, dry air, wetting and drying, sunlight (ultraviolet
rays), constant humidity, bacteria, stress and salts from the body,
can cause a piece of leather treated with Pecard to slightly change
colour. Pecard restores life to leather and gives it a healthy glow,
halting fibre breakdown due to dryness.
can prevent further damage to already damaged leather products and
keep new leather products beautiful. New leather contains certain
oils for suppleness. The fibre bundles are long and strong, as oils
dry out, these bundles stiffen and break. The fibre bundles require
neutral moisture and lubrication - both of which are safely provided
by Pecard Leather Dressing. The density of Pecard ensures that,
once leather absorbs its needs, further treatment will not be required
for some time.
Unless leather is treated correctly, it will rot.
The choice is simple - treat and save the article with PECARD
The pictures on this page
- A British Army Issue Axe, Broad Arrow stamped, manufactured
by B.W. Gilpin, dated 1950. hardwood handle, complete with leather
holster and belt clip. Also a Fireman's Axe with metal handle
and integral torch, complete with leather holster and leather
belt with original heavy buckle.
- A .44 Magnum Western gun belt, complete with dummy ammunition
and matching Western Holster. Also aBritish Army Issue 'Sam Brown'
leather belt and shoulder strap, circa WWII.
- As 2. together with a British Military leather pistol holster
by Pulley &Powell, dated 1917. Also a United States Navy Issue
Boarding Party Pistol Board designed to hold 6 x .45 Colt Auto
Pistols, Model 1911-A1.
Photographs of leather © 2003 www.