Monday, August 10, 2009

Leather Care - Introduction

Our saddlers and staff are often asked for recommendations on leather care - from initially oiling new products to restoring old, worn leather. Over the years, we’ve seen leather at its absolute best and worst, so we know, first hand, the importance of consistent, quality leather care. We’ve been pleasantly surprised at some amazing results of proper care; likewise, we’ve been shocked at what can happen when leather is not given the TLC it deserves! To prevent your leather products from falling into the latter category, we’re here to give you the low down on the time-tested methods we’ve used in our workshops for years. While you may prefer slight adaptations of these recommendations based on personal preferences, climate, condition factors, etc… the most important thing to remember is that your leather needs consistent care. To keep things simple, we’ll break this up into 4 key topics:

Part 1: Initial Oiling or Pre-Conditioning
Part 2: Cleaning Leather: A Four-Step Process
Part 3: Leather Care Products: What, When & Why?

Part 4: Leather Care Do’s & Don’ts: An Overview

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We're here to answer any questions you may have so please use this opportunity to pick our Saddler's brains!


  1. This is perfect timing for me! I just bought a new bridle and want to make sure it lasts as long as possible!

  2. Anonymous said...
    My daughter's saddle was rained on and now the water spots won't disappear and it darkened her saddle in areas. Any suggestions to fix it?

    Hello and thank you for your question. I moved it to the leather care blog so it would follow this subject. The rain generally contains minerals and pollutants that can soak into the leather with the rain water. If this just happened recently you can try to re-wet the area with clean water and dilute the spots. It may take several applications to dilute the spots over time. If the spots persist you can use some lemon juice diluted in water in a 50/50 ratio. Apply the solution to just the area that has the spots. The acid in the juice will again dilute and help to remove the spots. I use a solution of Oxalic acid in the shop. This is a little difficult to find and quite expensive so, you would achieve the same results with the lemon juice. Once again you will need to do this seveal times rinsing the leather between applications with clean water. Hopefully this will help. Good luck.

  3. Anonymous said...
    Help! It is hot and wet and mildew has made its way into the tack room. What is the best way to clean mold from saddles and bridles?

    This is a problem in many area of the country. The regular cleaning processed that we are recommending in this blog would be the best ways to clean the tack. One addition would be a little dash of viniger in the rinse water as you clean the tack. This will help to kill of the spores on the leather. The best way to keep the mold and mildew from building up is good consistant cleaning each time the equipment is used. The mildew loves to grow in moisture and also a warm humid enviromnent. Good ventilation in the tack room and maybe even a dehumidifier will help to keep the humidity and moisture in the air to a minimum. Also, refering to your previous questions about rainspots. If you leave the mold on the equipment for any length of time it will also cause spots on the leather so, keeping the equipment clean is your best defense. Good luck and thanks for your questions. Jim

  4. I have some oxalic acid, but haven't used it in quite a while, and have forgotton the dilution ratio. Can you help please.

  5. The dilution would be 1oz in 8 oz of water for a concentrated solution. This concentration would be good for removing rust, ink, or even paint or varnish on wood. I like to use a fairly mild solution, so I do 1 oz to 16oz -20oz of water which would be gentler to the leather. Hope this helps