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ScottWolf

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  1. Take a look at Colorado leather balm or Smith's leather balm, as each is an all natural product and are both made in the USA. If you want even more control of what you use, check out the DIY recipe I posted on how to make your own leather conditioner using all natural products.
  2. If you do a small test batch in a 2 or 4 oz tin and mix in the ingredients,you will get a visual reference as to how much of either Vitamin E or citronella is intermixed with the other ingredients. You dont need a lot of either for it to be effective when the ratio you are working against is 1 part beeswax. By starting at .5 for each just as a test, which is half of the ratio you are working against, you will get a good idea as to whether it is enough or too much. If it is too much you will end up with a final product that is more like a cream and or so soft that it will never be firm/hard . I think you are over thinking this, as it's not exact, as your ingredients might differ from mine in how they interact with one another and or from batch to batch. This can become more apparent if you decide to add essential oils in it for smell, as 5 drops might be enough in one batch to get the desired smell and when you open a new/different bottle of essential oil, 5 drops may not be enough. To put this in perspective, look at a commercially available products MSDS and you will see a percentage of the ingredients. Very often you will see ingredients like you listed and more, and they will typically say +/- 5 percent, sometime +/- 10% but typically for only one of those ingredients. Meaning very little of those ingredients is actually used in the make up of that product. In most cases of liquid conditioners its typical to see 50-80% is water, followed by a small percentage of chemical stabilizers/preservatives and or emulsifiers and then lower percentages of the actual conditioning ingredient(s).
  3. From my initial post, here are the general ratios to start with: There is no way to tell you specifically how many drops of an ingredient or how much vitamin E, etc to put in there. You can put in as much or as little as you want to get the desired end product. The thing you do need to keep in mind is that the more "oils" you add to the recipe, the softer the end product is going to be. So it will go from a solid/balm to a cream unless you increase the ingredients that give it it's firmness, like beeswax.Carnauba,etc, proportionality as you add more ingredients that are oils. So if you increase the number of parts of oils by say 50%, you need to increase the amount of beeswax by at least 50% or more depending on what you want the end product to be (solid/soft/balm) just for starters and see what it produces in a small batch. if it comes out the way you want it, make it in a larger batch, using the newly adjusted ratios.
  4. Just an update to this thread. I've continued to try different combinations of ingredients using the a fore mentioned ratios. Ingredients such as avocado oil, sunflower oil, Palm oil, etc. I've found that some of the combinations have different affects on the leather, be it the shine, color or suppleness that it produces. So even if you've found a combination of ingredients that works for you, try experimenting with the amounts of a given ingredient to start, and see if it improves the performance of your conditioner. I now have a series of differing conditioners that I use in steps for a given piece of leather and not just one by itself. This has proven helpful in bringing back very dry or poorly cared for pieces in stages.
  5. Glad to see you got it under control and it worked out.
  6. I know people use and some swear by NFO, but the simple fact is that you can never really get it all out of the leather. Which is why learned people caution others from using it excessively, as the long term effects of it is when it eventually oxidizes in the leather is that stiff,greyish/white color leather turns over time when not cared for. Which is why I don't think you will have very much luck with continuing to wash/bathe the pieces. Have you tried applying a beeswax based product as I suggested earlier to it yet?
  7. Before you start removing rivets, try applying a beeswax based leather conditioner to the grain side and rub it in over several applications. You'll likely still gets some rub off as you do this but the introduction of the beeswax in the conditioner should help reduce the rub off and seal the grain side from the NFO migration. Once you do that, let it sit for a day or so to soak in. After which, you can go back and touch up color if need be and then do your resolene sealer.
  8. The flesh side (back side) will typically will always penetrate/soak up what ever is placed on it , sometimes crazy quick too depending on the piece of leather,than the grain side. I learned this the hard way when I accidentally touched a dye dauber to the backside of a piece that was already dyed a different color and the accidental color was already on the surface as soon as it happened. If the NFO has soaked through evenly and there isnt any discoloration of your dye job, you can opt to let it dry and see if the color remains consistent and hasn't lightened or become splotchy. The other option is to rub/buff the piece down with a rag, to remove the NFO that's has migrated to the surface, which will likely remove some of your dye job in the process. In which case you can allow the piece to dry for a day and then re-dye/touch up the piece to restore the depth of color you want.
  9. "Oil tanned" is term used for leather that has been tanned and then impregnated with oils as part of the tanning and dyeing process. It isn't actually part of the tanning though, it is done post tanning and it does affect the leather in that it is softer, has somewhat of a pull up and is easier to break in, which is why you see boots and other footwear being marketed as using "oil tanned" leather, as the addition of more oils makes it a durable and somewhat water resistant leather. Redwings boots are marketed this way. In the end, it is chrome tanned leather with the additional Oil process that makes it oil tanned leather. If you burn a piece of chrome tanned leather, it will smolder and continue to burn after the heat is removed and will also produce a greenish blue smudge mark if you run it across a piece of paper. Veg tan wont really burn at all and will stop when the heat is removed and will leave a black smudge when rubbed against a piece of paper.
  10. Ask and you shall or receive, or Search and you shall find.
  11. These are probably the best clips out there at the moment for retention and durability. They come in multiple sizes and lengths and you can mount them to anything fairly easily. https://discreetcarryconcepts.com/HLR-Discreet-Gear-Clips™-c26960683
  12. An update to this post on a slightly different list of ingredients and some results. Since posting the original recipe and variations of ingredients one can use, I've been using the following ingredients with very good results, especially for very dry and or damaged leather items. The idea is to replace some of the ingredients that are lost over time, age, and neglect to basically re-fatliquor the leather. I've used it on very old and stiff leather as well as normal healthy leather with good results. This also remains true to an all natural ingredient recipe. Ingredients used are: Beeswax, Lanolin, Tallow (beef), vitamin E. The Tallow I used is derived from 100% pure high end Waygu beef and has a soft buttery consistency and no odor to speak of. The brand I used is from South Chicago packing and is food grade. I use the Vitamin E in the mix, as it is an antioxidant and retards any of the ingredients used from oxidizing ( some refer to this as going rancid). The Lanolin and Beeswax is self explanatory in its usefulness and in adding stability to the product. So I used this recipe to test out the effectiveness of having added the tallow in the mix to see how well it works at fatliquoring already processed/finished leather. Specifically, very stiff and old, dried out leather that had been exposed to the elements as well as sweat.After making it, it resembled my previous picture in this thread where I used lanolin, in its appearance and consistency. Mixture ratios were consistent with the ones I posted in the original post. Here is what I have found to date. After having applied it to the very dry and stiff leather and letting it sit a day or two between multiple applications, the leather had softened up and was no longer stiff and could be bent/flexed without the fear of breaking/cracking the leather. On sections where the surface grain had already cracked and was hard, it was now soft to the touch and pliable. The leather also looked healthier and returned to its natural depth of color. The leather was no longer cardboard stiff or brittle and was soft workable leather. I also applied it to still flexible leather as a typical conditioner would be used on a leather item and found that it works just as well at bringing out a vibrant and healthy looking end result. The addition of the tallow as an ingredient, definitely makes a difference in how this conditioner recipe works compared to the others already mentioned in this thread. It may not be a conditioner that you'd use all of the time, but it is ideal to have a tin for those pieces of leather that require more than the usual conditioner ingredients.
  13. So the short answer is yes, lard and even Tallow are good for leather. In fact, tallow and even lard is often used in the tanning and finishing process, it's called "fatliquoring". Lard however is typically derived from pigs. Tallow is rendered from cattle. When rendered properly, both are shelf stable , require no refrigeration and won't go rancid(oxidize is what people are really referring to when they use the word rancid with leather). Outside of a tannery, most uses of tallow is found in conditioning products with other ingredients, like beeswax, Lanolin, and usually vitamin E(this is what retards any risk of any ingredient oxidizing in a product). Using it alone, without other mixed ingredients and applying it directly to finished leather may not be the best way to use it effectively. Here is an example of a leather conditioning product that utilizes Tallow in its ingredients. https://coloradoleatherbalm.com
  14. Noydini, I'll offer up some advice in addition to what others have already mentioned. CLEANING: Saddle soap has been mentioned but that is a generic term and what one saddle soap has in it can and does differ from brand to brand. In your case, an older, damaged and stiff piece of leather needs to be brought back slowly over time. A simple damp cloth wipe down should proceed anything. Get the surface dust and grime off and then actually clean it. This can be done with something as simple as Dawn dishwashing soap, a soft brush and or a rag. Dawn is pH friendly to leather and won't dry the leather out any more than it already is. You want to avoid drying already damaged leather out even more during the cleaning.Multiple gentle cleanings may be needed. It's really important that during this cleaning and subsequent handling that you don't bend or flex any of the stiff leather pieces/portions of the bag while cleaning and later on, conditioning, until such a time as the leather becomes pliable again. Granted there will be some movement but don't try and overly bend/flex portions of the bag while cleaning it initially. Once you've wiped it down and have moved on to washing it, wetting the leather will cause the leather fibers to swell and regain some flexibility while they are wet. This would be then time to carefully reshape or remove any creases on/in the bag. Once you've cleaned it, allow it to air dry at room temp, don't use heat, natural or otherwise, you don't want to damage the leather any further. The leather will become stiff again after drying out, but it should now be less brittle for a day or two after. This is when you want to start conditions it, so it doesn't become brittle again. CONDITIONING: The key with old and dried out leather is that it lacks the fat and oils that were put into it during tanning that act as lubricants between the leather fibers. You want to slowly over days, maybe even longer, re introduce those fats and oils into the leather and allow it to absorb in and re lubricate the leather fibers. So several applications of one or more leather conditioners will be needed. I know neatsfoot oil has been mentioned already, but I would caution against using it on your bag initially, as there are better alternatives out there that will do what your leather needs, and thats re introduce fats/oils into the leather. There are several commercially available products out there that use natural ingredients, many/most also used during the tanning and finishing process. Products that use ingredients like Cod liver oil, castor oil, lanolin, tallow, beeswax, etc(just a few examples, not all encompassing ) or a combination of them will reintroduce the fats that the leather needs to become lubricated and soft again. Once the leather is soft, pliable and supple again, then I'd consider using something like neatsfoot on it, but not before then. I see you are in the UK, but I'd imagine you can obtain or make something similar to this commercial product, which has ingredients your leather will need to become soft again. See the ingredients list in the FAQ's section in the link below. This is just one example product of many that can be used that have the fats and oils in them that your dried out leather will need to bring it back to life. Hope this helps and check back in with your progress, as it looks like it is a nice bag and worth restoring. https://coloradoleatherbalm.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions
  15. It shouldn't cause it to rub off, as I often use this as a sealer to items I have dyed, but using Fiebings/Angelus dyes. Just be sure to wipe down/buff the stained pieces with a soft rag/t-shirt to remove excess stain as much as possible, then apply the conditioner. You may get a little rub off/color at first on the rag, but nothing to be concerned about.
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