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Brookes bike saddle refurb - what do I do?

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Hi everybody! I'm completely new to leather work but have always been good with my hands. I can't believe that it's taken me this long to start working with leather.

I recently picked up an old Brookes bike saddle that is in pretty nasty shape. I've taken the metal off and am removing the rust. I'll also soak the leather and reshape it once the metal work is done. I've sanded the leather a bit to get off the worst of the soil. 

My question is, what do I do to the leather to restore it? I live in Warsaw, Poland, so my options are a bit limited with regard to product. I'd love to hear some ideas about how to restore the leather and return the shine. I'd like it to look a bit like the one in the green background when all is said and done. Ideas?

Can't wait to learn from you all.

Best wishes,



Brookes saddle.jpg

What I have.



What I want/

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How did you remove the top?  Obviously you had to remove the rivets, hopefully without damaging the leather.  Be careful soaking the leather.  If it loses its shape, how are you going to re-mold it?  I don't recommend that at all.  I would clean it with saddle soap and then possibly oxalic acid.  It will need to be dyed and then finished.  Brooks has its own proofhide formula, but any available wax-based finish should work.  

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Actually, I left the rivets in place - just removed all the metal bits except for the rear and nose pieces riveted to the leather. I'd show you pictures, but I've reached my MB limit already. Too bad :-(

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