Anyone into leather? Military items i mean

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Dang it. So you just leave and keep it clean and mildew free?
I will forward the recommend practices for the NPS and Smithsonian, you may not want to go to those lengths, so yes keep clean, out of UV light, in a temperature controlled environment. I know it is tempting to spruce them up for aesthetic reasons, but you do more damage than good, just for looks. I keep my leather, in gallon zip lock bags sealed plastic containers, rotating for display every so often.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I have posted this before, but here goes again, as I feel it bears repeating, from an in depth study

"A comparative study on surface treatments in conservation of dry leather, with focus on silicone oil" by Lena Ludwick, Institution for Culture Göteborgs University 2012:28


3.3 Dressings

Dressings, or finishes, are usually oil or wax based and surface applied with the intent to restore flexibility, protect from deterioration and enhance appearance. For a long time, dressings used to be the standard treatment used in conservation of leather. This has since proved to be the cause of many problems, as there are a myriad of drawbacks with dressings as a conservation method. Since the base components are fatty substances, overuse can cause oxidization and stiffening, discoloration and staining, a tacky surface that attracts dust and dirt, encouraging of micro organism-growth, and hampering of future conservation efforts. Overapplying can also result in the depositing of spew on the surface, a white substance of free fatty acids, sometimes looking like mold. As well as oils and waxes, dressings often include some type of solvent. These bring with them potential problems of their own, such as dissolving of original surface treatments, adhesives or paint and wetting, swelling and deforming. (Kite et al., 2006, pg. 128) Despite these drawbacks, dressings are still commonly used,(Sturge et al., 2006, pg. 268, 273, 274, 278 & 286), mainly due to aesthetic reasons, giving the object a finished look.(Angus et al., 2006, pg. 115) Two of the dressings most often mentioned in literature are.... presented below.

Pliantine (British Museum Leather Dressing, BML) Microcrystalline wax, such as Renaissance wax polish.

From the National Park Service 1996 Museum handbook Part 1

Appendix S: Curatorial Care of Objects Made From Leather and Skin Products

3. How do I clean objects? The degree to which each soiled object can be cleaned is a function of the nature of the soil and the sensitivity of the object. Clean an object only as necessary to remove airborne soil accumulation.

Don't directly apply chemical reagents such as cleaners, dressings, waxes, and coatings: they are not beneficial and will complicate future conservation treatment.

You can't remove some surface soils by simple cleaning methods, and other soils are not removable at all. Highly deteriorated objects cannot be cleaned by routine procedures so degraded surfaces should be noted and protected so that cleaning will be avoided. S:14 NPS Museum Handbook, Part I (1996) When decorative elements on an object are extensive and very delicate, refer cleaning to a professional conservator. Surfaces that have specialized finishes also may require exemption from cleaning. Figure S.5 describes cleaning techniques that can be considered for objects in good condition. 4. How do I handle skin and hide materials? Much of the damage caused to leather and skin products is due to improper handling. Therefore, you need to train staff in proper handling techniques. See MH-I, Chapter 6, Handling, Packing, and Shipping Museum Objects, for general handling rules. In addition to the general rules there are a few essential rules for the safe handling of these objects: • Be prepared before handling these objects by having a clean area ready to receive the object. Arrange for assistance from others when necessary. • Consider the weight of the entire object before lifting; aged and deteriorated fibers cannot tolerate much physical stress. Avoid suspending, creasing, and folding items. • Move leather and skin artifacts on a tray support, in a drawer, or in a box; if direct handling is necessary, use both hands and support the object from underneath, not from original handles and straps. • Accommodate the special handling requirements of appendages and decorative elements such as beadwork and dangles. • Handle skin and hide materials only while wearing clean, cotton gloves; if hand contact is required, wash hands just before handling.
 

General Butler

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Oh dear, over the years I have been bad. Being cheap, I have been out of the waxes for years now so that's ok...however the leathers did have a dose of Pecards now and again over the years
 

James N.

Colonel
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Feb 23, 2013
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East Texas
Percards is an absolute no no, no reputable museum, the NPS or even relic shop recommend it any longer. There are petroleum distillates and ingredients that seal the leather, causing incalculable damage. The aesthetic of Percards was the allure many years ago, but conservators found that it degraded the leather and thread. I've posted on this in other threads and recommendations on what to do from experts of museums all over the world are available.
I believe the same proved true with another formerly recommended standby Lexol which also supposedly degrades antique leather.
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Percards is an absolute no no, no reputable museum, the NPS or even relic shop recommend it any longer. There are petroleum distillates and ingredients that seal the leather, causing incalculable damage. The aesthetic of Percards was the allure many years ago, but conservators found that it degraded the leather and thread. I've posted on this in other threads and recommendations on what to do from experts of museums all over the world are available.
Thanks for warning about Pecards. I tried to ask R S Dorsey about it. Wasn't helpful.
 
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