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Thread: How to restore a Sheepskin Coat – the leather seems pretty dry, and might start to crack!

  1. #1
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    Default How to restore a Sheepskin Coat – the leather seems pretty dry, and might start to crack!

    I would appreciate your advice on a couple of problems.

    After reading the washing instructions of a number of websites of companies that sell sheepskin, I washed a sheepskin coat with water and Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap.
    The leather side seems pretty dry and might start to crack if left as it is.
    Judging from the page on your site on how to condition a sheepskin rug, I am guessing I should do the same and use the Leather Doctor® Sheepskin Leather Care, Hydrator-3.3 - (250ml) and Fatliquor-5.0 - (250ml) to moisturize the leather side of the sheepskin.
    Am I right?
    What are the prices for these two products?
    Do I have to protect the wool from coming into contact with the hydrator 3.3 and the fatliquour 5.0 when I apply them?
    And should the wool side be conditioned/moisturized?
    If so, with what?
    After moisturizing, what should I use to protect the leather side and the wool side?

    2) Please also find pictures of the sheepskin coat for which I was hoping the sheepskin products would restore.
    I have been told that nothing could bring it back to life.
    I would appreciate your opinion on that.
    Would Kit H4 bring it back to life?
    This coat also has a rip which will take effort and money to fix.

    3) I see you also sell dyes.
    How does one go about identifying the right colour?
    I have a few items that might need redyeing.

    Catherine

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    I would appreciate your advice on a couple of problems.

    After reading the washing instructions of a number of websites of companies that sell sheepskin, I washed a sheepskin coat with water and Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap.
    The leather side seems pretty dry and might start to crack if left as it is.

    Judging from the page on your site on how to condition a sheepskin rug, I am guessing I should do the same and use the Leather Doctor® Sheepskin Leather Care, Hydrator-3.3 - (250ml) and Fatliquor-5.0 - (250ml) to moisturize the leather side of the sheepskin. Am I right?


    First picture shows that the sheepskin tensile tear strength has diminished resulting in tears to the suede. The rips, tears or holes are reparable with leather Bond-3D. We shall go into details how we can do it if you are interested to repair them.

    Second pictures shows wrinkles and creases suggested that the leather has shrunken. Hydrator-3.3 will relax the shrinkage and stretch it back with a smoother surface. Fatliquor-5.0 with fat and oil will maintain the structure fullness with excellent flexibility without fear of cracking the leather.

    This shearling leather-safe problem-solving guide will be your source of reference.



    Leather-Safe Problem Solving Guide (Sg) – Shearling Leathers




    Leather-Safe Problem Solving Guide (S.n) – Napa Suede Leathers


    Kit H4 is the recommended kit for Shearling Suede for cleaning the double-face, both the wool face and the suede face.

    Leather Doctor® Kit H4 : Hair-on-Hide - Standard Care Kit


    Do I have to protect the wool from coming into contact with the hydrator 3.3 and the fatliquour 5.0 when I apply them?

    These products are leather-safe, wool has a pH close to 5.5 and leather pH is 3-5. Product suffix denotes its pH value.
    Cleaning generally starts with the wool face first, after they are dried that the suede side commence.



    And should the wool side be conditioned/moisturized?
    If so, with what?
    After moisturizing, what should I use to protect the leather side and the wool side?

    Both sides and face of the wool and suede are protected with the same products. Protector-S+ is a non-stick, rub-resistant leather-scented protector that imparts a silky feel.

    2) Please also find pictures of the sheepskin coat for which I was hoping the sheepskin products would restore.
    I have been told that nothing could bring it back to life.
    I would appreciate your opinion on that.
    Would Kit H4 bring it back to life?

    As long as your suede side is able to be hydrated and relax first with Hydrator-3.3, it can be soften to as soft as you wish. You can also smoothen all that unwanted creases and wrinkles too if you wish after fatliquor is replenished sufficiently.


    This coat also has a rip, which will take effort and money to fix.

    Fixing the rips will have a darkening effect and I would recommend that the entire suede face be dyes to camouflage the repairs as well.


    3) I see you also sell dyes.
    How does one go about identifying the right colour?
    I have a few items that might need redyeing.

    Simply post the items and I shall help you out with the closest color.


    Roger Koh
    info@leatherdoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 01-22-2013 at 09:05 PM.

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    Hello Roger,

    Thank you for all the information and answers to my questions. I appreciate it.

    Please bear with me, I would like to clarify a couple of things.

    1) "As long as your suede side is able to be hydrated and relax first with Hydrator-3.3, it can be soften to as soft as you wish. You can also smoothen all that unwanted creases and wrinkles too if you wish after fatliquor is replenished sufficiently."

    Based on your experience, would the leather regain its tensile tear strength, as healthy leather typically does, or is it still going to be weak and tear easily? Could you please clarify what you meant by "as long as your suede side is able to be hydrated..."? Are there situations when a piece of leather is not able to be hydrated? Do you think my coat can be hydrated?

    How can I tell when I have applied enough of the hydrator and fatliquid? If a bottle typically be enough for a job like this?

    2) About the tear:

    The tear is pretty big. It is not a little rip. It kind of zigzags all the way across the upper right arm. Seeing the tear, do you still think it's worth fixing? This coat has no sentimental value to me. I just like it. So if it's not worth fixing, that won't the end of the world to me.

    My ideas are a) searching for a piece of sheep skin in a similar colour and replacing the whole panel (both arms to make the appearance match). Is that wishful thinking? Do you sell pieces of sheepskin?

    b) If it is to be patched, I would think the tear has to be sewn or glued to a piece of fabric (perhaps leather) to help support the weight. Then the patch would surely be very visible and needs to be decorated to make it look as if it's meant to be there.

    Or c) Would it be advisable to glue a piece of leather the same shape as the panel on top of the suede ?



    Could you kindly also provide shipping rates/options?

    Do you ship from Canada, the US or elsewhere?

    Many thanks.

    Catherine
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    1) "As long as your suede side is able to be hydrated and relax first with Hydrator-3.3, it can be soften to as soft as you wish. You can also smoothen all that unwanted creases and wrinkles too if you wish after fatliquor is replenished sufficiently."

    That is a general statement. All sheepskin suede like the one yours is easily hydrated and fatliquor replenished. The rejuvenating process of topping up with fat and oil will plump the leather up with fatness. Only with fatness and when completely dry that indirect ironing will produce your desired result.

    Based on your experience, would the leather regain its tensile tear strength, as healthy leather typically does, or is it still going to be weak and tear easily? Could you please clarify what you meant by "as long as your suede side is able to be hydrated..."? Are there situations when a piece of leather is not able to be hydrated? Do you think my coat can be hydrated?

    The strength of the leather lies in the percentage of fat and oil in the leather structure. When leather is easily darkened with liquid, they are able to be hydrated.
    A typical leather car seat is an example of difficulty to hydrate the leather because of its protective coating. All low-end furnishing leather has this difficulty to be hydrated as well, that’s why you see them crack, as fat and oil turns into gases and evaporates with heat.


    How can I tell when I have applied enough of the hydrator and fatliquid? If a bottle typically be enough for a job like this?

    Fatliquor is replenished at intervals to allow the water contents to wick up and evaporates.
    With repeat application one will observed that the fatliquor takes a longer time to be absorbed into the leather.
    When dry the leather will increase in suppleness as well.



    2) About the tear:

    The tear is pretty big. It is not a little rip. It kind of zigzags all the way across the upper right arm. Seeing the tear, do you still think it's worth fixing? This coat has no sentimental value to me. I just like it. So if it's not worth fixing, that won't the end of the world to me.

    Fixing is only recommended when the leather is rejuvenated with suppleness and strength.
    As it is when you put a needle through it will tear – the loss of tear strength.
    When leather is rejuvenated with fatliquor it will increase the tear strength, that is when you begin the repairs.
    Repairs in such cases is done with a combination of fine stitching first, the follows with laying with suede fibers (scrap from the other hidden areas to donate to the stitching cover up) and bonding together with leather Bond-3D (same technique as working with fiberglass).



    My ideas are a) searching for a piece of sheep skin in a similar colour and replacing the whole panel (both arms to make the appearance match). Is that wishful thinking? Do you sell pieces of sheepskin?

    You may get “shearling” from Tandy leathers or other leather craft stores that sells sheepskin (shearling).

    b) If it is to be patched, I would think the tear has to be sewn or glued to a piece of fabric (perhaps leather) to help support the weight. Then the patch would surely be very visible and needs to be decorated to make it look as if it's meant to be there.

    The repair suggested above will give you an invincible repair except a darkening effect just like healing scar of our skin.

    Or c) Would it be advisable to glue a piece of leather the same shape as the panel on top of the suede ?

    You will need to “bond” with protein/resin ingredient and not all glue can do the job, a bond becomes part of the leather making the repair homogenous.

    Contact cement of any other types will fail very soon.



    Could you kindly also provide shipping rates/options?

    Do you ship from Canada, the US or elsewhere?

    Please email me for prices and shipping rates worldwide.


    Roger Koh
    info@leatherdoctor.com

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    Hello Roger,

    In the last reply, you described how to patch this gigantic rip by placing scrape suede from hidden parts of the coat over the rip. There is no scrape on this coat. All the suede parts are on the outside of the coat. The only possibility is the pockets. I think I will try finding pieces of shearling from a leather store before I sacrifice the pockets. I also can't envision how patching it would be "invincible". Are there examples of patching jobs in the forum?

    In another post about the red leather aniline skirt, you said Protector s+ won't prevent staining. With this coat, after all the steps moisturizing and applying Portector S, if I want to minimize staining, should I spray it with regular leather protector?

    The coat has been washed with water and soap. It doesn't need any more cleaning. Should I skip the cleaning step and go straight to the hydrating step?

    I will send a private email about shipping, etc.

    Thanks.

    Cathy

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    The fiber is scraped from the surface of the suede still leaving the suede intact.

    This technique is used when repairing fur as the fur skin when dry of original fatliquor becomes brittle.

    I will give you more details of the process when you have the leather Bond-3D at hand.

    You can see pictures of how it is done with fur coats.

    #1


    #2


    #3


    Roger Koh
    info@leatherdoctor.com

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    I purchased the Rinse 3.0, Degreaser 2.2, hydrator 3.3, Bond 3D and fatliquor 5.0 to hydrate and repair this coat.

    I am not planning to clean it. I just want to recondition it. Could you give me the instructions on how to condition it, I suppose with the hydrator and fatliquor?

    Thanks.

    Cathy
    Last edited by Cathy; 12-09-2013 at 08:11 AM.

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    >>> I just want to recondition it. Could you give me the instructions on how to condition it, I suppose with the hydrator and fatliquor?

    Conditioning as to rejuvenate the thickness of the leather for softness and tensile strength involves the Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 process.
    The Hydrator-3.3 is used as a pre-conditioner to check for surface tension for even absorption to void any blotchiness if any. The deeper the hydrator has penetrated the deeper the Fatliquor-5.0 will follow suit. See more details. . .


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    Leather Doctor Hydrator-3.3

    Leather Doctor® Hydrator-3.3 is a waterbased pH 3.3 leather-safe hydrator. It is a fatliquor preconditioner with multi functional abilities. Surface application is primary to check for even surface tension free of blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing. Structural application will require saturating to an optimum level with moisture oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    The multi functional abilities include:
    a) to check for surface tension for an even appearance free from blotchiness prior to fatliquor replenishing.
    b) To plumps, relaxes and separates crushed, shrunk and stick together fibrils for manipulating away-unwanted creases and wrinkles.
    c) To rectify alkaline overexposure areas by facilitating colloidal water movement to redistribute the leather constituents from surrounding areas.
    d) To activate the dormant dyestuff within the leather structure for color refreshing.
    e) To facilitates colloidal water movement within the inter-fibrillary spaces for wicking foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
    f) To stabilize, pH balance and charge the protein fiber below its iso-electric point (pI) ionic positive to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative fatliquor more effectively. This universal Hydrator-3.3 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.

    Instruction:

    A. Surface Tension Inspection:
    A1. Spray Hydrator-3.3 evenly and wipe with lint free towel to free of surface tension for an even appearance prior to fatliquor replenishing.

    B. Stiffness, Creases and Wrinkles:
    B1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    B2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell for softness.
    B3. Manipulate by stretching and cross flexing to relax the leather prior to fatliquor replenishing.

    C. Rectify Alkaline Overexposure:
    C1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    C2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell for redistributing of the leather constituents from surrounding area.
    C3. Observe for appearance and test by finger for tactile squeaky feel prior to fatliquor replenishing.

    D. Activating Dormant Dyestuff to Resurface:
    D1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    D2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for excess dyestuff to resurface.
    D3. Remove plastic cover and let it natural dry to observe color improvement prior to fatliquor replenishing.

    E. Removing Penetrated Stains:
    E1. Saturate the thickness of the leather to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers.
    E2. Cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for foreign soiling particulates to resurface.
    E3. Remove plastic wrapping, replace with tissue paper without airspace to trap stains as it dries instead of remaining on the surface.
    E4. Peel tissue paper when crispy dry and erase with Eraser-4 or Eraser-5 for suede accordingly prior to fatliquor replenishing.



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    Leather Doctor Fatliquor-5.0

    Leather Doctor® Fatliquor-5.0, a micro emulsion of fat, oil and water is an anionic charged pH 5.0 fatliquor for rejuvenating all leather types. It relaxes coarse breaks, creases and wrinkles enhance suppleness and prevent cracking. It softens the leather with stretchability, compressibility and flexibility, while enhancing its rip tensile strength greatly. It is for replenishing the original fat and oil that diminishes thru sun-bleaching, ageing, heat and alkaline overexposure or cleaning. On application, the water-encased molecule breaks free when hydrogen bond attraction takes place between the fat and oil with the protein fiber. The excess free water content wicks out leaving a breathing space behind for leather natural transpiration. The fat plumps the leather with fullness from easily collapsing into creases and wrinkles during stress or flex, while the oil lubricates the fibers so that they slide over one another smoothly like millions of inter-connecting hinges. Thus helps to keep leather at its optimum physical performance and prevent premature ageing. This universal Fatliquor-5.0 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin.

    Instruction:

    1. Apply Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute with foam brush until saturation.
    2. Repeat application each time water contents evaporate until fully saturated.
    3. Drive remaining surface remnants free of milky fat and oil until it turns clear with Hydrator-3.3.
    4. Allow natural drying for extra softness.

    Tips:

    1. When crispy dry, prior surface contaminations/damages may darkens as soiling particulates resurface.
    2. Removes soiling particulates with Eraser-4 for all leathers including nubuck and Eraser-5 for suede.
    3. Stretching the darken areas lightly will also lightens the appearance.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com

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    Hello Roger,

    1) I read the safety warning for the hydrator 3.3 and Fatliquor 5.0. It says to avoid contact with skin. I can't help but wonder if these products are harmful to touch or inhale during application and after the hydrating process is done. It's hard not to touch the liquid during application. Even if one can avoid that, if they are applied to garment or furniture, the products will certainly come into skin contact. What are the contents of these products? Are they safe to touch?

    2) I applied the hydrator according to the instructions and the coat is sealed up. My understanding is that after the coat has be dwelling for 72 hours, I can apply the fatliquor, i.e., I don't need to let the hydrator dry up first. Is that correct?

    Apply Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute with foam brush until saturation.
    2. Repeat application each time water contents evaporate until fully saturated.
    3. Drive remaining surface remnants free of milky fat and oil until it turns clear with Hydrator-3.3.

    3) Can you clarify Step 2 please. Does that mean I apply the fatliquor, let it dry and reapply until saturated; or do I apply it, simply let it soak in, then reapply until it is saturated with the fat liquor?

    4) What does fully saturated mean in this case, until the fat liquor oozes out when squeezed?

    5) If I don't let the hydrator dry up first, wouldn't the leather be already almost saturated with the hydrator and not be able to absorb the fatliquor?

    Thanks in advance for clarifying.

    Cathy

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    >>> What are the contents of these products?

    Hydrator-3.3 contents:
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    Fatliquor-5.0 contents:
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    >>> Are they safe to touch?

    Hydrator-3.3 ready-to-use is further cut with 25 parts of distilled water and is safe to touch.


    >>> I applied the hydrator according to the instructions and the coat is sealed up. My understanding is that after the coat has be dwelling for 72 hours, I can apply the fatliquor, i.e., I don't need to let the hydrator dry up first. Is that correct?

    Correct!


    >>> Apply Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute with foam brush until saturation.
    >>>2. Repeat application each time water contents evaporate until fully saturated.
    >>>3. Drive remaining surface remnants free of milky fat and oil until it turns clear with Hydrator-3.3.



    >>> 3) Can you clarify Step 2 please. Does that mean I apply the fatliquor, let it dry and reapply until saturated; or do I apply it, simply let it soak in, then reapply until it is saturated with the fat liquor?

    It pretty sounds the same to me, the water content about 5 parts will evaporates as it dries. At each repeat application one will find that the fatliquor does not soak in as fast as the previous application and this can be repeated until it will not take in anymore. The more objective method of fatliquor saturation is by means of a moisture meter. Take the reading when the leather is normal dry to the touch, it should be up to 14% moisture content that is the modern tannery standard.


    >>> 4) What does fully saturated mean in this case, until the fat liquor oozes out when squeezed?


    Fully saturated or fully soaked with dripping, if fatliquor need to be squeeze to ooze out, then it will not drip as well. This is the non-immersion method without affecting too much with other material that is sewn together.


    >>> 5) If I don't let the hydrator dry up first, wouldn't the leather be already almost saturated with the hydrator and not be able to absorb the fatliquor?

    Hydrator-3.3 is the preconditioner for facilitating efficient distribution of fatliquor throughout the entire leather structure while it is still damp is most effective procedure.
    Subsequent fatliquor replenishing at interval while the water contents evaporates will slowly replace with softening it up with fatliquor when dry.


    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com

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    Hi Rogers,

    I processed the sheepskin coat, the red skirt and a pair of boots. For each piece, I applied the hydrator, sealed it for at least a couple of days, then applied the fatliquor, sealed it for a day and reapplied the fatliuor. Would you mind answering these questions:

    The sheepskin boots and the sheepskin coat seem to have an insatiable appetite for the fatliquor! I am not as surprised that the sheepskin coat is like that because I washed it.

    I would expect the boots to have the protective layer (something you mentioned in other posts) that would prevent them from absorbing the fatliquor, but they just soak the liquid up no matter how many times I reapply it. Is that possible or am I doing something wrong? Is the fatliquor being mostly absorbed by the hair on the other side? I am just worried about overapplying the fatliquor.

    The coat was left sealed for a day after I applied the fatliquor. I then let it dry up for half a day, by then, it felt fair a bit dryer, so I reapplied the fatliquor and it soaks it up pretty fast again, so I sealed it up again. It does seem to be more supple, but I can't really tell how supple it is unless I let it dry a fair amount. Is it OK to let the piece dry to feel for suppleness before reapplying more fatliquor as long as it's still damp?

    Again, is the fatliquor mostly being absorbed by the hair on the other side of the coat?

    Now, I am thinking perhaps it would have been easier to simply immerse the whole coat in the fatliquor?!

    Typically how many times do you have to reapply for the piece to be saturated with the fatliquor? Is it preferable to seal it after each fatliquor application or should I not seal it so that the water can evaporate leaving the fat part behind? I feel that I need to seal them at least overnight when I can't monitor how dry they are so they won't get too dry for the next reapplication.

    In any case, when this deep conditioning with the fatliquor is done, would it be OK to apply a mainstream commercial protector to the boots to protect them from salt and water stains? They are supposed to be waterproof winter boots.

    Thanks for taking time to answer my many questions.

    Cathy
    Last edited by Cathy; 02-11-2014 at 07:12 PM.

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    >>> The sheepskin boots and the sheepskin coat seem to have an insatiable appetite for the fatliquor! I am not as surprised that the sheepskin coat is like that because I washed it. I would expect the boots to have the protective layer (something you mentioned in other posts) that would prevent them from absorbing the fatliquor, but they just soak the liquid up no matter how many times I reapply it. Is that possible or am I doing something wrong?

    The suede side is more porous and fatliquor would be easier to penetrate, while the grain side is tighter and would be slower to penetrate. The intakes of the fatliquor will depends on how dry the leather is in the first place, it is measure by weight in relation to the existing dry leather or by a moisture meter reading up to 14% when the leather is fully dry for use.


    >>> Is the fatliquor being mostly absorbed by the hair on the other side? I am just worried about overapplying the fatliquor.


    Fatliquor-5.0 is an ionic negative (-ve) charge fatliquor and it hydrogen-bond with the ionic positive (+ve) charge leather protein fiber within the leather structure any surface residue when dry becomes sticky and it is easily rinse off with Hydrator-3.3 into the leather structure again until the surface have a clear appearance without any milky strays. Checking hair absorbent or strays is by spraying with Hydrator-3.3 for milky residue. A moisture meter will help in accurately determine the moisture content up to 14%.


    >>> The coat was left sealed for a day after I applied the fatliquor. I then let it dry up for half a day, by then, it felt fair a bit dryer, so I reapplied the fatliquor and it soaks it up pretty fast again, so I sealed it up again. It does seem to be more supple, but I can't really tell how supple it is unless I let it dry a fair amount. Is it OK to let the piece dry to feel for suppleness before reapplying more fatliquor as long as it's still damp?

    Yes, as long as it is damp would be more effective into the thickness of the leather, thus softer result.


    >>> Again, is the fatliquor mostly being absorbed by the hair on the other side of the coat?


    No!


    >>> Now, I am thinking perhaps it would have been easier to simply immerse the whole coat in the fatliquor?!


    No! this non-immersion methods is best in practice, not to mess-up the hair or wool side.


    >>> Typically how many times do you have to reapply for the piece to be saturated with the fatliquor? Is it preferable to seal it after each fatliquor application or should I not seal it so that the water can evaporate leaving the fat part behind? I feel that I need to seal them at least overnight when I can't monitor how dry they are so they won't get too dry for the next reapplication.

    A moisture meter would be a tool to use to determine the fatliquor percentage of existing leather and also thereafter.


    >>> In any case, when this deep conditioning with the fatliquor is done, would it be OK to apply a mainstream commercial protector to the boots to protect them from salt and water stains? They are supposed to be waterproof winter boots.

    Waterproofing may retards wearing comfort disallowing natural transpiration. Silicone types may turns yellowing and when clean may appears cloudy. Solvent based may dries up the fatliquor and result in nap stiffness. When a leather structure is fully saturated the fat and oil in the leather structure acts as waterproofing to a degree.
    The tannery original waterproof winter boots are either the oil pull-up types or the wax pull-up types. Replenishing them is either using Oil Effect-2.8 or Wax Effect-8.6. Tannery does not use commercial protector, as they are not proven effective in waterproofing but merely for showerproofing. A pull-up effect waterproofing may appear wet from the outside, but water does not go through (just like putting a wooden boat in water, wood is wet but water does not ingress) and the feet stay dry.


    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com

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    Hello Roger,

    I finished the rehydrating process with the hydrator and fatliquor. It is much more supple, though not perfect, still feels stiff and somewhat dry to touch. I sprayed it with the fatliquor maybe 5 times, allowing it to dry partially in between applications. I figure it is as good as it is going to get (the attached small photo shows the post-hydrating condition). It feels slightly sticky when wet. Perhaps smoothing it by hand and ironing it would make it feel softer?

    I am now ready to repair the tear (the larger photo shows the rip and the before-hydrating condition). You have explained previously that I need a scrape piece of leather from somewhere else of the coat. Again, there is no scrap on this coat unless I remove one the pockets, which I don't want to do. So if I need a piece of leather, I will have to go buy one.

    Can you show me steps to repair the tear, please? I have got the Bond 3D.

    Cathy
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    >> I finished the rehydrating process with the hydrator and fatliquor. It is much more supple, though not perfect, still feels stiff and somewhat dry to touch. I sprayed it with the fatliquor maybe 5 times, allowing it to dry partially in between applications. I figure it is as good as it is going to get (the attached small photo shows the post-hydrating condition). It feels slightly sticky when wet. Perhaps smoothing it by hand and ironing it would make it feel softer?


    “Feels stiff” is improved with some massaging the leather structure for softness and strength.
    “Somewhat dry to touch” is improves with a silky-feel non-stick, rub-resistant protector with Protector-S+ (leather scented) or scentless with Protector-S.

    “Ironing it” is only practical for thin skin, much more difficult when working with thicker skin. Use a white printing paper to go in between the iron and the suede skin. Set temperature for “wool”, otherwise shrinkage occurs that will require Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 system to rectify it again.


    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 02-20-2014 at 01:55 PM.

  15. #15
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    >>> I am now ready to repair the tear (the larger photo shows the rip and the before-hydrating condition). You have explained previously that I need a scrape piece of leather from somewhere else of the coat. Again, there is no scrap on this coat unless I remove one the pockets, which I don't want to do. So if I need a piece of leather, I will have to go buy one. Can you show me steps to repair the tear, please? I have got the Bond 3D.


    Donor fiber is scrape from the suede side or from another piece of sheepskin of the same color.

    Tips:
    1. The skin is stretch and massage for softness prior to repairs.
    2. Do a test close-up for satisfaction.
    3. Use wool thread if possible for some stitch up at critical position to hold them joints in place and allow over-lapping to be exposed. Go over the straight joints with stitches (may leave there for added strength when the donor fiber is lay over them).
    4. The overlapping areas is first bond up with Bond-3D (note that this is not an instant glue and may take the water contents to evaporates before it has the strength to hold and as it dries and cures, even sandpaper will not be able to sand it (any correction is done with the help of Bond-7A to melt it down and work it smooth).
    5. Bonding the overlapping gives extra strength and stitching at the edges is optional similar for straight joints.
    Note:
    The repairs will take on a darker coloring and re-dying to match the repairs is optional with Nubuck-28 system.

    Please show some pictures and we can continue from there to improves strength, softness and appearance.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com

  16. #16
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    Thank you for these posts, they happened to be almost exactly the things I would have asked about my own project. I own an NVA (East Germany) sheepskin overcoat, very rudimentary design and meant to be worn on top of everything else. The stamps would indicate it has been produced in the 60s and has seen some extensive use, it has a ton of repairs done on it and the skin is somewhat dirty: it was originally of the regular cream/beige colour (supposedly) but has taken in quite a lot of dirt.

    The leather is quite soft still, but feels a bit dry, and has a few small rips which I studied and came to conclude that this dryness will probably cause it to rip quite easily in the future too. I was planning on using this coat on trips to the forest during the winter, and would not like it to respond to every touch by a tree branch with a rip.

    I was thinking of doing this hydrator-fatliquor treatment on it, as it seems that almost everything else I can find for this project is waxy and/or greasy to the extent that it will surely discolour the coat.

    One concern I have, though: I kinda like the dirty look on this coat, and would not want to actually clean it during the process. Is there any way of doing this treatment without the dirt coming off? Will the hydrator automatically make the filth come out of the leather?

  17. #17
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    Please show us some pictures for reference!

    The dirt may first be dissolved during the hydrating process and penetrate into the leather that may interfere with the pH of the leather when dry it may wick to the surface and spread all over.

    Note that leather protein fiber is an amphoteric material and pH value above its iso-electric point or (pI) will shift the protein fiber ionic negative (-ve) thus repels the leather other ionic negative (-ve) constituents like the tanning agent, fatliquor and dyestuff as well.

    Hydrogen-bonding between the protein fiber and the fatliquor will fail to take place as both are ionic negative (-ve). Just like the principle of a magnet “like poles repels”. The leather may becomes stiffer when dry.


    >>> everything else I can find for this project is waxy and/or greasy to the extent that it will surely discolour the coat.


    These waxy and/or greasy products you mentioned are seldom ionic charged, they just stuff-in without hydrogen-bonding that seals the breathing pores, the wearer feels sweaty as the sealed pores retards transpiration for wearing comfort.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 04-22-2014 at 09:33 AM.

  18. #18
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    I hope the images can be seen. Taken with a poor phone camera so the colours are actually more dark and yellow that they are, the close-up on the sleeve is closer to the truth. It also shows the amount of dirt: the almost white borders of the seams and the sleeve openings is the original colour of the pelts, they were covered by imitation leather bands which I removed as they made it difficult to put the coat into a roll. So cleaning this basically amounts to washing off sins.

  19. #19
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    >>> So cleaning this basically amounts to washing off sins.

    Wiser to leave the sin on the surface or outside – will do more harm when migrated into the leather structure that repels the leather constituents out – denatures the leather back to rawhide or skin.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    www.LeatherDoctor.com
    info@LeatherDoctor.com

  20. #20
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    So the verdict is that it would be best to just leave it be? That would surely be the cheapest and easiest option Or was the alternative to actually clean it and do the treatment?

  21. #21
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    Just leave it is the cheapest and easiest option out is only true, when you leave it as it is. Any wetting it during wear and dry again will leave it stiffer each time and when flexed will tear easily.

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    So if I wanted it to last I should clean it and do the treatment? Could it be done with just the hydrator-fatliquor combo, or should some bigger guns be utilised? I must say I'm not tempted with seeing the coat as light in colour as the base seems to be, but it surely would be a shame to destroy it outside in its current condition.

  23. #23
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    >>> So if I wanted it to last I should clean it and do the treatment?

    A holistic approach recommended – see Kit Ss4


    >>> Could it be done with just the hydrator-fatliquor combo, or should some bigger guns be utilised?


    You may do it your way, not necessary the best way!


    >>> I must say I'm not tempted with seeing the coat as light in colour as the base seems to be, but it surely would be a shame to destroy it outside in its current condition.

    Redyeing is an option!



    Product information:
    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/servlet...Ss4/Categories
    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/servlet...-28/Categories


    Name:  Kit Ss4.JPG
Views: 10970
Size:  1.58 MB
    Leather Doctor Kit Ss4 – Suede Shearling Care Kit
    Leather Doctor® Kit Ss4, suede shearling care kit is an innovative leather-safe (pH 3 - 5) system designed for keeping suede shearling outer garment at their highest level of appearance, enhancing their softness and strength and prevents premature ageing. Suede when dry of its fat and oil becomes more absorbent and easily creases and wrinkles. Softening it begins with Hydrator-3.3 to relax the creases and wrinkles prior to fat and oil replenishing with Fatliquor-5.0. The fat plumps the suede with fullness and the oil lubricates the fibers for smoothness during compressing, stretching and flexing thus reduces creases and wrinkles. Unlike conditioning oils that darkens suede, fatliquor seasons the suede to a richer tone that helps reduce the ingress of liquid stains and making soiling removal easier where the fibers is full of fat and oil. Maintenance cleaning before soiling build up on body contact areas is done with Cleaner-3.8 and Rinse-3.0 respectively. Protector-S+ imparts a non-stick rub-resistant silky-feel that shields the effect of sticky soiling, keeping a high level of appearance for a longer period of time. The wool face is clean, sanitize with odor control and rinse with Clean-5.5 and Rinse-4.0 respectively using the same non-stick protector to enhance the wool with a silky feel. Moreover, it diffuses a classic leather scent that charms. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this leather-safe holistic care system for double face suede shearling. This kit comes with reduced weight option to save on shipping thus the 250ml concentrate ratio such as Clean-3.8, Clean-5.5, Rinse-3.0, rinse-4.0, Hydrator-3.3 and Fatliquor-5.0 has to be cut or filled up with distilled water prior to use.


    Name:  a207916145391d3ce1ff53_s.jpg
Views: 10375
Size:  7.8 KB
    Leather Doctor Suede/Nubuck-28
    Leather Doctor® Suede/Nubuck-28 is a translucent hybrid dyestuff that both stains and surface colors to camouflage or obscure unwanted stains by fine airbrushing for nubuck and suede. When prepared surface ready for dyeing is free of any surface contamination, use transparent Aniline-21 to maintain its natural clarity and tactile sensation as priority before resorting to Suede/Nubuck-28.

  24. #24
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    Greetings again!

    I asked about the NVA sheepskin coat some months ago, and back then decided to leave it as it was. Now, however, the winter is coming and making it a funtioning garm is again timely, and I'd like to ask a few clarifying questions.

    This post threw me off scent:

    ">>> So cleaning this basically amounts to washing off sins.
    Wiser to leave the sin on the surface or outside – will do more harm when migrated into the leather structure that repels the leather constituents out – denatures the leather back to rawhide or skin."

    But then later you recommend the holistic approach. Maybe we misunderstood each other. The coat is very dirty, but is it truly so that removing the dirt using Clean and Rinse turns it back to rawhide? Will these agents make the dirt migrate into the leather? Or did you refer to some traditional washing that I might do and which would sink the dirt into the leather?

    I'm not very interested in the wool side looking good, so I was thinking Clean - Rinse - Hydrator - Fatliquor treatment. The shipping also costs a lot for me so I'd skip a kit and only take the bottles I need. Should that be enough? WOuld these things bring the dirt out instead of making it sink in?

  25. #25
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    ">>> So cleaning this basically amounts to washing off sins.
    Wiser to leave the sin on the surface or outside – will do more harm when migrated into the leather structure that repels the leather constituents out – denatures the leather back to rawhide or skin."


    >>> But then later you recommend the holistic approach. Maybe we misunderstood each other. The coat is very dirty, but is it truly so that removing the dirt using Clean and Rinse turns it back to rawhide?

    Clean-3.8 and Rinse-3.0 are leather-safe products their suffix numbers denotes their pH value – will NOT turn it back to rawhide. Using non-leather safe products with high pH value products will and the sign is the leather becomes tacky or slimy when detected wet.


    >>> Will these agents make the dirt migrate into the leather?

    Follow the leather-safe system and performing the process in sequence by first removing the dry soiling before the wet process.


    >>> Or did you refer to some traditional washing that I might do and which would sink the dirt into the leather?

    Using other non proven methods and with soaps may ruins your leather.


    >>> I'm not very interested in the wool side looking good, so I was thinking Clean - Rinse - Hydrator - Fatliquor treatment. The shipping also costs a lot for me so I'd skip a kit and only take the bottles I need.

    Do not forget the tools for the suede.


    >>> Should that be enough?
    It depends how dry your leather or suede is.


    >>> Would these things bring the dirt out instead of making it sink in?

    With the leather-safe system, it bring the dirt off the suede.


    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    roger@LeatherDoctor.com

    Pictures of Suede side cleaning:


    #1 Before
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    #2 Eraser-5 for dry soil removal, exfoliate damaged and deteriorating piles to reveal a new nap.
    Name:  DSC_0133.JPG
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Size:  3.33 MB


    #3 Clean-3.8 for general wet cleaning suede.
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Size:  3.48 MB


    #4 Eraser-5 used to wet clean the suede.
    Name:  DSC_0186.jpg
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Size:  2.79 MB


    #5 Towel extract after Rinse-30
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    #6 Cleaning is perform section by section
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    #7 Hydrator-3.3 is used to preconditioned the suede to relaxes all creases and wrinkles stretching back to its original dimension.
    Name:  DSC_0203.JPG
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    #8 Fatliquor-5.0 is to replenish the original fat liquor that diminished and topping it up, up to 14% for suppleness with softness and strength from easily ripping or tearing the delicate suede.
    Name:  DSC_0204.JPG
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    #9 Suede Brush-3, an essential tool to groom the suede piles for a "finger writing effect" after Protector-S+ for a silky feel.
    Name:  DSC_0223.JPG
Views: 8929
Size:  3.71 MB

    #10 After: This almost damaged cleaning by traditional professional non-leather-safe methods can now put into a showroom and can pass on as a new garment with its fresh leather scent and a silky feel to the touch. For your information this garment belongs to my customer ALEXIS J. PALKOWSKI and she paid $717 by cheque issue by Toronto Dominion Tower Branch, Vancouver. I believe she can vouch for it the quality of this leather-safe services. Besides the suede, this cleaning involves the cleaning of the fur, the embroidery and wool shearling and damages restored. Was told this designer shearling value more than 10K when new.




    Name:  DSC_0226.jpg
Views: 8817
Size:  2.51 MB
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 11-11-2014 at 10:04 AM.

  26. #26
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    The series of pictures you posted to follow my las question was a good one, I think I got the gist of the process. What I'd still want to know is just how much of the liquids should I use. Of some it was said that the leather should actually feel wet from them, but still I'd like to know more.

    >>> The clean: Is it sufficient to make the top moist? The coat is REALLY dirty, it's like the original East German user has slept in dirt or something while wearing it...


    Cleaning will depends on the soiling and stain types and using this Leather-Safe Problem Solving Guide (S.n) – Napa Suede Leathers accordingly will deliver the desire result.


    >>> The rinse: How paranoid do I need to be with the rinse to make sure it exhausts all of the clean?

    Almost half the soiling load is removed with Eraser-5 both during pre-cleaning and post cleaning where the soiling particulates wicks to the tip of the suede piles. Ratio of Clean-3.8 to Rinse-3.0 is typically about 1: 2.


    >>> The hydrator: Was it with this or the fatliquor that the coat has to be covered in plastic?


    Hydrator-3.3 effective dwelling to relax stiff and dried leathers is covered with plastic to control the waste of product through evaporaton.


    >>> The fatliquor: Same as above, also how can the right amount of the fatliquor be measured?

    The amount of existing fatliquor content both fat and oil is measurable with a moisture meter. In modern tannery the fatliquor content when dry is up to 14% depending on the usage of the leather and desired appearance. 5 parts of the fatliquor will evaporates leaving behind 1 part of fat and oil.


    >>> It was mentioned that the softness of the leather can be "controlled", how does this happen and what would you think would be the best softness for a garm like this, which need toughness?

    Up to 14% of fatliquor when dry will give you the maximum softness with increase tensile strength.


    >>> Oh, and also: Do I need to be careful with the fur with these, meaning do I need to protect the fur? Light discoloration etc. isn't a problem, but will the stuff destroy the fur?


    Not at all, the pH neutral or iso-electric point or pI of fur or wool or hair is 5.5. Lower pH value contracts the scale of the hair, wool or fur and higher pH value swells the scale making them dull. Depends on trims Clean-5.5 > Rinse-4.0 is also being used and the above fur trim shearling I used this Clean-5.5 > Rinse-4.0 system with the added advantages that the Clean-5.5 with sanitizing effect control odors especially from wool.


    >>> The rip I will fix by sewing, the coat has had a few already when in its original use and they've all been fixed by sewing. I'll continue the tradition

    Any sewing has to be done after the leather is strength up, otherwise it will easily rip apart with poor tensile strength.

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