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Thread: Cracked, chapped, stiff and dried out vachetta handles

  1. #1
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    Default Cracked, chapped, stiff and dried out vachetta handles

    Hi Roger,

    Please find attached some pictures of the very dried out, chapped and cracked leather on my Speedy, as well as rust stains around the brass. Based on these pictures, can it be revived? And if so, what should I do and what should I use?

    I work for a vintage luxury handbag shop, so if your products work and I get a quick response, I will be more than happy to reccomend you! This is my own piece, it has sedimentary value to me, so I would really like to restore it.

    Please let me know,

    Thanks,

    Rachel
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  2. #2
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    Also, is there a way to fix my zipper pull?Name:  1491531976151-2122966107.jpg
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  3. #3
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    Here is some background reading before I address your specific questions in the next post. Please go through and clarify your understanding especially the Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 Hydrator-3.3 system. Need to keep in mind that Fatliquor (fat and oil) is the lifeblood of leather - Insufficient of it by leaching and evaporation the leather integrity suffers - and shown as cracked, chapped, stiff and dried out as shown in these pictures.

    Vachetta leather derives its popular brownish range of color from the tannin found in vegetable matter such as tree bark. Its exact shade depends on the mix of the tanning agent and the color of the skin. It is popularly made into luggage including trimmings of Louis Vuitton handbags. This leather is left unfinished or naked; therefore, it is susceptible to body oil, grease, sweat, water and other liquid stain. It is more pH sensitive than most leather types thus the common sweat and cleaning products alkaline overexposure darkens and denatures the leather and eventually cracks when flexed. Sunlight will cause the natural leather to darken in shade or suntanned, just like our skin; unlike aniline dyes that fades.

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    Leather Doctor Hydrator-3.3 is a water-based pH3.3 leather-safe hydrator. It is mainly used as a fatliquoring 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. This universal Hydrator-3.3 is for all leather types including pigmented, aniline, vachetta, nubuck, suede, hair-on-hide and woolskin. The multi functional abilities include: A- Surface Tension Inspection. B- Leather Stiffness and Unnatural Creases Rectification. C- Structural Cleaning. D- Dye Bleeding, Leather Tackiness and Stiffness Rectification. E- Dye Fading Rectification. F- Reverse-Transfer Suspended Soiling. G- Leather pH Chemistry Integrity Rectification. H- Fatliquor Surface Residue Cleaning. I- Leather Shrinkage Rectification:

    B - Leather Stiffness and Unnatural Creases Rectification: Leather stiffness is fibers structure that becomes stick together when leather commonly gets wet and in most cases fatliquor leaches out. Severe stiffness results when leather lost its fatliquor under heat over-exposure and should be handle with caution from cracking it. Leather creases are unnatural wrinkles resulting from the collapsing empty leather fiber structure due to diminishing fatliquor (fat and oil) content.To plumps, relaxes and separates crushed, shrunk and stick together fibrils by manipulating away-unwanted stiffness and unnatural creases is as follows - Instruction . . . B1- The thickness of the leather is saturated to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers with Hydrator-3.3. B2- The leather is cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72hrs for complete hydration or saturation. B3- It is then manipulate by staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing to relax the leather to satisfaction. B4- With satisfaction and allowing up to 25% combine moisture content or when a cotton dry towel remains dry from wiping and the leather is still damp with Hydrator-3.3, fatliquoring begins before the leather is completely dry. B5- The fatliquored leather is left to slow dry and any surface shining residue is driven into the leather structure by brushing in conjunction with Hydrator-3.3 until milky residue if any turns crystal clear. B6- The surface clear moisture is extract with a cotton towel until towel shows dry. B7- Begin staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing one more time before the leather is completely dried for the desired suppleness. Best result is manipulating the leather structure to dryness for extra desired suppleness.

    C - Structural Cleaning: Structural cleaning is cleaning penetrated soiling or foreign contamination from below surface. This process includes the following steps - Instruction . . . C1- The leather is hydrated with Hydrator-3.3, depends on severity up to 72hours dwelling is recommended to moves the soiling upwards. C2- To maintain a consistent moisture level, the leather in question may be seal in container or plastic wrapping with periodic inspection to top up Hydrator-3.3. C3- The suspended soiling is extracted by squeezing between an absorbent towel and a smooth spatula to reduce abrasion until towel shows clean. C4- Fatliquoring continues and is repeated with each almost drying cycle until saturation and is leave to slow natural drying. C5- Fatliquored dried surface residue is driven into the leather structure by brushing in conjunction with Hydrator-3.3 until milky residue if any turns crystal clear. C6- Surface clear moisture is extract with a cotton towel until towel shows dry. C7- Staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing one more time before the leather is completely dried for the desired suppleness.

    F - Reverse-Transfer Suspended Soiling: Capillary action or wicking process is deployed to move penetrated and suspended soiling to resurface by reverse-transfer technique with Towel-T5. First the leather structure needs to be hydrated to facilitate colloidal water movement within the structural inter-fibrillary spaces, it will also require saturating Hydrator-3.3 to move the suspended soiling upwards. As it wicks through the Towel-T5, soilings are trapped instead of still remaining on the leather surface to be easily peeled off. In practice the following steps are adopted - Instruction . . . F1- The thickness of the leather is hydrated to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers. F2- It is then cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours to loosen and suspend foreign soiling particulates. F3- The plastic wrapping is removed and replace with Towel-T5 without airspace to trap soiling as it dries instead of remaining on the surface. For it to stick onto the leather surface, the Towel-5 is spray wet with Hydrator-3.3 and brush out the air space with horsehair Brush-1 at a 45 degrees angle without tearing the towel tight. As it dries it will shrink back and tighten further sticking tight onto the leather surface. Recommend that Fatliquor-5.0 is replenished in combination at this stage especially if the leather has already show signs of cracking. Note that dried leathers with insufficient fatliquor (less then 15% fat and oil) content, when dry again will likely accelerate any existing cracking. F4- Towel-T5 is peel off when crispy dry and surface residue erase with Eraser-4 or Eraser-5 for suede accordingly prior to fatliquoring. F5- Fatliquoring continues and is repeated with each almost drying cycle until saturation and is leave to slow natural drying. F6- Fatliquored dried surface residue is driven into the leather structure by brushing in conjunction with Hydrator-3.3 until milky residue if any turns crystal clear. F7- Surface clear moisture is extract with a cotton towel until towel shows dry. F8- Staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing one more time before the leather is completely dried for the desired suppleness.

    G - Leather pH Chemistry Integrity Rectification:Leather is an amphoteric material or pH sensitive to the protein fibers. Alkalinity will shift the leather protein fiber ionic negative (-ve), while the other common leather constituents like the tanning agents, dyestuff and fatliquor are non-amphoteric and remains ionic negative (-ve). Thus like a magnet “like poles repels”, the leather constituent breaks hydrogen bond with the leather protein fiber and the leather denatures or revert to rawhide. Breaking of hydrogen bonds between the protein fibers and its constituents often manifest as tackiness, bleeding and stiffness when leather gets wet and dry again. Charging of the leather protein fibers ionic positive (+ve) has to go below its pH neutral (iso-electric point or pI) of pH 3 - 5. Thus in extreme cases Acidifier-2.0 with a pH value of 2.0 accelerate the ionic positive (+ve) charging processes to restore the pH chemistry integrity of the leather. In practice the following steps are observed - Instruction . . . G1- The thickness of the leather is saturated to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers. G2- It is then cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72 hours for chemical reaction to take place. G3- The plastic wrapping is removed and lightly spray with Hydrator-3.3 to even out the surface and inspect for any unwanted tackiness or bleeding. G4- Acidifier-2.0 treatment may be necessary for tackiness or bleeding control. Healthy leather that is stabilized, pH balanced and ionic positive (+ve) charged should feels squeaky instead with reduced bleeding. With satisfaction to restore the leather pH chemistry integrity, fatliquoring continues. G5- Fatliquoring begins and is repeated with each almost drying cycle until saturation and is leave to slow natural drying. G6- Fatliquored dried surface residue is driven into the leather structure by brushing in conjunction with Hydrator-3.3 until milky residue if any turns crystal clear. G7- Surface clear moisture is extract with a cotton towel until towel shows dry. G8- Staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing one more time before the leather is completely dried for the desired suppleness.

    H - Fatliquor Surface Residue Cleaning: Fatliquor with its fat and oil content is essential for leather suppleness from cracking, it is meant for its structure, any surface remnants may alter its original surface luster and attracts soiling. Removing fatliquor surface residue is by brushing with appropriate brushes while spraying with Hydrator-3.3 turning the milky residue to crystal clear. When almost dry the leather is stack or massaged to dry for extra suppleness. The sequence of steps is as follows - Instruction . . . H1- Likely mist Hydrator-3.3 on surface remnants and it will turn milky. H2- Brush to drive the milky residue into the leather structure. H3- Extract until towel shows dry. H4- Staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing one more time before the leather is completely dried for the desired suppleness.

    I - Leather Shrinkage Rectification: Leather shrinkage is often experience when leather is water damaged in conjunction with fast heat drying from the sun or other heat sources. Another common dry shrinkage is from intense heat of the sun or fireplace. Heat evaporates the fatliquor (fat and oil); the leather fibers shrunk, become stick together and result in stiffness. Fatliquor is the lifeblood of leathers and with deficiency the leather stiffens up and easily leads to cracking. Rectification is as follows - Instruction . . . I1- The thickness of the leather is saturated to an optimum level with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers with Hydrator-3.3. I2- The leather is cover up with plastic wrapping to control evaporation and let it dwell up to 72hrs for complete hydration or saturation. I3- When fully hydrated and relaxed it is then manipulate by staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing the shrinkage to satisfaction. I4- With satisfaction and allowing up to 25% combine moisture content or when a cotton dry towel remains dry from wiping and the leather is still damp with Hydrator-3.3, fatliquoring with Fatliquor-5.0 begins before the leather is completely dry. I5- The fatliquored leather is left to slow dry and any surface shining residue is driven into the leather structure by brushing in conjunction with Hydrator-3.3 until milky residue if any turns crystal clear. I6- The surface clear moisture is extract with a cotton towel until towel shows dry. I7- Begin staking, stretching, massaging or cross flexing one more time before the leather is completely dried for the desired suppleness.

    Leather Doctor Fatliquor-5.0 is an anionic negative (-ve) charged micro emulsion of fat, oil and water for rejuvenating all leather types. It is typically used in conjunction after Hydrator-3.3 relaxing and opening up the fibrous leather structure. It softens the leather when dry 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 ionic attraction takes place between the fat and oil with the leather 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.

    Leather Approximate Quantity or Percentage of Fatliquor:
    The quantities of fatliquor (fat and oil) contents retained in the leather after an universal tannery fatliquoring process may varies up from 14% to 16% depending on the leather types and it usage. This percentage drops as the fat and oil content diminishes or leaches through ageing, water, heat or chemical overexposure. Leather rejuvenating or fatliquor replenishing is base on weight of the leather in relation to the percentage of remaining fatliquor. A simple calculation of percentage of fatliquor topping up requirement would be as follows: If the weight of the leather in question is 100gm and fatliquor (fat and oil) content meter reading is less than 1%. By applying 80gm of Fatliquor-5.0 to it will deliver an end result incremental of 13.3% fatliquor when dry as the 66.6% water contents evaporates. In the leather rejuvenating Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system, Hydrator-3.3 plays an important role by relaxing, opening up the inter-fibrillary spaces, facilitating and redistributing colloidal water movement, protonating and doing all the pre-conditioning work prior to fatliquoring including cleaning up any excess surface remnants to have a sticky-free surface. In practice with severe dryness the ratio for Hydrator-3.3 is 2 to 1 of Fatliquor-5.0. It works out to be approximately 160gm of Hydrator-3.3 plus 80gm of Fatliquor-5.0 to replenish a 100gm dry leather from less than 1% back to the original tannery up from 14% to 16% fatliquor content. In every bottle of Fatliquor-5.0 by weight content is comprises of 16.66% ionic negative (-ve) charged fat and oil, and 83.33% of water, the water content that encased the fat and oil molecule in an emulsion suspension when hydrogen bond with the ionic positive (+ve) leather protein fiber will break free and discharged clear from the leather structure to the surface.

    Instruction:
    1- Warm-up and shake well to a full emulsion for better penetration.
    2- Apply Fatliquor-5.0 and redistribute with foam brush until saturation.
    3- Repeat applications each time water contents evaporate until fully saturated.
    4- Drive remaining surface remnants free of milky fat and oil until it turns clear with Hydrator-3.3.
    5- Allow natural drying for extra softness.
    6- Suppleness of leathers is further stake or massage or flex accordingly with a little wet back with Hydrator-3.3.

    Caution:
    Insufficient fatliquoring (fat and oil) content may suffer cracking from staking, massaging or flexing.

    Tips:
    1 When crispy dry, prior surface contamination/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 System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor
    web: www.leatherdoctor.com
    forum: www.leathercleaningrestorationforum.com
    email: roger@leatherdoctor.com
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    Last edited by Roger Koh; 04-10-2017 at 11:39 AM.

  4. #4
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    >>> Very dried out, chapped and cracked leather . . . can it be revived?

    Leather Dried out simply means its original fatliquor (fat and oil) content of average 15% has diminished. The leather should be periodically being fatliquored to top-up the fat and oil loss. Chapped is evidently the result of dried leathers. Cracked is the lack of the oil content that lubricates the leather from suppleness thus its interlocking fibers like hinges breaks thus weakens the leather strength.

    Here is a recommend sequence of process to revive the pH chemistry integrity, leather strength and aesthetic or appearance by color simulation. However, it is no more “naked” or “unfinished” but pigmented to camouflage the inevitable repairs.

    1 Rust or tarnish stain on metal hardware and leather around the brass removal process:
    CleanTarnish-1.3 > Basifier-8.8 system.

    2 Degreasing and pH chemistry integrity strengthening to prepare the leather for a coating refinishing:
    Use Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system process.

    3 Rejuvenating the leather to replenish original about 15% of fatliquor (fat and oil content):
    Use Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system process.

    4 Structural weakness strengthening:
    Use Impregnator-26 process.

    5 Scales and abraded fibers surface repairs:
    Use Bond-3D > Bond-7A system

    6 Filling repairs:
    Use Bond-3D > Stucco-90 system.

    7 Skin surface smoothness repairs:
    Use Adhesor-73 system.

    8 Color camouflaging and refinishing:
    Use Napa-84 > NapaTop-84M system.

    9 Protection from abrasion, impart a buttery feel with optional leather-scent:
    Use Protector-B/B+.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor
    web: www.leatherdoctor.com
    forum: www.leathercleaningrestorationforum.com
    email: roger@leatherdoctor.com
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 04-11-2017 at 08:36 AM.

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