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Thread: Light coloured saddle with water stains - repairable?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Light coloured saddle with water stains - repairable?

    Hi, I'm considering buying the pictured saddle - which has some water stains. There is supposedly no mould or other damage, just the discolouration.
    I'm happy to put in some hard work & I have patience - but would love to know it's definitely fixable, and which products I need if so.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Cheers, Robyn


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    This bridal leather may not be the typical unfinished vegetable-tanned leather type, look much softer and may have a topcoat producing a luster. To confirm if this is vegetable tanned leather, the unexposed hidden areas should be lighter in color. Vegetable-tanned leathers differs from aniline leather, tans like our skin under sunlight while aniline leathers fades.

    >>> which has some water stains.

    I believe we are looking at picture #5.
    This water stains is due to the difference in pH value of the water averages 7 (depending on the sources and the location of rain as well). The pH neutral of vegetable tanned leathers is much lower than the typical chrome-tanned leathers averages pH 3. It will require Hydrator-3.3 to do the pH balancing within the leather structure to redistribute the displaced leather constituents back from the surrounding areas and dispel the foreign contamination wicking up to the surface. Proven technique is to use a stretchable paper towel after the dwelling process (we can go into more details when you are working on it).

    >>> just the discolouration.

    I believe you are talking about the black marks which is mostly dye transfer from other material. This is removed with Prep-4.4 > Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 system. Again a reverse transfer technique will catch the stain during the Prep-4.4 dwelling process (we will go into details the how-to when you are ready).

    >>> would love to know it's definitely fixable,

    Use this reference Vegetable-Tanned (V) Leather Problem Solving Guide as reference . . .
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    >>> and which products I need if so.

    Kit V6 have the products system mentioned and more . . .

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    Leather Doctor Kit V6 – Vachetta Leather Grease/Ink/Dye/Browning Removal Kit
    Leather Doctor® Kit V6 is a combination problem solving kit that includes products from Kit V5.dr, Kit V5.ds and Kit V3. Common stains encounter in the course of vachetta leathers lifetime includes the darkening effect from neglected body oil, grease and sweat contact, the occasion ink and dye transfer, and the browning from liquid and sun tanning seasoning effect just like our skin. The protein leather fiber is an ionic positive (+ve) “amphoteric” material thus pH sensitive to influence by alkaline solution shifting ionic negative (-ve), even water with a pH of 7 often discolors or browns it. Its other non-amphoteric leather constituents like the tanning agent and the fatliquor remains ionic negative (-ve), hence just like a magnet – “like poles repel”, breaking of the hydrogen bond between them, the leather denatures and in extreme cases revert to rawhide. This adverse contamination is rectify by Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 system, both to simultaneously degrease and protonate the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve) to its pH chemistry integrity. Ballpoint, printing ink, dye transfer, gum, sticky substance and accumulated soiling will require the penetrating, lubricating and suspending power of Prep-4.4 follows with Clean-3.8 to remove the sticky residue and Rinse-3.0 to a healthy squeaky feel. Browning from liquid stain or sun tanning is eliminated or reduced by chemical reaction from Vachetta-2.8 when dry. The above describe the three common class of stain removal. Leather rejuvenating mandatory sequence follows to soften and strength the leather from stiffness that may leads to cracking when flexed. Among leather finishes type, vachetta leathers is the most fatliquor (fat, oil and water) thirsty and will require more fatliquor to soften it then chrome-tanned leathers. In order to lubricate each fibril within the leather structure behaving like millions of interconnecting hinges the fat and oil has to be hydrogen bonded to the fibrils. This is accomplished by preconditioning the leather structure with Hydrator-3.3 effectively prior to faliquor replenishing it with Fatliquor-5.0 in between drying cycle until fully saturated. Natural slow drying in between application produces softer leather. Protecting the leather with Protector-D reduces wear to the grain of the leather, conceal scuff with its healing properties that also allows transpiration to take place or breaths naturally. Note that the mentioned products suffix numbers denotes its pH value in this holistic approach to removing the common problems associated with vachetta, saddlery and veg-tan leathers.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant
    [email protected]

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