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Thread: Suede Shearling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Suede Shearling

    I have a hip-length shearling jacket (rancher’s coat) with rough, natural sheep skin as the exterior. It belonged to my father and probably dates to 1970. The shearling is in great shape and is very thick, but the exterior is getting dry and has torn once while I was simply putting it on. I was able to have that tear repaired but I would like to treat the exterior to make it more supple, but without changing the natural, light color of the skin.

    Do you believe your products are suitable for this?

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


    >>> I would like to treat the exterior to make it more supple,

    The tensile strength of shearling depends much on the fatliquor (fat and oil) moisture content. A 15% fat and oil content will increase its strength to 2000psi (measurable with a leather moisture meter or equivalent). Below 1800psi tear strength decreases. Due to its shear weight the stitches on the shoulder/arm often rips from leather dryness besides tears.

    >>> but without changing the natural, light color of the skin.

    Fatliquor-5.0 is an ionic negative (-ve) charged fat and oil. Only 1 part is fat and oil, whilst 5 parts of water encasing fat and oil molecule will need to break free and evaporates. Thus unlike stuffing oil, it does not clog up the leather pores. It only seasons the color intensity without a darkening effect.

    >>> Do you believe your products are suitable for this?

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    Leather Doctor® Kit-Ss3 is an innovative suede-safe and wool-safe (pH 3 - 5) system formulated for keeping both the sheepskin suede face and the wool face at their highest level of appearance, and enhancing their suede skin structure suppleness thus prevents premature ageing that leads to stiffness, dryness that results shrinkage, rips or tears. Rejuvenating the suede skin side is accomplished by Hydrator-3.3 first to relax and separate the stick together fiber prior to fatliquor replenishing it. Fatliquor-5.0 with its fat plumps the skin structure with fullness and the oil lubricate for structure softness without the unwanted darkening effect. Cleaning to the suede side is performed with CleanSuede-3.8 follows with RinseSuede-3.0 using a suede Eraser-5 in combination with suede Brush-3 and towel extracted. The wool side is clean with CleanWool-5.5 with a pH value that matches the pH value of the wool thus wool-safe and sanitizes at the same time reducing the common odors diffusing while the wool dries. Rinsing is done with RinseWool-4.0 towel extracts and grooms with suede Brush-3 that further closing up the scales of the wool reducing the splitting at the tips. Protector-S imparts is silky-feel rub-resistant protection lubricating the wool from abrasion wear when the wool is rubbed and a non-stick properties to shield the hair from sticky soiling as preventive care. Leather-scented version of the protector is with Protector-S+. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this leather/wool-safe holistic care system for shearling suede. This kit comes with “Fill” shipping version, a reduced weight option to save on shipping, freezing and ease of handling, thus concentrate ratio in the 250ml bottles has to be cut and filled with distilled water accordingly prior to use.


    In practice the wool inner face is first clean, let dry and groom for inspection satisfaction prior to cleaning and conditioning the suede face.
    Wool Face Cleaning and Conditioning:

    Sequence-W1: A- Dry Soil Removal: Instruction: A1- Vacuum off foreign soiling with help of suede Brush-3.

    Sequence-W2: B- Wet Soil Removal: Instruction: B1- Spray CleanWool-5.5, brush at an angle in one direction and towel extract until it shows clean. B2- Spray RinseWool-4.0 and towel extract to a squeaky clean. B3- Let natural drying and dry towel wipe of wick-up soiling.

    Sequence-W3: C- Non-Stick, Rub-Resistant Protection: Instruction: C1- Shake well, mist spray Protector-S evenly and brush-in with towel to pick up soiling at the same time. C2- When dry thereafter, groom with suede Brush-3 or a slick comb for best appearance and it is ready for use.

    Suede Face Cleaning and Rejuvenating:

    Sequence-S1: A- Dry Soil Removal: Instruction: A1- Vacuum off foreign soiling with help of suede Brush-3. A2- Exfoliate to renew fresh nap with help of suede Eraser-5 follows with vacuum cleaner. Then proceed to Sequence-S2.

    Sequence-S2: B- Wet Soil Removal: Instruction: B1- Apply CleanSuede-3.8 and agitate with Brush-3/Eraser-5 and towel extract until it shows clean. B2- Spray RinseSuede-3.0 and towel extract to a squeaky clean. B3- Let natural drying and wick-up soiling is erased with Eraser-5 prior to hydrating. Then proceed to Sequence-S3.

    Sequence-S3: C- Hydrating: Hydrating is to relax the suede structure of dryness, stiffness or shrinkage from diminishing original fatliquor (ionic negative charged fat, oil and water). Fatliquor diminishes as the skin ages, accelerated when expose to direct heat, evaporate as VOC (volatile organic compound) or cleaning with products pH value out of this leather-safe (pH 3 – 5) range. Dryness, Stiffness or shrinkage is common from an immersion cleaning method, when fatliquor leaches out, and when it becomes dry again the fibrils suede structure becomes stick together. Hydrating is to precondition the skin prior to fatliquoring; it helps to relax and separate the stick together fibrils and opens up the inter-fibrillary spaces for effective colloidal water movement within the skin structure. It facilitates to wick-up foreign contamination to be towel extracted when damp and erased when crispy dry. It plumps the skin to ease away the unnatural creases and wrinkles by cross stretching. It stabilizes the pH integrity of the suede and charges the protein fiber ionic positive (+ve) as it hydrate the suede structure to an optimum level. Optimum hydrating is with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers. Prolong dwell time of up to 72hours will maximize the effects with the help of covering with clear plastic to prevent evaporation.


    C1- Spray Hydrator-3.3 to hydrate the entire thickness of the suede structure; extract with dry absorbent white terry towel to inspect for an even appearance without blotchiness and it is ready for immediate fatliquor replenishing.

    C2- Severe dryness or stiffness will require a longer dwell time of up to 72hours with evaporation control, covering with a clear plastic sheet. When the suede structure is plump, limp and stretched of unnatural creases and wrinkles, extract until towel shows dry or about 25% reading from a leather moisture meter and immediately proceeding to Sequence-S4.

    Sequence-S4: D- Fatliquoring: Fatliquor-5.0 an ionic negative (-ve) charged emulsion of fat, oil and water originally introduces to the suede structure to impart its desirous suppleness, continues to diminish through evaporation as it ages, accelerated when exposed to heat. It diminishes through leaching during immersion cleaning as well as cleaning products used out of this leather-safe (pH 3 to 5) range. Non suede-safe cleaning results commonly manifest as stiffness, dryness or shrinkage when the skin becomes dry again. Fatliquor replenishing is done with “fatliquor-in-a-bottle” as a spray-on instead of the original immersion method. Fatliquor, the lifeblood of leathers derived from ionic negative (-ve) charged fats, oils and water. Looks like fresh milk, when applies penetrates the suede and hydrogen bond with its ionic positive (+ve) charged protein fiber. The fat plumps the suede with fullness, the oil lubricates the individual fibrils and the encasing water breaks free leaving the inter-fibrillary spaces void for natural transpiration. Effective fatliquoring will leave a non-greasy or non-oily surface when dry. Besides softening the suede free of unnatural wrinkles, fatliquor enhances its rip tensile strength greatly. It relaxes coarse breaks, creases and wrinkles and prevents cracking. It helps to keep the suede at its optimum physical performance and prevent premature ageing. Suede Approximate Quantity or Percentage of Fatliquor: The quantities of fatliquor (fat and oil) contents retained in the suede structure after an universal modern tannery fatliquoring process may varies up to 14% depending on the suede 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 suede 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 suede 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 suede 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 are 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 suede from less than 1% back to the original tannery up to 14% fatliquor content. Instruction: D1- Spray Fatliquor-5.0 for an even appearance. D2- Repeat application in between drying as the water contents evaporates until it’s saturated. D3- The fully saturated suede is left for slow natural drying for extra softness. D4- Use Eraser-5 to remove wicks up residue and Brush-3 at an angle to groom the naps for visual inspection satisfaction and proceed to Sequence S5.

    Sequence-S5: E- Non-Stick, Rub-Resistant Protection: Instruction: E1- Shake well, mist spray Protector-S evenly and brush-in with towel to pick up soiling at the same time. E2- When dry thereafter, groom with suede Brush-3 or a slick comb for best appearance and it is ready for use.

    Further readings:

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor
    email: [email protected]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2022
    United States


    To make the outside of suede shearling coat supple you can use high quality suede leather conditioner on it.

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