DEAR SCHOTT BROTHERS and SCHOTT BLOG MEMBERS,
I just saw a new post from a new member asking about what can applied SAFELY to all of our precious Schott leather stuff. For this post lets just try to cover the leather you use in your M/C jackets and avoid any suede or nubuck altogether.
There seems to be a wide range of opinions on what can or should be used, how OFTEN to use it, and who is QUALIFIED to clean/condition leather.
If you search the web this whole mess seems to get messier...each company that produces a leather conditioner claims to sell the best, most of them will not tell you all of the ingredients in their product(s). They also often make statements that implythat the competitons leather conditioner or a specific ingredient will harm your product.
From my own experience of cleaning and conditioning various jackets one thing stands out...this is not a ten minute job that you can do watching TV on your couch. It takes time, a bit of work and can also be messy.
In todays day in age people are buying vintage jackets that are easily 20 to 40 years old. I recently picked up a JD Horsehide jacket that is now over 20 years old. I've held off putting anything on it because I don't want to F it up...but the leather is a bit dry and it will need something soon.
It would be nice to know what the best product to use is...here is a running list of what I have read about on the web and this Blog...Lexol, 100% Neatsfoot oil, Mink oil, Armor All*, Pecards*,Obenauf's leather oil, WD-40*, bees wax, carnuba wax, olive oil, pine tar oil and probably several more that I missed.
The * indicates a product with petroleum and for me personally I just cannot bring myself to using anything with petroleum on leather(I had a bad experience with a baseball glove and vaseline as a kid).
Out of all of these products I have used several (Lexol, 100% Neatsfoot oil...sort of a bit gamey, Mink oil...cannot stand the smell) with generally good results. But I do not want to use a product that is going to destroy the stitching, liner, or artifically break down the leather and shorten the life of my SCHOTT jacket over time.
This is a call out to the people at Schott Brothers. Many of your customers cannot afford to spend the cash (at least $150 with shipping) to have their jackets professionally cleaned and conditioned. In many cases the jacket may not need to be cleaned at all but just conditioned.
Could you ask the professional cleaner that you recommend what they use to condition the various leather(s) our jackets are made with (horse, steer, naked cow)? Or provide your loyal fans with a bit more than mink oil and saddle soap?
Additionally, if anyone out there has actually used Obenauf's leather oil first hand and knows ALL of the ingredients in this product I'm interested (the company has not responded to my repeated inquires...which does not sit well) Or a product, maybe one that I have listed above, for the last 40 or 50 years that they know about first hand and have an actual track record of how the leather, stitching and liner have held up.
MANY THANKS and sorry about the long winded post...I hope I have made my point(s).