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Leather Treatment

Hi there.  I recently purchased the Unlined Cafe Racer Jacket 571 style jacket and the Otter Wax leather care kit to go with it.  I tested the leather care kit on my Clark boots and the shoes seem to have become significantly darker as a result.  I'm afraid of applying the leather care kit to the jacket as I'm in love with the color of it as is.  But I'm also worried about not treating the leather to protect it.  Does anyone have any experience with applying this product to their jackets?

Thanks,

Logan

Gail on 11/26/19 at 08:17 AM

Any products applied to leather can change the color of the leather as the oils are being replaced and conditioning the leather. I doubt the boots are also the same leather as the jacket and different types of leather can have different effects on the leather. The conditioning products brings the leather back to a better condition. I can only suggest to try the product on a inside flap or unexposed part of the jacket. If the jacket is well worn and discolored from use then you will ave to choose to either condition the jacket or continue to use the jacket as is, which may not be good for the leather from drying out.

Gail

wolverine on 11/27/19 at 10:35 AM

Your question comes up quite often around here...our jackets by Schott are precious to all of us and we want to properly take care of them!

 

With that said it is always a good idea to read up and understand the whole cleaning and conditioning of your leather jacket.  There is a great search tool on the Schott website and if you search the words for this posting and scroll down a bit you can read about what others have done and not done with their jackets.

 

Just so that I do not overdue it on this post...I tend to be a bit wordy...chances are your jacket needs nothing other than taking it out around town, storing it in a cooler climate and accepting the various compliments from others.  One place to check on your jacket is the edge of your sleeve cuffs.  This folded area is USUALLY the first spot that will show wear and at times show leather dryness and minor cracking.  I have owned Schott Leathers for over 30 years now and the only jacket I have seen this on was a JD-1 Horsehide that I purchased second hand on EBay.  Since it was 20+ years old when I got it there was a lot of unknowns with how it spent its first 20 years.  The whole jacket was a bit on the stiff side and the sleeve cuff ends were showing minor splits...you had to look at this very closely.  

 

This was the only jacket I ever conditioned for the reasons of protecting the leather and adding moisture.  I think I used Obenhauf's oil on it and that seemed to take away the stiff feel of the skin.  The other conditioning I have done was on factory new jackets in steer or horse that needed break in.  These jackets were hard to move around in and the tumbling/crushing treatments were tryed first and then adding a conditioner as a last resort.  I am familiar with the leather your jacket I see made of and it has a soft hand out of the box so IMHO just leave it alone.

 

Good Luck

 

Wolverine

baetheus on 12/04/19 at 07:31 PM

I recently purchased the 571 secondhand and was going through the same process of wondering how to care for it. I did a good week of research on materials used for cleaning and conditioning leather and found contradictions everywhere. I ended up resorting to experimentation (the 571 has a nice wide strip inside along the zipper that I used as my test area). I tried four combinations of conditioning, saddlesoap, red wing's mink oil, obenauf's, and a homemade conditioner I made from 1 part beeswax, 1 part cocoa butter, and 2 parts jojoba oil (I chose jojoba for its long shelf life and stability). The obenauf's definitely darkened the pull up leather of the jacket significantly, as did the mink oil a fair amount. The saddle soap darkened a little bit but lightened up after. The custom conditioner I made did darken the leather, but after a day the color lightened up.

 

I decided to use my homemade conditioner on the entire jacket and while the color darkened slightly, it was likely because the jacket was very dry. After a month of regular wear the driest parts of the jacket are now evenly colored with the rest and the pull up leather has taken on the original mottled appearance that looks great. I think the conditioner looks darker at first because the process of conditioning removes the light scratches and bend marks that appear during use. I went with the homemade mix because we are coming into the rainy season in Northern California and I wanted water to bead instead of seep on the jacket. All in all, be sure to test your conditioner on the jacket in an out of the way area and let it dry completely before judging. I find that the liquid oils tend to darken leathers much more, in my boots and on my jackets.

 

I know it may seem odd to use jojoba oil (which is used in many human skin care products) on a leather jacket, but after testing it was definitely the best option of the four I had for conditioning this jacket. (It also helps that it's cheaper). Good luck!

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