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Thread: Caring for leather

  1. #1
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    Default Caring for leather

    In my never ending search for warm hands, I recently purchased a pair of army surplus goretex lined leather Soldier 95 gloves. These seem pretty good so far. I'm not expecting them to protect me against immersion or anything, just the elements and the inevitable occasional splashes of water. However after a couple of recent trips, one in a lot of rain, they are looking a little rough. Canoeing is pretty tough on the hands I find. Not just paddling, but carrying gear, tying down the boat on the car etc, and doing this in gloves whilst wet is taking it's toll on them, and I'm wondering just how long they're going to last. I had expected them to be pretty durable. Afterall, military use must be pretty demanding mustn't it?

    Anyway, anyone got any good tips as to how to prolong their life. So far I've gone for black boot polish, but I'm open to suggestions.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  2. #2
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    Neatsfoot oil is common but will eventually go rancid and stink.

    NikWax.

    But if you are planning to paddle in gloves - you are going to kill them - the question is When, not If.
    There is a risk that oiling the leather will result in the paddle slipping..... suck-it-and-see.

    SWMBO used to use Ladies air-force gloves (WRAF) with string gloves over for grip on reins..... but your boat probably doesn't have reins

  3. #3
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    If you look after leather with most products the stitches rot out in 5 years and if you ignore it completely the leather wears out in 7 years.

    This stuff is the only thing I use now because it will not rot stitching. Some boots are lasting over the 12 year mark with heavy use.
    http://www.tallyhofarm.co.uk/shop/ko...ing-p-741.html

    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  4. #4
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    Default

    I'll second Lloyd on the ko cho line used it for many years on falconry equipment where keeping leather soft and supple is important it does a top job.
    Many shores i have sailed to in my canoe,often against strong winds.Choose the tree well my brother if it is to carry you to distant shores. :- Chief Dan George

  5. #5
    monkey_pork's Avatar
    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
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    Default

    S95 glove leather isn't going to take too much of a hammering I'd say - It's not really a 'work' glove in that sense.

    I'd have a look at some saddlery products for waterproofing, but you'll need to watch that whatever you use doesn't then choke the MVT membrane once absorbed by the leather. I guess something similar to that used on boots would be ok, plenty of them have a MVT lining in these days. I have to say that for waterproofing, I use MVT mittens these days over the top of my gloves, although it does reduce dexterity somewhat.

    I think I'd use 'builders gloves' for the carrying and tying stuff on with part of the trip - I've been using them at work all year, and whilst not the best gloves ever, for handling freezing cold ladders reliably over the last couple of weeks, they have been great, they are cheap, and fit back in a pocket fine. I leave a pair in the truck, in my work jacket, in my toolkit ...

    Several examples can be found here (which just came up as first on google's listing), or to be frank, pretty much any builders merchants or safety shop. The kevlar version are a useful bonus.

    ... although that didn't actually answer your question.

  6. #6
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    Default Excellent stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by WhyAyeMan View Post
    If you look after leather with most products the stitches rot out in 5 years and if you ignore it completely the leather wears out in 7 years.

    This stuff is the only thing I use now because it will not rot stitching. Some boots are lasting over the 12 year mark with heavy use.
    http://www.tallyhofarm.co.uk/shop/ko...ing-p-741.html

    I've been using this stuff for over 20years, It's very good at keeping saddles, girth straps and stirrup leathers nice and supple without rotting the stitching. The pink colour put me off at first but it soon changes when applied to leather. It's also good at rustproofing tools that are kept in the shed over winter! It can be a bit hard to get hold of as it's considered a bit 'old hat' among saddlery supplies in the UK but I can usually scrounge up a tin or two. Failing that a block of good old saddle soap might work.

  7. #7
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    Hi Matt,

    I'm with Lloyd et all on this one.

    I have always used this dressing on a pair of leather ski gloves which must now be nearly 15 years old. As you can probably imagine they have taken a bit of a pounding and been wet many times however the condition of leather is still very good.

  8. #8
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    Default Phew!

    Quote Originally Posted by SunburyAndy View Post
    Hi Matt,

    I'm with Lloyd et all on this one.

    I have always used this dressing on a pair of leather ski gloves which must now be nearly 15 years old. As you can probably imagine they have taken a bit of a pounding and been wet many times however the condition of leather is still very good.
    Bet they pong a bit too!

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