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Leather Preservation


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Well, to get the ball rolling, do not take this as gospel, but your gunto saya cover is leather, so I have used traditional products designed for saddles and bridles, leather tack, etc.

 

Recently I had very good results with Famaco Graisse de luxe, a l'huile de vison, (mink oil wax dubbin) made in France, on a WW2 IJA soldier's leather waist pouch.

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Hi Matt, 

 

I provided some info on this subject a couple of days ago to Jesse.......earlier response copied below (bit messy cut and paste sri)...............

 

Hi Jesse, 

 

I researched the same thing a few years ago and finally came up with a product called 'Renapur' Leather Balsam.  I also wanted to give my knots and combat sayas the best and while products like Dubbin are very good, I focused more on a product meant for conservation rather than one used for operational reasons.

 

My  recollection is that this product was used by more than one large museum for leather conservation.

 

I hestitate to recommend any product to be used in someone else's collection but I will say that I am very happy with it and will certainly buy it again when I need to.

 

By the way you dont use it on the suede side...its only meant for the smooth/treated side but it will soak in.  Apply with cotton buds (knots), or the sponge supplied jn the jar (sayas).

 

Good luck.

Rob 

 

 

 

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Sticky to start with...use rubber gloves...apply and leave overnight 'to soak in'...i have tried on at least 3 combat sayas with different smooth finishes and it just disappears by next day.

 

Test on small portion first if yr not sure

Rob

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Thanks, Rob. Renapur I have used, but not yet on antique stuff. With your vote of confidence it has just gone up another notch! :)

 

PS Some saya are lacquered. As with Rob's advice re suede above, different rules will apply

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Tks Steve havent heard of that one but looks good on face value and will certainly check out ....love any product that preserves and restores and in that respect it dosn't come much higher than leather bound books.  

Rob

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This is a hot topic on other militaria forums, and there are many conflicting opinions. The serious conservationists (museums, etc) seem to agree the best thing is to put nothing on it and leave it alone. Once leather is on its way out there is nothing you can do to revive it and bring it back, and you will do more damage than you prevent. Proper climate controlled storage is the best care for leather. I generally agree, but depending on the condition of the leather and other circumstances, I sometimes use Renaissance Wax. 

 

Steve

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8 hours ago, Ontario_Archaeology said:

Great thank you everyone. Any recommendations on how often to reapply? Or is once usually good enough. 

 

Once a year in my case. The wax in the formula provides long lasting protection and doesn't leave residues behind to gather dust. You're only trying to stop the leather drying, cracking, shrinking and ultimately crumbling away.

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