Articles & Blogs Leather Care & Conditioning of Freedman's Leather
Whether you are preparing for show season, winterizing your tack, or cleaning a handbag or other small leather product from Freedman’s, there are several key elements to keep in mind when cleaning and conditioning your Freedman’s leather.
Diagnosing the Culprit: Salt
One hard to control constant in all tack and leather exposed to use is the salt that these pieces are exposed to when on our working horses and their sweat. If leather is not maintained, horse sweat can burn and stiffen it like a board, almost to the point it cracks and feels brittle. To some degree, salt in sweat can even pull or absorb the natural tallows (oils) that were tanned into the leather making the leather feel to the hand that it needs to be conditioned or treated. It is important that salts are neutralized so that the lifespan of the leather can be realized.
Oils vs. Conditioners
Neutralizing salts requires balancing the ph levels in the leather. Commonly, fatty acids used in the ingredients of saddle soaps can do this. Then, conditioners must be applied to feed the leather hide and keep it supple. It should be noted that leather items that are of high quality may be stitched with Irish linen thread. We do not recommend oils for these high-quality items as many oils can strip the natural wax coating from the thread, creating thread rot. The actual loosening of the yarn’s fibers creates a weak or loose stitch in the leather.
At Freedman’s, we recommend our Luxury Saddle & Leather Conditioner for conditioning our horse furnishings and bag collection. The benefits of our Luxury Saddle & Leather Conditioner include preserving, softening, and protecting the leather while helping it to propel water. This conditioner will not permanently darken the leather or come on off on your clothing. When applies properly, it protects the stitching in tack and bags and helps with longevity.
Directions for Use of the Luxury Saddle & Leather Conditioner:
- Apply with a soft cloth or sponge
- Work in a circular motion
- Allow conditioner to penetrate leather
- Polish with a soft cloth
Repeat application as required.