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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2005, 07:55 PM
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reply to my own hawg wash

When seeing an opinion on a topic being so dramatically contradicted I did some research on the web. Daimon1054 raises a point of flat out ruining leather and he has some backing on that out there.

Here is a short blip on Hawg wash.com. I quote.."In the late 1800's the final tanning of leather required the talents of a "currier". This craftsman took the tanned but brittle hide and worked oils into it until the desired flexibility was obtained. This process was called fatliquoring. The fatliquor of choice was an emulsion of oil in soap. This "saddle soap" was not used as a cleaner; it was used as a softening conditioner.

In reality, saddle soap is a very poor cleaner. It must first dissolve it's own oils, limiting it's capacity to dissolve dirt and oils in the leather. Saddle soap is also inherently alkaline but alkalinity is damaging to leather. Another problem arises during application. Most saddle soaps instruct the user to work the lather into the leather. Since loosened dirt is suspended in the lather, it is pushed back into the leather's pores.

Saddle soaps have long been replaced in tanneries by modern emulsions, which penetrate, soften, and condition with greater ease and stability. The popular myth of saddle soap as a leather cleaner and conditioner remains a modern folklore, and is not recommended."

Now I say to counter the practice of using such products in the Pro context is everywhere but also by every supplier of the product they are offering.

Now I will say I have been using saddle soap on many of my leather projects and product for years. From seats to Leather jackets and so on.

For me the practice started long ago when following the instruction given to me by the German Master pattern maker I apprenticed under 23 years ago now. Regrettably he has passed but I would love to ask him more on this subject today. In contradiction to Daimon I can say I have not had a bad experiance with it but admit that as with anything cleaning method you are not 100000% sure of, make sure that you test the cleaning method on a non obvious area before treating any full area, as I have had a few near misses over the years.

When I get back to work on Monday I will address the discussion point with my textile engineering specialist and follow up. This is an interesting turn, thanks Damion1053 you have raised a curious point. I am sure Fatliquoring is a process step that is taken on by the tanneries today. The Saddle soap is intended to replace the oils lost over time. There are various Saddle soaps out there and all are purported to replace oil over time. But the alkylin issue raises an eybrow for me. And the soil infusion that is a mentioned in the above web site highlights the idea that cleaning is critical.

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Last edited by creativeinteriors; 07-07-2005 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:03 PM
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daimon,
Please post back with your opinion on the following. I'm far from a leather expert. I appears from your posts, you have researched leather. I have done internet searches on saddle soap, with the same advice that you give. I'm not sure if the product I have used on my Harley jacket (27 years old), car interior, saddle bags, gloves and other leather goods with great success, is the old high lye content saddle soap or what even would be considered real saddle soap. I also want to state that this is not a product endorsement. I also haven't used it for quite a few years, but if I remember correctly, was kiwi brand http://www.shoeshinekit.com/saddlesoap.html. I hope I haven't led anyone down a path which causes harm to their leather goods.
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:49 PM
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http://www.bikedepot.net/nosasopl.html
http://rodeo.articleinsider.com/108812_saddle_soap.html
http://tbgunn.com/leather_care/leather_care.htm
http://www.autodetailingrus.com/tips...Upholstery.htm


I can find you more if you wish! I rode horses many years and every saddle maker said saddle soap was not to be used!
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