Leather Restoration Question

wesheltonj

AH legend
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,152
Location
South Texas
Media
16
Articles
7
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Benefactor-Life NRA, DSC, SCI, HSC
Hunted
USA, RSA
So, I was cleaning out my Aunts house and found my grandfathers leather shotgun case for his Parker Shotgun. I have no idea about the brand of the case. The case had dust and mildew on the outside. I have used Saddle Soap four times trying to clean it up. Each time some the the stain comes off.

I am hopefully that this case can be restored, so that I can use it with the above Parker Shotgun and not just be in a different corner (my house instead) gathering dust again like it did for the past 70 years.

Any suggestions on how to restore the leather? Or any suggestions on who can restore the leather?
 

EricB

AH veteran
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
136
Reaction score
281
Location
Wichita
Media
17

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 3.51.51 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 3.51.51 PM.png
    1.7 MB · Views: 43

Ryan

AH elite
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
1,244
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
64
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Ok, just chatted with a friend who's big into horses and deals with a lot of tack. Here's what she said:

Saddle soap has glycerin so it won't kill mildew,it'll make it worse. He needs to clean and dry it really well with water and Lexol Cleaner or similar, only use each cloth on one area to avoid spreading it, leave it in strong sunlight sun or under a UV light for a day minimum to knock the mold back, then apply a biocide. There are special products for removing mold from leather like removing mold from leather but people also use rubbing alcohol (1:1) with water, bleach, vinegar and coca cola too. I'd go with Effax Mildew Free for Leather or Leather Master Mold Remover personally. then condition with tallow, not oil if possible. He'll have to clean it with that consistently for ever pretty much, once the mold is in there it tends to come back.
 

CM McKenzie

AH senior member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
60
Reaction score
132
Location
Etna, Wyoming
Media
26
A mild diluted solution of oxalic acid should clean up any mildew stains on the leather. It will also remove any old protective sheens they may have used. It will need a couple of good coats of protectant anyway afterwards. Use a cream or wax based leather conditioner on a case; it will help it hold its shape. Oil based protectants are better for leather you want a soft or flimsy feel in.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
3,709
Reaction score
5,381
Location
Houston, Texas
Media
216
Articles
4
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY, Canada (Yukon)
I've used Obenauf's solid (paste) on my boots for years. A couple years ago, I got some of the liquid and used it on an old leather jacket. It made it look and feel better than new. It made the leather darker and richer looking and a great feel to it after the liquid soaked it. Great stuff!

upload_2020-4-25_15-50-59.png
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
5,653
Reaction score
14,532
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
261
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
So, I was cleaning out my Aunts house and found my grandfathers leather shotgun case for his Parker Shotgun. I have no idea about the brand of the case. The case had dust and mildew on the outside. I have used Saddle Soap four times trying to clean it up. Each time some the the stain comes off.

I am hopefully that this case can be restored, so that I can use it with the above Parker Shotgun and not just be in a different corner (my house instead) gathering dust again like it did for the past 70 years.

Any suggestions on how to restore the leather? Or any suggestions on who can restore the leather?
Is this a leg of mutton style case or a hinged luggage case? If the latter, a couple of companies offer restoration services (for a price). If the first, you are likely on your own. As noted, you need to completely eliminate the mildew before using oils or wax.
 

wesheltonj

AH legend
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,152
Location
South Texas
Media
16
Articles
7
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Benefactor-Life NRA, DSC, SCI, HSC
Hunted
USA, RSA
Is this a leg of mutton style case or a hinged luggage case? If the latter, a couple of companies offer restoration services (for a price). If the first, you are likely on your own. As noted, you need to completely eliminate the mildew before using oils or wax.

Leg of Mutton style. The gun is a 106 years old, and the case looks about the same age.
 
Last edited:

Bhfs300

AH fanatic
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
866
Reaction score
722
Media
89
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
USA Canada South Africa New Zealand
Here is another option for leather cleaning and restoring. It was recommended by the people at our western store they said it is the best leather product.
I used it on my leather jacket and a leather chair that needed some work. Worked great for me.
9A9B388D-7DBF-4EBE-8B3D-1607B80E7BC1.jpeg
 

cem rona ergin

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
307
Reaction score
452
Location
russia
Media
86
Hunted
south africa,russia,turkey
I use Saphir products for all my leather care .. from shoes to jackets and upholstery... Their products considered to be the best in the world . Web site is www.saphir.com .
They seem to have a product for all your needs ..
 

EricB

AH veteran
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
136
Reaction score
281
Location
Wichita
Media
17
Whatever you use, make sure it has all natural ingredients. Some of these suggestions are ok for chrome tanned leather, which is what most new leather is.

Your leather isn't chrome tanned if it's old, and should be treated with all natural ingredients. Anything with glycerine or silicone should be avoided completely. That's why I suggested the Sedgwick's, it's all natural and will help heal the leather. Chemicals won't do that, and will destroy the fibers in the leather, which will cause it to break.

For cleaning, ONLY use a fragrance free natural Castile soap. I've used this technique along with the Sedgwick's on old Swiss backpacks and haven't had any issues. I used Lexol on the first one and the straps broke not long after. They were completely dry inside, it didn't penetrate into the leather at all. Lexol is great for modern car seats, but I wouldn't recommend it for antique leather at all.

Keep in mind the differences between the vegetable/brain tanned leather and the modern chrome tanned leather. They need different care techniques.
 

wesheltonj

AH legend
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
2,152
Location
South Texas
Media
16
Articles
7
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Benefactor-Life NRA, DSC, SCI, HSC
Hunted
USA, RSA
So, I was cleaning out my Aunts house and found my grandfathers leather shotgun case for his Parker Shotgun. I have no idea about the brand of the case. The case had dust and mildew on the outside. I have used Saddle Soap four times trying to clean it up. Each time some the the stain comes off.

I am hopefully that this case can be restored, so that I can use it with the above Parker Shotgun and not just be in a different corner (my house instead) gathering dust again like it did for the past 70 years.

Any suggestions on how to restore the leather? Or any suggestions on who can restore the leather?

Well I have the case somewhat cleaned up. I have also found someone who actually restores these cases. Sent him some photos and will see if worth restoring, or will be just another dust collector.
IMG_2221.JPG
 

CM McKenzie

AH senior member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
60
Reaction score
132
Location
Etna, Wyoming
Media
26
Looking at the picture, I would say it’s in pretty good shape. There is no reason you cannot do everything that needs done by yourself. The only thing I can about bet for sure is the old linen thread is probably dry rotted. It will hold until it doesn’t. If it comes apart stitch it back together. If you need any details on how to get it working ready feel free to pm me. I have been building custom saddles for 28 years; my family hung up their first shingle that said saddle shop in 1922. I have a mediocre understanding of how leather works, but one day I will figure it out.
 

rookhawk

AH legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,088
Reaction score
4,109
Location
North America
Media
138
Articles
2
Member of
NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
Leg of Mutton style. The gun is a 106 years old, and the case looks about the same age.

white vinegar removes mold and mildew from vintage leather. Since it’s a mild acid, you then should deactivate it with another product, lexol works well.

finally, for a leg of mutton case or any vintage leather that is dry rotting a bit, use Pecard Vintage Leather Dressing and buff to a shine after it saturates a bit. (It’s like Vaseline)

I’ve had good luck with this treatment many times on mutton cases and oak and leather cases.

if it’s really dry rotted, I’ll do this several times on any leather hinge points and put the item in the warm sun to reconstitute the leather for many days before bending those points on the leather. The fibers are dry, but not broken until they get manipulated. If you can rehydrate the leather it can save the fibers.

you now know everything I do about vintage leather care and restoration.
 
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Just came from a hunt and already longing for the bush
JPmbogo wrote on yhc's profile.
I have factory loaded Hornady 450 NE 3 1/4 DGS that I am selling for not much more than the brass itself at $75/box - see my listing for same.
Justbryan wrote on Rafter JK's profile.
Get Crazy Larry yet? Wishing I had shot Alpine Ibex too!
laurence burkin wrote on UKHunter's profile.
Hi the dude in the picture. It would be cool to know the area (genetics) of the stag you have in your profile picture. I am from New Zealand and shot a stag here that is almost identical, especially the throw backs. I can send you a photo to prove I'm genuine with my enquiry.
 
Top