Leather oil?

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Wushuplayer

Member
Aug 16, 2020
47
11
39
London
Hi,

I've just purchased a Romanian backpack and bread bag, the leather straps are as stiff as a piece of bread that's been in the freezer for a year!

What do you suggest that will make them more supple?

Thanks.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,604
509
Mercia
If you can get real neetsfoot oil, its the best leather softener there is (its the active softener in saddle soap). Don't overdo it though, it can rot cotton stitches.

If you do buy some, you can easily make your own saddle soap

 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,394
3,600
Mid Wales
If you can get real neetsfoot oil, its the best leather softener there is (its the active softener in saddle soap). Don't overdo it though, it can rot cotton stitches.

Sorry, can you clarify that please? I was always told that pure Neatsfoot oil was OK for natural threads and only prime or compound Neatsfoot oil was considered to rot stitching. Is that wrong? Also, sorry to question the wisdom but I am confused, doesn't Neatsfoot oil eventually cause leather to harden?
 
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British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,604
509
Mercia
Sorry, can you clarify that please? I was always told that pure Neatsfoot oil was OK for natural threads and only prime or compound Neatsfoot oil was considered to rot stitching. Is that wrong? Also, sorry to question the wisdom but I am confused, doesn't Neatsfoot oil eventually cause leather to harden?
Hi Broch

I've known it rot stitching if overused including natural threads. That said if you only use it when leather has become hard because of wetting & drying etc. its fine. Its not a cleaner & shouldn't be used like that, that's what saddle soap, Dubbin etc. is for. I've certainly never come across it causing hardening & used it on rifle slings for 25 years and more.

Hugh
 
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Ed the Ted

Forager
Dec 13, 2013
144
41
Scotland
For years I have used cold pressed almond oil I got in a big 1 or 1.5l bottle from ebay, cheap as chips, easy to apply with a basting brush. It doesnt set so i can imagine it flushes out faster than other things but for the ease of application I just prefer it over boot waxes that I almost never got to work for me. I have used it on leather boots (without goretex liners) of all sorts, and on basically anything else leather that I felt needed some oiling.

Interested in what others feel about this method.
 

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