Leather contains moisturising and lubricating oils which were added in the tanning process. These oils are gradually lost as the leather is used. The once plump and flexible fibres of leather gradually become thinner and more rigid.
Instead of flexing and stretching, the fibres become tight and stiff. In a similar fashion to bending a piece of metal repeatedly, they will eventually weaken and break, causing cracks.
For excessively dry leather or leather in need of revival, an intensive conditioning oil such as Carrs Leather Oil is more appropriate.
Apply a thin coating to the flesh side of the leather and allow to soak in for at least 24 hours. Particularly dry tack may benefit from a thin, additional coating applied to the grain side, which will also help to restore the colour.
If the leather still appears dry another application may be required, however take care not to over oil, wiping off any excess as it cannot be removed once absorbed.
Over oiling ‘collapses’ the structure of leather, leaving a slick, oily feel. So little and often is more effective than a thick application.
Although cracks cannot be repaired, their appearance can be minimised by oiling and conditioning.
- Intensive conditioning for excessively dry leather
- A specially formulated viscous oil with waterproofing properties suitable for saddlery, harness and walking boots