Should I condition the leather of this ornament? How?
December 24, 2020 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I inherited an ornament that is basically a tooled leather belt with bells on it, and the leather is looking worse for wear at 50+ years old. The back is just the suede side of the leather. Should I put leather conditioner/mink oil on it or is it too far gone? I like it but I don't plan to go to extraordinary measures to preserve it forever.
posted by momus_window to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Except for the little cracks it doesn't look too bad. I would try the leather conditioner as a preservative method. If you wanted to go beyond preservation to restoration, I would take it to a good cobbler (shoe repair shop) and see if they can help. I've had cobblers do a great job on non-shoe leather items.
posted by beagle at 10:08 AM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Doesn't look too bad to me. I'd gently clean it with some saddle soap and a soft cotton cloth, let it dry, then condition it with a natural leather conditioner like Huberd's Shoe Grease or Obenauf's. Before you put it back in storage after the holidays, repeat. Next year, just once should be fine.
posted by carrioncomfort at 10:26 AM on December 24, 2020 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I would use Leather Therapy Restorer and Conditioner, available at any tack shop and many places online. I ride and have lots of leather tack (saddles, bridles, etc) and have successfully restored items that I've purchased in pretty bad shape. It does a great job.
posted by Dolley at 7:15 AM on December 25, 2020

Response by poster: I conditioned it a few days ago (I had Kiwi stuff around), and it looks exactly the same, but feels a little more pliable. Excellent!
posted by momus_window at 11:07 AM on December 31, 2020

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