large part of our time is spent reconditioning leather!
What is reconditioning?
When leather is in its raw state the colour is added to the leather
and the skin has all of it's natural oils. Over about 1 or two
years the leather begins to dry out due to sunlight , or
artificial heating. At this point all the artificial colour begins
to fade as the leather loses it's natural oils. At The Sandalman
we rejuvenate the leather with a series of oils; Firstly we apply a liquid which
soaks deep into the leathers pores; secondly we apply a thick
leather paste. We find that the combination of oils completely
saturate the leather and the artificial colour comes back to
life. All of this done with natural based oils that are reintroducing
moisture to the leather.
Not only does much of the colour return to the leather but by
applying natural animal oils the leather is left with a protective
surface that naturally repels moisture. As we know oil and water
don't mix so the rain will roll off the leather. Similar to scotch
guarding cloth, the leather becomes resistant to moisture. Not
waterproof but water resistant so the leather will withstand some
abuse by unfortunate spills and some harsh weather conditions.
In some cases the leather will not come back 100% but even in
those cases the introduction of renewed moisture will make the
leather healthy again and at the very least stop the deterioration
I use an example when selling this service and basically the gist
is that the doctor advises you that smoking is bad for your health.
Now we know this is true and the Doctor advises you to stop smoking!
This doesn't mean that you will stop. In the same vain all leather
needs to be reconditioned on a regular basis in order to stop
the breakdown and eventual deconstruction of the leather item.
Whether it be a jacket that is loosing surface skin or a purse
handle breaking off , all these ailments are due to the lack of
moisture in the leather. I suggest that all leather should be
reconditioned but that doesn't mean you have to take my advice.
Sometimes it is hard to justify the cost compared to what you
originally invested into the item and how long you realistically
plan on continuing to use the item.
No matter how much you spend on an item whether it be
$2000 for an Hermes purse or $250 for a jacket in the garment
district, all leathers dry out and break down. So remember to
recondition all your leather every year or two and you will double
the life of any item you own...
Do it yourself!
You can purchase the oils and do it yourself but please be advised
that the oils we use are professional and there are some risks
of spotting and staining the leather if applied to0 slowly!
The costs for us to recondition your leather can range, see grid below for price range. Please
note that the cost variance is due to a few factors; 1. leather
colour 2. age of leather 3. size of item
If the leather is light in colour the risk factor is increased
and the time to apply the oils is usually more. If the leather
is older it will absorb larger quantities of oil and take longer
to apply. If a jacket is full length as opposed to waist length
the amount of materials will increase and the time will increase
prices are guideline's and may vary, also note that the
prices for in home reconditioning may be more or less
depending upon volume of work. Some pricing is based on
a daily rate so in some cases larger volume will allow
us to increase our discount to you.
Also note that some smaller pieces e.g. single chairs
and ottomans can be brought into the store and this will
lower the cost. We are not capable of having larger pieces
in the store due to space restrictions so we will have
to come to you for larger pieces of furniture.
is neutral polish without pigment (colour). In the case of purses
and furniture you must apply the sealant as purses and furniture
will come in contact with your clothing and you must assure that
the colours from the leather don't rub off on you.
do you apply the products?
Always test an unexposed area to ensure that you are happy with
the darkening that may occur.
washing your leather:
Wash leather with Lexol P.H. balanced cleaner: Take a clean natural
sponge without colour as the colour can transfer to your leather.
Wet sponge and then pour cleaner on the sponge. Squeeze the sponge
until a soft fluffy foam appears. Squeeze all excess water from
sponge and then use this silky foam to the leather. This method
assures that you don't over saturate the leather with water because
as the water evaporates the leather's oils will dry out even further.
( Please note that not all leather will benefit from being washed
as only the surface dirt will be removed and there is always the
issue of evaporating addition oil from the leather. The drying
out is not as much of an issue in the case you are having the
reconditioning done at the same time.)
conditioner step 1
Apply the Lexol conditioner with a clean and I stress white terry
cloth towel as you will safeguard the transfer of colour to the
leather. When available we will supply you with a small piece
of sheepskin to apply the lexol. Allow to absorb for about an
hour and then wipe off all excess with towel.
Leather paste conditioner step 2
Apply the Mermac mink oil with a sheepskin or towel and allow
to absorb for between 1 hour and overnight. Then wipe off all
excess with your white towel.
Apply the sealant with a sheepskin or towel and allow to dry and
when the leather feels tacky and not slippery buff with soft towel
and the leathers lustre will appear.
you have any further questions let us know and we will be happy
to guide you through the process. Click
to ask the leather expert a question.
Please note that the jacket shown above is a digitally enhanced
example of our reconditioning treatment. It will give you a good
idea of what to expect once the reconditioning is done to your
own garment. We can also test an area on your garment once you
come into the store to help assist you in making your decision.