Saddles Before and After
I detail or clean saddles as a hobby (as well as do minor repairs) below are some photos of a few that I had cleaned and or restored. I hope I have figured out how to post photos and hope they are not to large. If not back to square one.
This is a vintage saddle that was left neglected in an old barn for years. The stuff on the seat of the saddle is raccoon leavings. The owner wanted as much I could save of all original leather kept. Rodents had chewed on the edges of the saddle skirts and stirrup leathers (one I did have to replace but with an older, used strap to keep asthetics the same) THe saddle was sentimental (but if it was so sentimental then why was it neglected as such is beyond me) and was only going to be used as a decor piece. Below is an after shot
Below is a Simco I cleaned and did some repairs on.
(I have tried and tried to resize the photo smaller but for some reason it will not......resize.) Sorry.
Below is a King Series, well used and neglected. The owner stated he used it for several years but had been stored in an outback shed for a long while. This saddle was pretty much green with mold. I had removed most of the molds BEFORE bringing it into my home.
This after: Yes the owner wanted (and liked) the red latigo strings I put on the saddle. It kind of sets of the saddle in a odd but pleasing way. Go figure. The saddle seat (once suede) was cleaned but I could not get back any of the "colour" back and remained stained. I blame it on the excessive mold.
No dyes were used on any of the saddles, all colour is original. I used various oils depending on the leather quality and need.
I have a nice English saddle I replaced billets on and did a general clean but I havent uploaded it yet.
Nice work Zaney. A saddle came in with nibbled fenders. Fortunately most were within 1/16" of the edge. I used an edging tool to shave off the edges. I then rubbed the edges down with a wet denim rag careful to not get water on the surface of the leather. This gives the edge a good finish.
What brand of saddle oil do you use to condition the saddles?
For Neatsfoot oil mostly Fiebings or Sheps (light oils: Leather New replenisher or Weaver U-82)
Conditioners: Lexol, Leather Therapy, Leather New
Deep condiitoners or for specialty leathers (European leather): balsams like a Lederbalsam (German) and I have tried Leather New's Balsam (was very pleased with)
For "every day" cleaners Fiebings saddle soap in a can.
Boots or deep weather conditioning " Fiebings Mink oil or a beeswax base.
Top finishers: Leather Therapy, Fiebings
I stay away from all One Step cleaner/conditioners. I havent found one yet I liked.....If I had to chose I would chose Leather CPR. Use sparinlgy inbetween cleanings.
I also have my own mixes but those are ancient chinese secrets. :wink:
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