Leather is an organic material. Just like our own skin, we need to take care of it. Composed of fibers, it can be very strong and durable. However, for it to work properly, there needs to be a sheath of oil that surrounds each fiber. As long as the animal can produce oil, the fibers remain supple and strong.
Once the skin is removed, the natural oils cannot, of course, be replaced. The remaining oil will disappear over time, and the fibers start to rub against each other. This is where leather damage begins. To top it off, environmental factors will accelerate the evaporation of the oils. Sunshine, dryness and excessive wear and tear will all dry the leather.
Thus it is important to replace the oils over time. We are partial to Pecard’s leather dressing. It is a proprietary formula, but one known ingredient is beeswax. This is a great lubricant for leather because it does not break down. Products like Neetsfoot Oil contain fats that break down and allow the fibers to rub. But the fatty oils are also prone to bacteria and fungi, which will hurt the leather.
You don’t need to use much conditioner. For our whips, we recommend a coating every six months. Simply rub the conditioner over the leather and let it sit. The time will depend on the dryness of the leather. If you allow it to sit for several days, it will have time to seep deeply into the leather. When you are satisfied with the time, simply wipe the remainder away.
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