Leather conditioner is a product designed to be easily absorbed by leather so that the fibres can be nourished and their natural flexibility restored. If leather loses its natural oils and moisture it loses its flexibility and starts to crack. Properly used, leather conditioners will help prevent this occurring. There are three principal forms of conditioner:
Conditioning Creams – These products nourish and moisturise and cause a minimal colour change. A good conditioning cream will keep the fibre supple and provide some protection to the surface of the leather.
Conditioning Oils - Neatsfoot oil and lanolin have been used to soften leather for centuries. An inappropriate oil will make the leather sticky and may even cause it to become rancid.
Wax Conditioners - Wax will not penetrate deeply and nourish the fibres but it does provide an excellent surface protection from water and other liquids.
WHY USE LEATHER CONDITIONER?
Dirt, grease, and dust get trapped in the pores of the leather, leather conditioner can help keep leather soft and protected by lubricating the fibres and reducing friction. The conditioner will also help to protect the surface from stains and over time will deepen the colour and enhance the patina.
WHEN TO USE LEATHER CONDITIONER?
This will depend on the kind of treatment that your leather has had. Normal leather conditioning needs to be done twice a year but leather that is often in the sun should be conditioned at least three or four times a year.
WHAT TO APPLY LEATHER CONDITIONER WITH?
Put the conditioner onto a soft, lint-free cloth, never directly onto the leather. Apply with a circular motion over a complete section of the leather. Buff with a soft, dry, white cloth and air dry before use.
HOW MUCH LEATHER CONDITIONER TO USE?
Too much conditioner will prevent the leather from breathing and the fibres will go mushy and rot. Apply too little rather than too much. A thin layer of conditioner will be sufficient. The leather should then be left to dry in a clean, cool place.