06-08-2015, 06:57 PM
#1
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So I made what I thought was an ok purchase a couple weeks ago and then left town. I got back today and looked at my vintage English roos bros travel kit...dopp kit...whatever you want to call it. It is amazing. I love it and plan to use it when I travel. ..which is often. I need to do a lot of cleaning, but I am concerned with the leather or faux leather. Anybody have any experience with dealing with this old stuff and treating it. It dean's kind of brittle. ..it reminds me of the Gillette travelers that are always cracked and broken where the case hinges. There is some warpage on the top panel as well. Can I treat it with leather conditioner or is it even leather. ..is there sobering that works better. Any suggestions or advice from someone experienced in this type of thing would help. [Image: 39a8da9b5945959dd2ee76a21dbfea94.jpg][Image: 0416bf3f89d3dd383e8a6b2d8a59be9f.jpg][Image: 9ed070d1b8051c42498cc874c093368f.jpg]

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 06-08-2015, 09:12 PM
#2
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Question is -- is it leather.  I assume given the age it probably is.  If so you can treat it with Lexol or other leather conditioners to soften the leather up some.  The challenge may be the stitches though.  The old cotton thread tends to get brittle and pop easily.  My Souplex kit I literally ended up restitching the whole thing.  Was worth it in the end, but a lot of work.

Neatsfoot oil can do wonders for the leather but will likely darken it.

You can also use saddle soap to clean and condition the leather.  It will help too.  It's just hard to say for sure without being able to see it.  Some of those leathers are thin and get dry enough to tear when you do much to them.

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 06-11-2015, 03:24 PM
#3
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Thank you. The more I look at it in pretty surrounding it is a real, thin leather. I too,am very worried about the stitching. I'm going to see what I can find fit lexol or sale soap.

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 06-11-2015, 04:03 PM
#4
  • kav
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STOP! With all respect to the above 99.9% of neatsfoot oil is NOT neastfoot oil. Saddlesoap is actually a 'liquor' used in the tanning process. An enterprising tannery marketed their excess stock on the public.  Lexol is Petroleum based ( as are many products) and will further damage leather. Leather is skin chemically altered to a more durable and stable material. But it is like wood products and still needs replenishing of essential oils and moisture produced by the living tree,animal.
I apprenticed under a custom saddlemaker long enough to become the onetime curator of THE SOUTHWEST MUSEUMS donated collection of vintage western saddles and harness. If your piece has suffered cracking or warpage there is little to be done but stabilize the unit as a whole. There are several excellent products. My favourite- for cost, ease of use and availability is MONTANA PITCHBLEND- which ironically is made in Texas. They use VERY high quality, unadulterated MINK OIL mixed with PINE PITCH. Minnk will restore the body of leather that will still absorb oil. The pitch acts something like a binder and water repellant. this is a renewable product and has minimal colour change on the piece. They also make a cleaner. As posted above, the real issue is rotted stitching, easily renewed.

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 06-20-2015, 01:32 AM
#5
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Hello Shane,

Nice kit you have there. Just by looking at the second picture I could tell it is of British origin. I have have a whole collection of these including a big leather luggage case of Brititsh manufacture, with all the grooming utensils complete. It also has it's original canvas protective cover.

From the look of it I would date it from the 20's - 30's but maybe a bit earlier.

The leather is real leather just as DeltaEcho says. But it is very thin and glued on panels as far as the case itself is concerned. The pictures show that there are signs of wear and tear.

What i would do is a general clean up with nothing more than a damp soft cloth or sponge. After drying you will have to feed the leather with either oils or leathergrease applied thinly. Again with a soft clean cloth. You could try to get some almond oil for that. I would stay away from aggressive cleaning methods involving soaps and lots of water.

Learn to live with the wear the case shows and the stains. I like to think they are part of the charm. I do think your grooming kit/dressing case is in good condition after all these years though. 

As for the stitching: a good bootmaker or shoerepair  shop should be able to take care of that. It might also help to find a shop that sells leather goods and see what they have to say.

Good luck with it

Tilly

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 07-10-2015, 03:09 PM
#6
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I I would take it to a shoemaker or someone who works with leather and seek their advice.  That is a nice find...and I would clean it up and condition the leather right the first time.

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 07-10-2015, 04:15 PM
#7
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I love it the way it is.  It shows class and character Wink

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