I've always been the kind of person who seeks out things and products that are complete. That not only do what they're supposed to do, but do all of it right. That can be a endless search for just about anything. When it comes to leather care I'm a manufacturers nightmare to put it lightly . Leather care products need to do many things all at the same time and not harm our leather and stitching. Through the years I've tried all of them, the big names and the small ones. I stayed with one I'm sure some of you who know me know about, and I've used it for the past 10 years. But, there was always two things about all of them that bothered me, too much squeak when they were buffed and white residue that landed and stuck in the tooling. That drove me out of my mind. I even had customers contact me about it while taking care of products I made for them. And with a tooled leather seat surface squeak is a huge issue, not to mention having to brush dressing out each time you use it.
Then I finally stumbled onto a product I wanted to test , and test it I did. I tested the cream, the dressing, cleaner and waterproof spray. ALL of it passed with flying colors, so good that I decided it was the one I would put my name on finally. Being hand made in the USA was one thing, being 100% natural with no synthetics or petroleum was another, all of it performed above expectations and none of it left ANY residue in my tooling, it brought back worn and dry edges, it brought back dry , abused and ignored work leather, it helped in resisting stains on NAKED leather, something most leather guys and customers wouldn't dare test. But I did. Not only did I test for water stains, but I tested with soda, coffee, and old red wine. It did more than I expected it to do. Day one test picture and description below.
Naked in leather terms means natural state, no stuffing, no top coat no sealer at all, its the purest form of leather available and will take water and stains like white paper.
Waxy hides are stuffed with waxes and are made to be weather resistant and partially water proof, for jackets, boots, bags, etc etc.
Auto grade and high end home upholstery have an acrylic top coat sprayed on them and protect them from water and stains, they are protected the most out of all I tested.
In the picture above I tested from left to right, to see the soak rate, color change and added sheen. They're all treated half way from the bottom up and labeled.
A naked/waxy black upholstery, Naked Lamb which you would find on the finest leather goods anywhere, Naked goat which is so thin you can almost see through it, Auto grade upholstery with top coat which you find in high end automobiles, high end home upholstery , and high end office furniture. A pebbled black with topcoat which you would find on motorcycle goods, motorcycle jackets, bags, and factory seats. A textured brown with topcoat which you would find on almost all home leather furniture and some auto interiors. Naked Hermann Oak saddle/tooling leather, the actual leather I use for all of my tooled leather pieces and all saddle type work. Above is a finished piece of Hermann Oak tooling leather with 24k gold leaf , sealed with a lacquer top coat.
Below is 8 hours of soak time, I applied the cream by hand and rubbed it deep into the grain to make sure it went in good and heavy. You can see a bit of lightening already. Its normal for thin light colored leathers to change when you apply dressings so this part of test I felt was beyond important. So far the Goat , being the thinnest is taking it's time. But the lamb and naked Hermann Oak saddle leather/Vegtan are coming back nicely.
Below I took Naked Hermann Oak leather and applied the cream to the left side and left it out in the rain for about 2 hours. You can see total saturation on the right side that is untreated.
Here you can see the same piece after drying, the right side has light spots where the natural oils have been removed and by the wet/dry process and the left side is even in color showing oils and protection are still present.
Below are photos of stain tests , I used a dropper to drop water, soda, coffee and red wine , I let them sit for about 1 minute, way longer than if a spill had happened and was wiped off super fast in a normal spill situation. After the one minute mark I blotted the droplet applied and then dropped the next one. You can see each step in the photos below and I've labeled each one in the last photo in this group.
Below is the last one, its 2 days after I finished the test up to allow stains to set in and the leather come back to color after darkening from the original application. They have NOT been cleaned, or buffed. Wax based dressings should always be buffed to push it into the leather and seal the surface. I didn't buff so I could see what the product did on the surface, I applied it , let it sit for an hour and wiped it off. All products will perform better after buffing, which i'll include in a following post . Below abbreviations are WA=water, W=red wine , C=coffee, S=soda. Each remaining stain is labeled so you can compare top and bottom. On the black waxy , far left you cant see where I wrote on it anymore, but just like with any waxy hide you'll get a light spot where water has landed and dried and then just rubbing with your hands removes it. Same happened with this test. Where it wasn't treated the spots where brighter and visible with the soda and coffee.
With the Lamb, you can see where it wasn't treated the stains are horrible.. Where its treated they are not even worth mention but I labeled them anyway. With the goat we had the same result, except with the wine, this was expected since its so thin every thing soaked through to the other side which is where stains grab on and remain. Still very very good results, and better than expected. The auto grade leather had no remaining stains at all, except at the top where it wasn't treated. Something I didn't expect to have happen. Must have been an area the top coat didn't take at the tannery. The black pebbled leather didn't stain at all except a very small spot where it wasn't treated. The brown furniture grade leather did very well also, no noticeable stains . The tooled and gold leafed piece didn't stain either , every thing just rolled off of it . Last but not least the naked Hermann Oak leather, it stained the worst and left rings that started to spiderweb out where it wasn't treated. The red wine left a very faint stain near the bottom but would easily be cleaned away with no effort, just as with the lamb and goat. So, you can see with just a simple application how well the cream not only adds protection from weather, but also resists stains on un treated leather as well. A win win all around. Not to mention NO residue in the tooling either.