Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

BIFFO

how to reinvigorate dry leather Pickelhaube

Recommended Posts

BIFFO

one of my  Pickelhaubes leather seems a little dry,whats the best way to make it supple,I have been told saddle soap ?

Biffo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JMB1943
Posted (edited)

Biffo,

 

If you want the pickelhaube to last another 100 yrs, do not apply ANY leather dressing.

Museum conservators use only Renaissance Wax (Amazon,....., Walmart).

 

Regards,

JMB

 

Edited by JMB1943

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

I have found Woly dubbin (described by them as "nourishing") to be very successful

but admittedly, not on anything as old or as valuable

 

Good luck

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
asanewt
41 minutes ago, michaeldr said:

I have found Woly dubbin (described by them as "nourishing") to be very successful

but admittedly, not on anything as old or as valuable

 

Good luck

Michael

As above but using Pure Neatsfoot Oil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Haselgrove

Hi Biffo,

I think most collectors will ask why do you want to "reinvigorate" the helmet or make it more "supple"?  In my opinion helmets are best left exactly as they are and are merely stored/displayed carefully.  Collectors will look very carefully at the finish of the helmet and if it looks to have been treated will probably not buy it.  However, if you really must treat the helmet, and bearing in mind you may devalue it, I agree with the advice given by JMB above. 

Do let us know what you decide to do bearing in mind I am always happy to be proved wrong!

Michael.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIFFO

thank you all for your help,I read "can you use  Renaissance Wax on leather",when I saw it gives leather a brilliant shine,no go for me.

the only reason I posted,I have my  pickelhaubes stored/covered in plastic bags,to keep the dust out,I could easily switch to good old brown paper bags which would keep out the dust, as a bonus they would stop "sweating"

they are stored in my hall where there is a radiator not to near.the temperature doesn't really fluctuate much, well except when my grand children leave the door open AND the lights on:w00t:

I didn't want the leather to go brittle,I also have 6 bayonets in leather covered scabbards,I thought I would also treat those.

So is saddle soap also out of the question,?

I will not do anything that may be detrimental ,in fact I thought this would help 

Biffo 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JMB1943

Biffo,

 

Leather is leather is leather, and modern dressings, although they are promised to “soften, nourish, feed etc” will ultimately degrade the leather. They are fine for leather goods that have a limited lifetime of use and are required to be supple over that time.

From my experience, I think that you will be hard-pressed to achieve a “brilliant shine” on your scabbards, and remember that in the early 20’s I think, the instruction to Wax scabbards was issued; you may have, or may have seen, “W” stamped near the seam.

But, as always, you have paid the piper so you get to call the tune.

 

Regards,

JMB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

Enquiriing about treating leather bound books some years ago I was advised to use natural lanolin. Those books have used it on look fine. Not how it would work on a Pikelhaube, others may know or have views

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dave1418

Hi

never use neatsfoot oil on anything with stitching as it rots it.

try a mix of beeswax, lanolin and glycerin which is good for giving removing the dryness. 

Theres a British army recipe of beeswax, tallow and camphor,

its not nice to make but works well as a cleaner/rejuvenator 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Haselgrove

Biffo,

Thanks for your comments - good luck with whatever, if anything, you decide in the end to do.

David,

The very best thing for distressed leather covers on books is Cellugel - relatively expensive but excellent.

Regards,

Michael. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIFFO
7 hours ago, JMB1943 said:


From my experience, I think that you will be hard-pressed to achieve a “brilliant shine” on your scabbards,

JMB

JMB,if you re read my post it says as soon as I saw"brilliant shine" its a no go for me.

thank you all again for your help,can we close this post  :thumbsup:

Dave 1418,thank you for "the mixture"judging from most of the comments im just going to put my  pickelhaubes in brown paper bags and leave well alone,ok central heating systems and leather dont mix,they are stored well away from direct heat and my grand children !!!:w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

Aprops nothing of moment, it's just struck me. "Go polish your pickelhaube" would be a nice way to dismiss  an idiot! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PhilB

I suppose it would be reasonable to use whatever the German soldiers used on it - what was it?:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chasemuseum
18 hours ago, PhilB said:

I suppose it would be reasonable to use whatever the German soldiers used on it - what was it?:unsure:

Not so good. They were cleaning/waterproofing a relatively new piece of leather & stitching as an object expected to only have an active life of about 2 to 3 years.

 

You are working on leather where the cow died over 100 years ago. The cotton/linen thread stitching is 100 years old. The object has already hardened and stiffened beyond being a wearable piece of clothing and you have absolutely no intention of allowing it to get soaked out in the rain.   

 

You are trying to manage an entirely different series of problems and achieve totally different objectives.

 

You goals should be based on a modern museum conservation approach: to arrest further deterioration, to return the object to a suitable display condition and not to make permanent alterations to the object. Objectives that are in reality self contradictory.  But to do the best you can.

 

Personally I never use neatsfoot oil. It permanently darkens leather, the improvements to leather texture only last a few months and it causes horrific damage to stitching.  40 years ago as  a young collector, I used it on a pickelhaube and it quite literally fell to pieces.

 

Many saddle soaps are very caustic and should be avoided. They make the leather more supple by breaking down the fibrous structure of the leather. Over time this will cause old leather to develop cracks and break.

 

Hot/boiling water is great for moulding brand new leather to shape. It will totally destroy old leather.

 

Depending where in the world you are, have a chat to some of the curatorial staff at a local museum and see what they are using for the same problems. They should at least know which products are available in your community.

 

Good luck

Cheers

Ross

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

Biffo,

Having just re-read my jokey reply, I feel I should state it was not pointed at you. It simply struck me as a poor joke.

Regards

David 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIFFO
On 15/07/2019 at 09:14, David Filsell said:

Aprops nothing of moment, it's just struck me. "Go polish your pickelhaube" would be a nice way to dismiss  an idiot! 

no problem David,I didnt understand your reply bin at the hard stuff??:devilgrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

Biffo,

Habitually and without regret. Two units a day only - one bottle red, one white. Regrets ? Not even a few.

Regards

David  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIFFO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
depaor01
1 hour ago, David Filsell said:

two units a day - one bottle red, one white.

Now THEY are my kinda units!

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

I'm in an experimental stage. I'm tempted to go for the thee unit challenge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keithmroberts

Brave man David, I'm not much of a white wine drinker, but most days see me test out a bottle of red, although I have been sidetracked by a recent visit to Germany that has diverted some of my energy into some excellent dark beers.

 

 

IMG_20190614_201804.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

Dry day yesterday only one unit  (White) . Must make an effort today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BIFFO

Thank you S.R.D very informative,only problem being I read the full article esp the bit that warned  about  the use of styro foam I have a German gas mask mounted on a styro foam head :w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paddy 60th

I have used Marney's Conservation Leather Dressing on my vintage cameras and cases and find that it really revives worn out looking items. It is used by the National Trust on their leather bound books. It contains Lanolin,Neatsfoot Oil and Beeswax. Renaissance Wax is also very good as a protectant and can even be used on paper items.

I keep my picklehaube collection in a cupboard with a humidity meter. If the humidity level falls I place a glass of water at the back of the cupboard and it is quite surprising how quickly this evaporates in dry conditions. I have been doing this for the past thirty years or more and the helmets are really stable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...