How to take care of hides for saddle making
A serious sale of hides for saddle making, must be able to advising own customers on the working methodology that has to be applied on leather and on the attention they have to undergo during their use. Specifically, remembering that mostly the parts into direct contact with the animal's sweat are the most urged ones that need attention, we will explain which are the steps to follow for a good maintenance.
Leather for saddles making is a skin anyway, just like human skin, before hydrating it there is the need to clean it. We recommend the use of a degreasing lotion or glycerine soap or Marseille soap, there is no need to make soap foam nor rinse it, it will be sufficient to let it dry at room temperature, away from the sun.
Using glycerine soap for natural finished leather (aniline) is not recommended.
After cleaning, if the leather is new or looks dried or even broken, there is the need of a deep hydration. Oil is perfect for dried or broken leather. It allows to nourish deeply leather in order to preserve its elasticity. Moreover it will protect it from abrasions and attacks from external agents like sand, dust, sunlight, water. It is important to use a paint brush: it will allow us to distribute better and uniformly the oil.
Pay attention not to apply it on the seat, nor on pads or on the girth's lining. You may get some nasty surprise like dirty trousers and slippery seat.
Superficial hydration and protection
Grease is ideal for a complete treatment of leather. It will protect it on its surface. In order to nourish leather, it is very important to apply it with a shoes brush and then rub it down with a soft cloth, preferably made of wool, since it will develop some heat that will ease its absorption.
Pay attention not to put too much oil or grease: you may risk to make the leather too «soft». Any kind of lubricator you are applying, just remember to remove the excess portion with a soft cloth.
Even the sale of leather for saddle making, as well as its following manufacturing and maintenance is an art.