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leathers + soaked = does it wreak them?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by raffiki, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. dumb question but here goes

    my leathers have been drowned a couple of times and then hung up in the back room to dry with the ambient indoor temp... so the question is, is the leather slowly degrading or doesnt it matter?
  2. She'll be right mate.
    Prolly need to give them a massage with some leather conditioner to protect. 8)
    errr that is once they are dry.
  3. Did you ever see a cow in a raincoat? :wink:
  4. i think the worst thing is that leather can lose it's moisture if dried out to quickly, and it will dry in odd shapes (ie how you hung/laid them out)
  5. According to one manufacturer of kevlar gear, every time leather gets wet/dries out it looses 20% of it's strength. As for the previous comment, there is a difference between skin on a live animal and heavily processed product that a leather jacket is made of.
  6. Dan, better not tell thousands of road-racers who keep leathers for years even though they have been wet plenty of times.
    Modern leather suits are made of good quality leather and if you let it dry naturally in a dry environment, and treat it with some leather conditioner (not dubbin) before you use it again, it should last you for years. Leathers are in more danger from being thrown down the road (with a rider in them!) than moisture.
  7. Sorry Dan, that was VVP I was responding to.
  8. Yeah, same as above..

    Leather conditioner if you think it needs something.
  9. Nope but I've seen an occassional BULL in one! froflmao! sorry Vic couldn't help myself! well actually I did but that's another story!
    Oh shit here comes another warning!
  10. Do not pretend to be an expert, just something I read. Sure if you start with good quality leather and look after it, it will last.

    But here is another quote:
    "At the microscopic level, leather is made UP of a tangle of fibers resembling a pad of steel wool. These fibers are held together with protein bonds. In the tanning process, hides are soaked in chemicals to prevent the fibers and their bonds from decomposing. Then fats and oils are tumbled with the hides (this was once a hand process known as "currying") to keep the protein bonds from drying out and to make the leather supple.

    Keeping those protein bonds lubricated and supple is the key to longlasting leather. If those bonds dry out completely, they shrink, become brittle and break. Once broken, they can't be mended. The leather is permanently weakened. Soaking dried out leather in oil may make it supple and bendable again, but it won't restore the protein bonds or its strength.

    When water penetrates leather, it forms temporary bonds with the oils that are lubricating the leather fibers then floats them to the surface as it evaporates. Without those lubricating oils, the leather feels stiffer. Its fibers are more brittle and subject to breakage. You need to put the oils back in.

    The solution is to take action before that wet leather completely dries. Remove any dirt or mud from the wet leather with a damp rag. If necessary, use a nongreasy cleaner to remove heavy soil or traces of old conditioner that have floated to the leather's surface.

    While the leather is still damp and its pores are still open, apply a coat of a penetrating pH balanced penetrating leather conditioner which duplicates the fat liquors tumbled with freshly tanned hides to make them supple. As the water evaporates, capillary action will pull the conditioner down between the fibers to take its place. The wet leather needs to absorb conditioner deep within its fibers to replace currying oils flushed out by the water."

    Now, you get caught in a rain on the way to work. Do you keep a bottle of leather conditioner at work?
  11. That's a load of bull.
    Water doesn't do anything harmful to leather. Drying over or near a heatsource does!
    Just let it dry at room temperature, use snoseal or dubbin to keep it soft and to add waterproofing and that's it.
    I work with the stuff every day for the last 35 years.

  12. Sno seal
    You use that on your leather after you have dried it out laying flat in a dry environment.
    Don't hang your leathers out when drying always lay them flat.
    With the sno seal make sure you have warmed it thoroughly so that it literally almost runs onto the leather and wipe it in throughly .
    Afterwards wipe off the excess and next time you are caught in the rain the leather has a chance of staying dry.
  13. How about the stitching? Would that be degraded by getting wet?

    I could imagine that it would rot
  14. Some good advice here on leathers.

    Was wondering why you don't put wet weather gear over the leathers, thought that would solve everything.
  15. woah thanks dudes, was not expecting all that :) sweet :D

    smee - BMW R1100S (Der Traktorr) - bwhahahahahaahaha :LOL:
  16. ah well after living in vic for 22 years i'm still not used to planning ahead :?

    i mostly get caught going home from work to geelong or coming back on the go road... weather report fine sunny day... by the afternoon its pissing down and of course i didnt bring my motodry suit did i?

    although the last time i wore it was on my my up to melbs and it leaked like a sieve so fat lot of good it did me anyway :x
  17. Polypropylene and Nylon don't perish easily, water doesn't make a difference.
    Cotton-thread hasn't been used in bike-leathers for the past 30 years or so.
  18. bloody oath! 200 dives on my dive gear and still going strong :D a mates done over 500 in his :wink:

    all salt water to...