There is a simple way to recycle old leathers, and I’m going to share it with you today. I’m sure there are a number of other ways to refurbish or recycle old leathers, and I’m sure they work, but this way is simple, anyone can do it, and as long as the leather isn’t totally trashed, it can work wonders! The two pockets in the main photo are proof.
Why would you want to do recycle old leathers when you can just buy new leathers? I’ll let you in on a little secret… old leathers are already broken in and can make for AMAZING pockets. The leathers are soft, stretched, and ready to go right away. If the stringing is on point, old leather can be great stuff! Now you know. Now see how to recycle old leathers on your own.
How To Recycle Old Leathers
The first step is to take your old leathers out of the head that they currently sit in. If they’re laid in a heap already gathering dust, even better. You’ll notice right away that they are warped, kinked, and severely notched in places where the crosslace pulled tight. Just compare them to new leathers and you see what I’m talking about.
You can see that the new leathers have some bend to them, but it’s not as severe as the old leathers. The old leathers would be almost unusable if you tried to string them right now. Those two “loops” will not go away not matter how hard I stretch them. Neither will many of the kinks. We need to soften these leathers up.
The first real step is to soak the leathers in hot water. Cold or room temperature is probably ok, but hot water really soaks into the leather nicely. I will take leathers out when the water cools, stretch them, and then repeat the process three or four times.
After you’re done soaking them, pull them out of the water and give them a good, long stretch. Pull from both ends, starting slowly and adding weight to your pull over a ten second period. Hold them tight for 20 seconds.
Notice how this process helps straighten the leather out. Repeat this stretching process two or three times as the leathers dry.
Yup, before that simple process, those SAME leathers looked like this:
If you’re using truly old leathers, once they dry, the leathers may have lost some of their softness. Newer, less used leathers may be even softer than they originally were before you recycled them. Either way, if you want to treat the leathers, to give them added strength against the elements, try using baby oil. Just a little goes a long way.[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=4YnRVx-Dq0s” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/4YnRVx-Dq0s/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”Weatherproof Lacrosse Leathers: Baby Oil”]
Now the leathers can dry completely, and they will be usable once again. And they might be the best leathers you ever use. The new pocket will definitely break in quickly!