Olive oil for preserving leather?

Submitted by John C on 11/13/04 at 6:23 PM. ( first I have heard of it? )

Anyone heard of it, I have NEVER?

Return to Tanning Category Menu

Good ?

This response submitted by Jeff "458okie" W. on 11/14/04 at 6:30 PM. ( deerhearse@hotmail.com )

Sounds like a good question for Mr. Rittel!

-Jeff W.

Sorry -it's non-drying!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 11/14/04 at 7:16 PM. ( rittel@mindspring.com )

Non-drying oils like Olive Oil are not considered good candidates for tanning oils. These include Glycerine, Cod Liver Oil and straight pure Neatsfoot Oil. Also all the Cooking Oil types.

What makes a good tanning oil is one that has a charge and dries once it is impregnated into the leather of the skin. By drying - I mean that since its charged chemically it bonds to the actual fibers of the skin. This bonding makes us percieve that it "dries" esthetically. For example - a negatively charged oil seeks out a positive charge on the fibers to bond with. It's in sharp contrast to an oil simply impregnated and literally "stuffed" into the fibers. Stuffed oils tend to come out sometimes as easily as they go in - or they "bleed".

So how would you go about making Olive Oil a good Tanning Oil? Expose it to Sulphuric Acid or other variations of it - and clip the charge. That way it will become a - or a + charged oil. Unfortunately on a home level there's not an easy controlled process to do this - so whether we like it or not - good Tanning Oils are best bought from reputable Tanning supply companies.

Return to Tanning Category Menu