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Author Topic: How best to age my leather trench coat?  (Read 4905 times)
James Odin
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« on: August 21, 2010, 09:27:03 pm »

I have a black buffalo leather trench coat and wondered if any one had advice on ageing it.
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Narsil
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 10:06:21 pm »


The absolute best way is just to wear it as much as possible. If its got a glossy surface you can remove that with alcohol (carefully) and refinish with a wax or oil.

Wearing it damp can help it to conform to your body shape but make sure you let it dry on you if at all possible.

Neatsfoot oil  can be used to soften any stiff areas apply sparingly and tryt o keep it away from stitching.
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psychichazard
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psychichazard
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2010, 10:08:45 pm »

Sandpaper, knives, oil, and violence. No really, Beat the crap out of it, tie+ drag it behind your car. Bury it for a week. Then polish it, and repeat. Adds years!
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Atterton
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 10:22:22 pm »

Time travel. Barring that, perhaps let your neighbours dog play with it.
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Thistle
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 07:29:59 am »

I agree with Narsil, wear it. Smiley Also, sleep in/on it, contact with the body and frequent handling is the best thing for softening and aging leather.
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akumabito
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 10:31:00 am »

Beat it against a brick wall, drag it behind a car and bury it for a week, that oughta sort it out nicely..
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psychichazard
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 11:39:43 am »

There appear to be two quite distinct schools of thought emerging on this subject... Which suggests that some kind of 'third way' might indeed be the best method. A combination of both styles
Should work splendidly. I suggest NOT wearing it whilst it is dragged behind a car, though.
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Narsil
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2010, 01:03:45 pm »


The problem with artificially distressing it rather than just accelerating the natural process is that it can be difficult to get right as its difficult to predict how the natural folds and creases will form from wear. Just randomly savaging it just tends to make it look scruffy rather than well broken in.

A decent leather coat will never look that distressed if its well looked after, the main thing is to break down the initial 'newness' as quickly as possible.
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arcwelder
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2010, 01:49:35 pm »

For boot leather, there's this stuff you rub into it. Normally for maintenance purposes, but repeated use combined with wearing them as much as possible accelerates the break-in process. There's probably an analogous process.

I think the point of the stuff is mostly to keep the leather supple so that you can break it in quickly without damaging it (or yourself).
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 02:11:00 pm by arcwelder » Logged

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stockton_joans
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2010, 02:08:12 pm »

i'm definatly in the "wear it" camp on this one. If you artificially distess it there is always the possability that you will go to far and ruin a perfectly good leather coat.

my advice is to go camping in it, a nice treak through the woods, some ruff and tumble around the campfire and use it as a blanket / floor matt / pillow for a few nights.
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psychichazard
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Stiltwalker vs Gravity. Guess who wins?

psychichazard
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2010, 02:25:56 pm »

The trick with kinetic/abrasive methods is to focus on the areas which naturally wear the most (collar, outside shoulder, outer sleeve folds, elbow, cuffs, and pocket/belt areas without leaving the rest of the coat pristine, and especially knowing when to stop. Also, as i mentioned earlier, polishing/treating between abuse  adds 'history'. Which method is best for you will be determined by the final 'look' that you are after, I suppose.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 02:45:51 pm by psychichazard » Logged
James Odin
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2010, 08:30:23 pm »

Thank you for all the advice guys think i am going with the last post on technique.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2010, 09:15:46 pm »

Roll around on field playing stupid games with friends, thats what I did Cheesy One or two days of that did as much to my trench as the previous 6 months of wearing it ordinarily Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2010, 12:18:57 pm »

Roll around on field playing stupid games with friends, thats what I did Cheesy One or two days of that did as much to my trench as the previous 6 months of wearing it ordinarily Roll Eyes

This sounds like good advice. Wear it doing things you would never do in good clothes. If you just wear the coat to movies or receptions, it will take a generation to break in.
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psychichazard
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2010, 12:31:39 pm »

Agreed, any heavy lifting, carrying logs, gardening, skating, all good opportunities to get well scuffed.   
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Cubinoid
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2010, 08:42:09 pm »

Wear to festival.
Sleep rough in it a few times.
Good as old!
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Captain Brandsson
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2010, 09:00:26 pm »

Take it out dino-hunting.


Personally, I think it is a shame to age something without the stories as to how it got that way.
If it is for costuming a specific character... I get that, I suppose.  But if you simply like the look, go out and earn it.
The adventure involved will be well worth it.
But again, that is merely a personal opinion.
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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2010, 06:34:36 pm »

Or buy one from a second hand store instead.
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Mr. Hatchett
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2010, 02:46:03 am »

I'm firmly in favor of earning wear and tear, but I believe Mr. Odin is doing this so it'll be ready to wear on stage in short order.

Wear it in the rain, and then wear it indoors until it dries.  Exercise in it.  Help a friend move house wearing it.  Lacking a lot of experience working leather or distressing clothing, the best, most convincing way to age it will be to wear it hard.
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DreamHazard
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2010, 03:27:27 am »

Skateboarding. with no experience.

also, don't take the damn thing off for a month, if at all possible. do EVERYTHING in it!
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James Odin
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2010, 02:36:21 pm »

So i am going to do everything humanly possible in it and treat in between, so if anyone has some good treatment advice it would greatly appreciated.

Kind regards
James
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Just call me Rob
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2010, 02:46:23 pm »

A friend of mine once tried to age a paid of leather boots by hanging them from a washing line and beating them with a cricket bat.
The boots aged quickly, but were uncomfortable to wear from them on because the leather had bent in the wrong places.

I aged my leather jacked by placing it in the boot of my car not long after the boot had held an old leaking car battery (I didn't know it was leaking), the acid burned holes in the jacket made it look very old – it's a shame that wasn't really the look I was hoping for.

In the case of a long coat.
Perhaps roll around in the dirt for a few minutes then have someone rinse you off with a high power hose..  then do it again.
Hopefully the water and dirt would scuff and bend the leather quite quickly around your shape.
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Thistle
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2010, 06:52:29 pm »

Well, if you need it urgently aged, rub some old motor oil into the creases of it, where it creases naturally, like the elbows, and across the back, where you would sit in it, then when the oil is still dampish, take a handful of fine dry garden soil and gently rub that in over it. Leave for an hour or so then taking a soft shoebrush, brush the patches you`ve oiled `n soiled, that should leave some nice aging as if you have been under cars in it.
I`d advise against getting it very wet as leather stiffens when it dries out after being wet unless it`s very well worked soft again (hard work!)
Around the collar and cuffs, a soft rubbing with a fine grade sandpaper will also age the edges, making them worn, just don`t go too heavy with it. Doesn`t really take much to take the new sheen off leather. Smiley

Edited to add, when I was younger and owned (and used! ) some rather expensive bike leathers, they aged pretty quickly. Normally by me ending up in the road. Bike leathers are pretty special though and earn their bucks by being supertough. Smiley They too look best aged and worn.
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OswaldBastable
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2010, 11:11:43 pm »

if its too stiff in some places try rubbing half a raw potato on it; as for general treatment, neatsfoot oil or mink oil would be likely suspects
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