A friend came to me about a very nice and brand new jacket (bought somewhere else). The most peculiar thing about this was that the leather appeared to be flaking off. This was very strange as the customer told me he only wore it for a day.
I told him to return it to the seller but he refused. My first impression was that the leather was fake, but upon closer inspection, the type of leather was very a high quality horsehide. It was very nice, thick, and heavy duty horsehide. The type of skins you’d use for riding.
As my friend continued ranting and laughing with regret about buying the jacket, I told him to add some water to the skin of the jacket. He added some water, waited for a bit, and nothing happened.
Next, I decided to soak the jacket in water. As we waited several minutes, the top coat became easier to peel off. After further inspection, the coating was definitely not organic. It appeared like paint peeling off the wall. I burned the peeled off material and it didn’t smell like leather. It smelled more like rubber.
I’ve seen this kind of peeling characteristic with an old leather couch and it wasn’t the leather that was peeling off, it was just the top coating. It appears that the leather tannery from where the skin of the jacket came from didn’t dye the leather but applied some kind of leather paint to the horsehide. That was the answer to the problem.
This practice is unacceptable, especially for a jacket. First because jackets will get abrasions during wear and second, who the hell uses leather paint on jackets? Paint will not last long and you use it to cover small scratches and damages… not color the entire jacket. Leather dyes have the ability to penetrate into the skin of the jacket and I was confused why a nice looking jacket did not go through the dyeing process.
Remember that leather dyes are the tattoo inks for leather.
After explaining all this, my friend was impress and didn’t want the jacket anymore. He was giving the jacket to me for free. I actually wasn’t happy about this proposition. I told him to return it to the seller but said that if he’d return it, he would have to pay for shipping which is about $50+. Instead of wasting that 50, he’d rather give it to me and have me to something creative with it as he also knew the leather was high quality.
Again, I wasn’t too happy about this but hey, he’s giving it to me and I hate wasting anything made from things that used to be alive. My customer knows that I highly treasure animals and the special resources they provide us to feed and protect us from the elements.
So the plan:
Scrape off the top layer coat and dye the jacket. I told my customer, there is a 50% chance the jacket could get jacked up but he said go for it.
Let’s see what happens. To be continued.