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Urban Legend: Oil and Stitching?

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  • Urban Legend: Oil and Stitching?

    I was always told that too much oil will disintegrate stitching. I always believed it. But I was recently told that although oil may damage older natural-fiber thread, modern tack is stitched with nylon thread and that oil won't hurt the stitching anymore.

    Anyone know which is the truth?
    Originally posted by tidy rabbit
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.

  • #2
    Oil and other conditioning products will still degrade the Nylon stitching but not as much as they would on the older tack without Nylon thread used in the stitching.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    • #3
      I always thought it was:

      Neatsfoot COMPOUND oil will destroy stitching.

      Neatsfoot oil will not?
      FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


      • #4

        Maybe it depends on the oil that's used?....
        I've worked in a tack store too.
        But local leatherworkers & tack shops in our area always recommend oiling new tack so why is that the standard if it's alledgedly bad?!? Most recommend using a lighter oil like Hydrophane that really soaks in. I've got bridles that're 20 yrs old I swear that I oil every year or 2 whenever they get dry. I think more bridles die from cracking & breaking from a LACK of oil than from broken stitching which can be fixed by the way!!!
        PLUS who wants a bridle to last 20 years anyway!!!? Don't we all want a new one every now and then?!!!


        • #5
          Originally posted by naters View Post
          I always thought it was:

          Neatsfoot COMPOUND oil will destroy stitching.

          Neatsfoot oil will not?
          Something like that yes but the compound oil is not what you want to use because it often contains petro chemical additives which will do a number on leather. The non-compound oil will usually not have those so it is safer to use.
          Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


          • #6
            I have always used Tanners on new leather before using it and then a few times a year to keep it in good shape - never had any stitching issues. The barn I grew up riding in used Lexol on everything and always had tack going out for repairs.


            • #7
              I got into a discussion at a show recently with a tack vendor who was oiling an new (and quite expensive brand) saddle. He was using hydrophane and told me that most of his manufacturers recommend it. He also told me that you shoudn't over-oil your tack - once a year really well is probably plenty if kept clean after it is broken in. More than that and the leather weakens.
              A proud friend of bar.ka.


              • #8
                I have often wondered about the cleaner claims also...

                Where one person claims cleaner A eats stitching, but another person claims it doesn't, and yet another claims cleaner B eats stitching, etc....

                What does all these have in common, Water, or the amount of water used... maybe the people having trouble was using too much water. JUST A THOUGHT
                " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
                  Something like that yes but the compound oil is not what you want to use because it often contains petro chemical additives which will do a number on leather. The non-compound oil will usually not have those so it is safer to use.
                  Beval recommends the compound, especially for darkening. Personally I don't care for Neatsfoot oil, either pure or compound. My favorites are Tanner's Oil and Walsh's Blue Ribbon.

                  For anyone who read the recent article in COTH on care and cleaning of tack, it was said that with the nylon thread used today, rotting was not an issue anymore regardless of whether leather was oiled or not.


                  • #10
                    One major problem with oil...it attracts and hold dust..as in the dust everywhere when you ride in the ring (inside and out). The dust acts an abrasive, wearing out the stitching just like sand paper.

                    So, any product that holds the dust in the stitching weakens the thread holding the saddle together.
                    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
                      The dust acts an abrasive, wearing out the stitching just like sand paper.

                      So, any product that holds the dust in the stitching weakens the thread holding the saddle together.
                      The dust is just as abrasive on the leather, not only the stitching, which was brought out in the article in COTH. That's why its so important to wipe down your tack after each use, even if you don't really clean it, just wipe off the dust and dirt each time you ride.


                      • #12
                        I have only heard of this in reference to Neatsfoot....not all oils.
                        FWIW I use olive oil....has natural anti fungal qualities and is not oily oil....absorbs in and leaves no greasy residue.
                        Providence Farm


                        • #13
                          Sounds like a good Mythbusters show item!!
                          Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                          • #14
                            I've never oiled a piece of tack, but I do use conditioner. Does everyone see these as two separate things or are they interchangeable?

                            My understanding of the proper way:

                            Wipe tack with damp cloth/sponge
                            Clean with soap
                            Wipe off soap with damp cloth/sponge
                            Apply conditioner

                            Oil to be used only if tack is really dry, brittle, neglected.

                            As far as stitching, when I got my saddle the instructions said to condition it first, as the conditioner should repel WATER which is damaging to stitching.

                            I've also had people tell me they only wipe their tack with a dry or damp cloth, and use soap very rarely, because any type of soap is soooo bad for leather.

                            Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


                            • #15
                              Having my PhD. in tack cleaning, I can assure you that neatsfoot is perfectly fine for your tack, as long as it isn't overdone. Every one of the hundreds of bridles I have oiled in the last 40 years or so has been done with neatsfoot. And none have ever had a problem with rotted stitching, or anything else,for that matter.

                              I disagreed with much of the article in COTH. My method is simple, but I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use just plain water on my tack without conditioning immediately thereafter. I would NEVER just "wipe off the leather" with plain water. I use ammonia/water to clean it, and glycerine to condition it. Period. I have no stickiness or tackiness, even in the humid summer. And my bridles are gorgeous, even the less expensive ones.

                              Use what you want, but spending a lot of money on product isn't necessary.


                              • #16
                                I'm a little behind in my Chronicles. Is this article online? Or does anyone know which issue it was in?



                                • #17
                                  I have used Neatsfoot oil on my tack (both western and english) for 50 years. I have NEVER, NEVER had the stitching on a single piece of tack rot, ever. It's hogwash...


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                                    Sounds like a good Mythbusters show item!!
                                    Hmmm... Though I would appreciate that episode very much, don't theyusually always end by blowing up the subjects of their "busting"? I'm not sure I could standby to see a butet blown to pieces...
                                    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look
                                    around once in a while you could miss it.

                                    Popular Vote - Delaney


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                      I'm a little behind in my Chronicles. Is this article online? Or does anyone know which issue it was in?

                                      It's in the Feb 20th show jumping issue.

                                      By the way, it's still wicked cold here.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by elizabeth1 View Post
                                        It's in the Feb 20th show jumping issue.

                                        By the way, it's still wicked cold here.
                                        Thanks! I think that one just caught up with me today, as a matter of fact. Haven't read it yet.

                                        Sorry to hear about the weather. At least the end should be in sight now!