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Okay Edgewood - you asked for it...unfreakin' believable

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  • Okay Edgewood - you asked for it...unfreakin' believable

    Facts: I own 3 Edgewood bridles. 2 Edgewood martingales. All are a lovely dark mahogany brown which to some extent have darkened over time, but for the most part - oiled to that color within just a few coats of Hydrophane. I am on my 7th saddle AND I work part time in a tack store.

    Point: I have some experience and knowledge about breaking in/oiling leather.

    Problem: Ordered a new Edgewood girth two months ago that I cannot get to darken for the life of me. It is not quite that "neon-Edgewood orange", but more like a neon orange-red. I contacted Lauren of Laurens Tack Trunk for suggestions as that is where I ordered the girth (she's fabulous by the way) and asking if they have maybe had a problem with this batch of leather. She contacted Edgewood and this is the reply she got directly from them.

    "The piece of leather on a girth is MUCH larger than that in strap work, so it may appear to be much lighter by virtue of there being more of it. We don't oil/dress tack here, and our dealers have many methods all of which they swear by. I have heard of people stripping with acetone, but, of course, would not recommend doing anything so drastic. Our opinion??? She'll have to wait for it to darken through use. Anything she chooses to do is up to her. Tell her to ask at Chronicle of the Horse to see what she can find out there..."



    Really Edgewood? You think the reason my girth looks neon orange-red is because it is larger than my lovely dark mahogany bridle? Really? And your best advice to me about your product is to ask COTHers? (Which is actually superb advice considering the expertise on here, but I would have ASSUMED the company would know their product more intimately than the average COTHer.) I am stunned. I think I have just purchased my last piece of Edgewood tack. Ever.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I should add the method I used to try to darken this was the same as what I used on the bridles/martingales: scrub off wax with Castile soap and darken with light coats of Hydrophane darkening oil. 12 hours in between coats. That's it.

    Am thinking of stripping it with either ammonia or acetone and trying again with the Hydrophane which was what I was asking them about - to see if they had other suggestions before I tried that.

    I should also add that I have a dark bay horse...a dark havana saddle...and dark bridle/martingale. Now imagine a neon orange-red girth. Just makes a LOVELY picture, doesn't it. Yep - you are right Edgewood, I should just wait it out.

    Comment


    • #3
      The girths are made from a different type of leather.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow. I wish I had some advice for you, but I own nothing Edgewood and I've had a few pieces of tack that have refused to darken despite all my efforts (1 piece being a 12 year old saddle - oiled and oiled and oiled some more, clean and conditioned, rained on way too many times, TONS of use, etc... still orangey.) I'd chalk it up to a sub-quality batch of leather, though you would think Edgewood would be a nice enough brand to do some quality control...

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting...I have an edgewood girth that darkened just fine. But it is almost 6 years old (maybe older) by now. And it darkened great by basically the same method you are using on your bridles(IE I DID NOT have to wait it out and use the time method). I don't know if they have changed the leather since I bought this girth new?

          I would be irritated.Possibly even return it if that is an option. Sorry I have no advice for you, just thought I would share my experience!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by JA View Post
            The girths are made from a different type of leather.
            And you know what? If that had been the response from them, I would have been okay with that. I could accept that maybe there is a difference in the leather and thus a difference in the darkening time. But they didn't say that. They said it is because the amount of leather is LARGER so that it APPEARS more orange? Are you kidding me? When I lay my bridle (less than a year old mind you) on top of it, it is like 500 shades darker. And not because it is smaller.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              So while I was sitting here getting mad at Edgewood again, I took it out on said girth.

              Attacked it with straight ammonia. Well - okay - dampened a sponge with water..squeezed out the excess...poured straight ammonia onto the sponge and scrubbed.

              Huh.

              All sorts of red dye came pouring out of the girth. Rinsed sponge in water a few times - added more straight ammonia - did the whole thing. Bucket of water was red when I was done.

              Wiped down girth with clean sponge/water.

              Immediately put on Hydrophane darkening oil. Huh. What a NICE dark color this girth suddenly has.

              Now - I have had a BAD BAD experience with using ammonia on a saddle. But for a girth...hey...I am kinda impressed.

              Still irritated at Edgewood. But liking this girth a little better.

              Comment


              • #8
                Insofar as girths have long been made from thicker leather than bridles and yet darkening just fine, I think you are right. Edgewood is slipping. Bad.

                Speaking on COTH-- where they sent you-- let me just say that any manufacturer who sends you looking elsewhere for information on their product must be losing its mind. If TrakeGirl didn't know about COTH before and was told to come here with an Edgewood problem that Edgewood couldn't solve...... Doesn't that mean everyone on venerable COTH would then *know* about the Edgewood punt?

                This is not the way I'd like to represent my company to an audience I cared about.
                Last edited by mvp; May. 19, 2010, 09:53 AM. Reason: 'cause you posted an update AND I have no grammar
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #9
                  I owned a tack shop and carried Edgewood. They switched leather suppliers and it is widely known the quality of their strap goods has gone down. Also at one point they carried an English leather which was much harder to oil than the American leather (think oiling a recent Jimmy's). The English leather did not take the oil well at all and they eventually stopped making that line. You probably got a girth made of that leather.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by JA View Post
                    The English leather did not take the oil well at all and they eventually stopped making that line. You probably got a girth made of that leather.
                    Probably not, JA. I had to wait about 6 weeks for this girth as Edgewood did not have it in stock when Lauren ordered it and they had to make it "fresh". I also have reins from that English line and totally know what you are talking about - but this is different leather.

                    And amen to MVP - I was shocked that a company that had no idea if I was a COTHer or not sent me to COTH for an answer about a problem with their product. They have TOTALLY slipped. Such a shame.

                    And the girth has dried a bit since the last update - sigh. Back to the orangish-red. I was so hopeful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why haven't you returned it to Lauren's Tack Trunk? Will she not take it back To me it sounds like its made of cheap crappy leather. A lot of tack shops won't carry Edgewood anymore because the quality has gone way down.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ready - Aim - Backfire.

                        Agreed, MVP - shame on the customer service at Edgewood! Also agreed, TrakeGirl that Lauren at Lauren's tack trunk is a doll.

                        Re: Edgewood quality: I've found their products to vary WILDLY in terms of what shade the leather does, or does not, darken to. I have a martingale I love, and a bridle I got rid of because it was a bizarre shade of mahogany purple.
                        **************
                        http://img.skitch.com/20100717-q91i7...u2ub8k6b15.jpg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You may try oiling and then setting it out in the sun, thus giving it a tan. No joke. I do this with all my new tack including my edgewood bridles. definitely works!
                          Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you work at a tack store why not call the company direct and talk to them? Don't let someone play middle man for you.

                            I work at a tack store part time myself, but I have a passier girth, an older ovation and an unknown brand one that's about 10 years old.
                            friend of bar.ka

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have 3 Edgwood Bridles and 2 breast plate martingales. I purchased a 3rd breastplate margingale last year. I sounds like similar leather. It took multiple applications of amonia to get it to darken correctly. It still bleeds a reddish color when it gets wet. I use this one on my hunt horse. Thank goodness he is chestnut not grey like my show horse. It has stained a few saddle pads. I do love their products and have chalked this up to a change in the leather.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This might be a silly question, but why are you buying tack that isn't the right colour in the first place? Or is it because there is so much variation in tan shades? (come over to the dark (dressaging) side where it's all black tack much easier ).

                                Secondly, I'd be really reluctant to use ammonia on leather. Leather is tanned with acid agents to give it strength & durability. Ammonia is a really strong alkaline, so whislt you are stipping out the dye, you're also taking out the tanning agents & weakening the leather.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by dressageUK View Post
                                  This might be a silly question, but why are you buying tack that isn't the right colour in the first place? Or is it because there is so much variation in tan shades? (come over to the dark (dressaging) side where it's all black tack much easier ).

                                  Secondly, I'd be really reluctant to use ammonia on leather. Leather is tanned with acid agents to give it strength & durability. Ammonia is a really strong alkaline, so whislt you are stipping out the dye, you're also taking out the tanning agents & weakening the leather.
                                  It is normal for H/J tack to need oiling and breaking in before it is the proper pretty mahogany color. We are often a bit reluctant to buy the dark havana stuff because for years, it was the mark of tack made with a lesser quality leather (or some imperfections in the hide) that had to be "disguised" by the darker color.

                                  High quality strapgoods - think Sedgewick leather - start out a sort of pale and slightly orangey color. However, they darken right up with a light coat of oil or two.

                                  Sadly I agree that Edgewood, once known for beautiful tack, has now sadly gone way downhill. I do wonder if they now get their leather from multiple sources - of varying quality. I have a headstall that I bought recently that seems to be quite nice, but I've seen other stuff, including girths, that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. (Yes, I am a tack snob.)

                                  OP, I am really sorry you've had that experience and the response from Edgewood was RIDICULOUS.

                                  I am a big fan of using olive oil to help darken leather and would suggest you try it on your girth, to see if it helps at all.
                                  **********
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                  -PaulaEdwina

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm not going to pass judgement on Edgewood but the price of leather on the commodities market (yes, leather is a commodity) has gone through the roof. The reason is partly due to the growing number of companies making leather goods, particularly China. Secondly, the number of people eating red meat has been declining and hence the supply of cows is decreasing driving up the cost. I was told this directly by Sedgwick so no joke.

                                    I am curious how this is all going to turn out. Will manufacturers sacrifice the quality of the leather and/or workmanship to maintain their profit margin or will they be forced to raise their prices to compensate for the extra cost of procuring high quality leather? From the many comments I've been seeing on COTH regarding recent purchases I'd say it's more the former and perhaps this is what you are seeing with your Edgewood girth.
                                    Five Star Tack

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Actually that is not correct that Sedgwick leather starts out pale and orangey. Australian Nut, Dark Havana, Conker and Newmarket are all finished shades of leather that Sedgwick makes. If you visit their website http://www.je-sedgwick.co.uk you can view their entire color range. In addition Sedgwick Dark Havana is not dyed to hide flaws in the leather.

                                      Just felt the need to straighten that out and to point out that there are a few companies out there saying they use Sedgwick leather when in fact they don't so maybe this is where the misinformation comes from.
                                      Five Star Tack

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by redlight View Post
                                        Actually that is not correct that Sedgwick leather starts out pale and orangey. Australian Nut, Dark Havana, Conker and Newmarket are all finished shades of leather that Sedgwick makes. If you visit their website http://www.je-sedgwick.co.uk you can view their entire color range. In addition Sedgwick Dark Havana is not dyed to hide flaws in the leather.

                                        Just felt the need to straighten that out and to point out that there are a few companies out there saying they use Sedgwick leather when in fact they don't so maybe this is where the misinformation comes from.
                                        Sorry, I should have been clearer. I said in years past, the darker colors were often the mark of lesser quality (from other brands, not Sedgewick.)

                                        The Sedgewick strapgoods I have did start out pale, but all darkened beautifully.
                                        **********
                                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                        -PaulaEdwina

                                        Comment

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