Being in the leather business for many years, we've had the opportunity
to experiment with and test a myriad of products that profess to "preserve
and protect" fine leather goods. Some of them achieve respectable
results and some aren't worth the effort it takes to open their container.
In the former category, the best of the 'best' that we've used is Chelsea
Produced by Caswell & Co. of Kettering, England since 1890, it's described
by the manufacturer as an "all natural formula of oils and waxes".
Not being chemists we don't know exactly what's in it, but we can tell
you that it works! We've used it on all sorts of leather riding boots,
work boots, shoes, jackets, pants and gloves with outstanding results.
We like to give the leather all it will drink which usually requires a
second application. Any excess can be wiped off or allowed additional
time to soak in.
Halfway between a cream and a paste and applied with a piece of cloth,
Chelsea Leather Food takes anywhere from an hour to over night to penetrate
depending upon the amount applied and the dryness of the leather. It will
leave your gear soft and flexible. We've been amazed at some of the old,
dry, neglected leather that this product has brought back to life. We
use the clear for most applications, but it's also available in a black
that's useful in restoring a new appearance to black leather garments.
One 6 1/4 oz. 'tin' did 4 pairs of low cut 'paddock' boots, 3 pairs of
knee length riding boots, 2 pairs of calf length 'Wellington' type boots,
1 waist length jacket and one 2-piece riding suit and we still had about
a quarter left in the can. (Hey, that's a lot of hide, and we DIDN'T use
If you know of a better product for the treatment and preservation of
leather please let us know. For now, we're sold on Chelsea Leather Food.
We think you will be too.