Mink Oil?

Please share your knowledge on how to keep your vintage gloves in great shape and looking sharp.

Mink Oil?

Postby Cowboy7130 » July 6th, 2007, 2:18 am

What are some of the standard opinions on using mink oil on a glove? I got a glove in the mail the other day with a nearly new can of mink oil ... did that guy know something I don't know?
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Postby BretMan » July 6th, 2007, 10:58 am

I personally would not recommend it.

According to the book "Glove Affairs", by Noah Liberman (a book that anyone interested in the glove collecting hobby should have on their shelf), mink oil is a paste at room temperature. As such, it will resist penetration of the leather. Even if heat is applied to the glove to get the mink oil flowing, it will harden again as soon as the glove is cooled.

It is my understanding that mink oil is primarily used to waterproof leather goods. The paste-like consistency of the oil clogs the pores of the leather, preventing moisture from being absorbed.

That is the "by-the-book" explanation. My own experiences back this up.

Back around 1980- before I knew better!- I treated a new glove with a heavy helping of mink oil. While the short-term results were okay, I still have this glove today and it is not in very good shape. My observations:

- Asthetically, the leather became very dark and eventually went from a light brown to almost black in spots.

- The glove became overly-floppy and has a mushy feel. It has a difficult time holding its shape, even after being relaced.

- While the glove is floppy, the outer surface of the leather is cracked and "alligatored" and seems quite distressed. The thinner leather in the lining of the glove has virtually disintergrated.

This is the only glove that I ever used mink oil on, and it is the only glove I've had that exhibits this degree of deterioration. With other proven conditioners readily available, I would steer clear of the mink oil!
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Thanks!

Postby Cowboy7130 » July 6th, 2007, 1:35 pm

Wow, gonna go chunk that can right now! Thanks for the info!
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Re: Mink Oil?

Postby madhatter » December 15th, 2011, 10:05 am

What is sold as Mink Oil is not very good for any leather because it is only a very small percentage of actual mink oil. If it were 100% mink oil it would be very good but is mostly just Vaseline or some sort of other petroleum based product. Real mink oil would be rather expensive.
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