AMERICAN RIDER / JULY / AUGUST 2003
REVIEWED BY BUZZ BUZZELLI
Some leather jackets fade away before the leather itself loses its lustre, before the seams break, the liner shreds and zippers pop off. However, certain leather goods--like my vest from S&S Product--just keep on giving good service and never seem to deteriorate. Except the black colour that's turning gray from long exposure to sunlight. After some six years of service, it had faded across the tops of the shoulders and the back.
Before buying some expensive leather dye, I decided to give Leather Mate a try. Its reputation had preceded it--I'd heard of it before by word of mouth. It's a paste that comes in 7-ounce jars and it's been made for more than 50 years in Italy. The maker claims that, used as directed, one tub is enough to condition about 300 pairs of boots.
The main ingredient is bee's wax. There are no silicones, detergents, petroleum or alcohol-ingredients that have raised some controversy about long-term effects on leather.
When I first rubbed on the Leather Mate, I was surprised at how dark it immediately colored the leather. Other than a commercial dye, I'd never used a conditioning product that blackened leather so thoroughly. And it didn't overwhelm me with any obnoxious fumes. When finished, the vest appeared near-new, it didn't feel sticky or greasy—-it felt natural.
A year after applying the Leather Mate, the vest has faded only slightly, and has retained its original lustre. I applied a very small amount to the shoulder area to freshen it up.
Leather Mate comes in neutral--the overall most popular tint--and black, which is more preferred among the biker crowd. It has a 100 percent money back guarantee, and we're not asking for our money back. It seems to work great.
Leather Mate works on boots and gloves, even luggage, anything made of--guess what?--leather. Not recommended for suede, nubuck, lamb or deer skins. When using it, follow the directions and test it on a small area first.