Vintage Funk smell help

Discussion in 'Care / Preservation' started by galvestonokie, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. galvestonokie

    galvestonokie Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Houston
    Dear Gents:

    was recently reading a guy's magazine, reading the ads and articles of course. came across this piece: ad from RTH vintage spray. "a tonic that takes that vintage funk out of clothes using only natural oils that won't ruin your best finds." a bit pricey at $52 at rthshop.com.
     
  2. robrinay

    robrinay Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    I'm wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. Also I don't like the idea of covering up bad smells as there's always the thought that they'll re-emerge when I'm wearing the jacket and people will think ill of me. So except for fragile extremely high value jackets which might fall apart like a 1950's Schott long m/c half-belt once did, my method is much less expensive, I wash and rinse them, handle them carefully, dry them flat and treat with Pecards when dry. With regard to the Schott - not highly expensive or high value fortunately, the fleece lining got heavy when wet and the weight tore a front panel. In addition the stitching dissolved leaving me with several leather panels which I might use as a pattern and have a go at making a replica. There are numerous threads on this forum and others which explain 'how to wash a leather jacket' in more detail.
    Rob
     
  3. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Active Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    I prefer Swamp Oil. It has an authentic smell, is a little cheaper, and has a pleasant taste if mixed with Coke.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    I just accidentally discovered a way to completely eliminate the smell of smoke and musty odor that leather gets from absorbing whatever moisture is in the air and being stored improperly. I re-purpose a lot of leather from the 80's, it's usually nice thin lambskin, Some times the dye in these jackets can run when it gets wet going into the cotton stitch of a white component of a multi-piece leather patch. Kind of a bummer to do such intricate stitching and have the white thread turn pink. So as Robrinay says, on a jacket you're not afraid to get wet, maybe the following is an option.

    I just treated the leather from a few black trench coats with about 3 gallons of warm water and a half gallon of white vinegar pre-mixed. Made sure the leather was saturated. Did this first thing in the morning and rinsed later that night so it was soaking at least 12 hours plus. Maybe 8AM -11PM. This was mainly to set the dye as black seems to always run. These jackets smelled of old perfume and cigarettes and I know the lady I got them from is hardly ever without a cigarette. So after soaking in the soup and rinsing and squeezing the leather with fresh water several times, I hung out all night until the next afternoon. The dye was set and the smell is gone, nonexistent. A few long stitches of white on a piece of this leather, cut in half then one half soaked in hot water and dried. No running of dye into the thread. The vinegar has a mild acid that burns the dye into the fibers of the leather and seems to loosen any smoke or mold that is in there as well. I did use a mild detergent to help remove any loose dye from the leather first but then just 4 or 5 rinses with warm water. I don't worry too much about the smell as it's not even noticeable on a small patch. But re-purposing leather jackets from the 80's on a regular basis, more than not they are permeated with odors from many evenings at the bar. Back in the 80's you could still smoke just about anywhere. You might think that vinegar and the acids will weaken stitches etc. but it is very mild and used to set dye in fabric anyway. I think urea is used for leather in some cases but I don't even like the thought of soaking a jacket in that. But it would probably work just as well.
     
  5. robrinay

    robrinay Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    Hey that Swamp Oil sounds great - are there any UK stockists? :lol:
     
  6. robrinay

    robrinay Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    Yep ref a2jacketpatches advice I've used white vinegar in desperation to remove really bad pit odour (not mine I hasten to add), from an old Aero A2 but only on the liner. I've also used it to remove the smell of Tom Cat spray from a couple of nylon suitcases - worked perfectly. I don't know if I have the confidence to use it on the leather of a jacket given its lower than neutral pH, but I'm sure someone on here is a Chemist and will advise on the long term effects.
     
  7. Dr H

    Dr H Active Member

    Messages:
    3,199
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    The long term effects would like be hydrolysis (degradation) and discolouration of the leather so be careful with low (or particularly high) pH products as both can have a detrimental effect on the bonds holding together the proteins in the leather.
     
  8. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Active Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    So here is where this magic juice is coming from.

    You can even see the little bottles on the table in the picture....with the three feathers sticking out of them...note: anything "good" in this boutique has a feather on it. ;)

    "From handmade leather goods to vintage turquoise jewelry, RTH is a treasure trove of leather goods and apparel mixed in with vintage and curated items; it's part-bohemian chic, part-Americana, part-curio shop, and altogether centered around the idea that a classic and functional aesthetic has global understanding and universal appeal."

    The full product description of the "vintage spray":

    "Handmade in California, this non-toxic vintage textile spray erases the unknown and makes your vintage pieces your own. The unique essential oil blend is a quick + natural way to refresh vintage clothes, accessories + furniture and infuse them with your own energy... and eliminate all the gross old smells that may be lingering! Made in collaboration with the vintage-enthusiasts behind our favorite LA boutique RTH."

    I like the part about "Made in collaboration with the vintage-enthusiasts behind our favorite LA boutique RTH"...."behind" probably means in the alley, by homeless people, or a least the cool people now wearing their old clothes. :lol:

    http://blog.urbanoutfitters.com/blog/sp ... nety_8_rth

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dr H

    Dr H Active Member

    Messages:
    3,199
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Or the cool people who took the feathers from the homeless folk... :?
     
  10. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Sounds like you'd just be covering up funky with a new funky. Stank is stank!
     
  11. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Active Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    You mean like these "homeless folk"?

    [​IMG]

    Hey old buddy, I think you might be missing the entire point here. Of course this is a $52 mini bottle of Febreze, with a squirt of something dumped in to give it an "Ode de L.A." boutique scent.

    However, maybe this is something you should be embracing. Meaning, if you ditched all your cargo shorts and t-shirts, and and went with the layered Mexican blanket and big hat with feather look, you might be able to craft an image...a style...a fashion statement...that might land you on Pawn Stars, and eventual stardom. Then YOU could be the guy who sells his own flavored clothing sprays for big bucks!

    One thing though, I think the market is exactly the opposite for this stuff. These LA boutique cool dudes think people want to smell new and clean, but that is so "been there" "done that"....isn't it?

    The future is actually going the other way, making the new over priced stuff that these guys try sell, smell old with real vintage scents ...."homeless guy", "chain smoker", "moldy basement", "Grannie's house", "cat lady", "drunk tank", and the old favorite, "B.O."....these smells need to be applied, not taken away....the question is, are you up to the challenge??? :lol:
     
  12. Dr H

    Dr H Active Member

    Messages:
    3,199
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    I didn't Uncle, but that was a far more profound comment.
    They were indeed homeless, or corralled in reservations.
     
  13. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Well, I did develop a "special sauce" as I call it to make my patches look old. I think with a little imagination I could come up with a stank sauce. As much as I love some of the Thai food my wife cooks, some of it has a stank that'll make a billygoat puke. She makes something with chili paste that smells just like feet. So I could already infuse a new pair of boots to smell vintage, I'm sure of it.
     
  14. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Active Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    See, now you are cook'en....billy goat puke would be perfect...it just takes another step to produce!
     
  15. ADC

    ADC Member

    Messages:
    126
    I tried some activated charcoal granules on a couple my jackets recently. And they bloody well worked. Got rid of musty smell and other unidentified odours with no mess.

    I used the kind made for fish tank filters and sold by pet fish aquariums. 500 grams enough to treat one jacket and they can be reused many times. I put the activated charcoal in some muslin bags, old panty hose will do also. Put the charcoal bags inside the jackets and placed jackets inside plastic rubbish bags for 4 days.
     
  16. John Lever

    John Lever Moderator

    Messages:
    6,276
    Location:
    Southern England
    Vinegar has been used as a cleaner for hundreds of years. The Royal Navy used boiling vinegar to scrub the decks after battles to remove blood.
     
  17. galvestonokie

    galvestonokie Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Houston
    i got a chuckle reading the response posts to my original post on this subject. i have recently been thinning my collection and spending a lot of time with my small collection. i prefer vintage jackets--and those with character. i am sure there are some very valuable vintage jackets out there that demand very careful care.
    on the other hand, i find that many of us are far too gentle with these jackets. in the past few years, i have been wearing a rotation of a few G1s. these vary from a WWII 422 in size 48 that is in very good condition to a Cal Sportwear AER in VGC. the biggest problem i've had is with zippers, especially the M-422s and AERs. the later G-1s tend to have much stronger zippers.
    my point is that these jackets were designed for rough use. in remembering my military aviation experience, both with 7823 series G-1s and WEP jackets, no one that i know of treated them with much extraordinary care. they were routinely thrown on chairs in ready rooms, used for pillows, worn in rain and sun, salt air and occasionally dunked in the Atlantic or Pacific. i have washed G-1s in warm soapy water, rinsed them of with a garden hose and soaked in a vinegar solution. IMHO, they just get better and continue to develop that patina and character i admire.
    a few days ago, i wore a Cal Sport AER in the elevator at work. i received a nice compliment on my "bomber" jacket from a Brit colleague. he was surprised when i told him over 50 years old, saying he thought it was new. except in the cases of very rare and valuable jackets undergoing restoration, just care for your jackets and don't be afraid to clean them like you would your other clothes from a similar material. just saying...
     
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  18. Buck Turdgeson

    Buck Turdgeson New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Looks like a typical "El Lay" hipster store front. Missing the bearded skinny jeans, Man Bun, ironic tee shirt wearing non mainstream retard listening to the Shins.

    I have had good results with Woolite/Arm and Hammer powder thrown in the washing machine with cold water. Let it soak a few hours then wash.

    Remove and lie flat on towels, then air dry on a hanger outside in the shade.

    When dry, treat with your favorite leather dressing.

    Removed dead rat smell from a 1960's G-1.

    Or buy the snake oil from the Hipster.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017 at 1:44 PM

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