birchees.ca is our sister company and offers high performance all natural leather conditioner and leather wax. I will be offering both of those products here on OtzisPouch as well. A year of extensive testing and development went into the leather conditioner and wax and they are unique in a few different ways, they also offer better performance and longevity than any of the other leather products we tested, and we have been testing many and continue to do so.
If you are interested in purchasing Birchees leather conditioner and wax there is a link at the bottom of this article to them in the store.
Birchees Leather Conditioner & Wax Benefits
- All natural and safe.
- Penetrates leather and lubricates fibers without over softening.
- Makes leather highly resistant to saltwater damage, mold, and fungus.
- Repels insects, bugs, and worms.
- PH matched and high oxidative stability.
- Can be used as a two part system, when used in that way leather is waterproof yet still breathes.
- Unlike animal based products it will not go rancid, and oxidization in the leather is minimal.
- Long lasting. Effects and benefits can last up to a year depending on use. As a comparison Neatsfoot oil loses its ability to repel water after 2-3 days, Minks oil in 6-7 days, and Atsko Sno-Seal also 6-7 days.
- The smell of “Russia Leather”. The leather conditioner and wax both impart a unique smoky smell on leather that lasts for many months. This is the same smell that Russia Leather was famous for and one of the reasons it was so highly sought after.
- Increased wear resistance.
- Instead of weakening and shortening the stitching lifespan it protects and extends it.
Why Birchees Leather Conditioner & Wax Instead Of Others
Other products / substances can and will go rancid and oxidize heavily in the leather. Some of the most common ones are Mink oil, Neatsfoot oil, and bear grease. This is called Oxidative Rancidity, it happens over time and is caused by oxygen in the air. Light can accelerate this process. A common and known way to judge oxidative stability of an oil is Iodine Value (IV), the lower the number the better, here are some examples:
Coconut Oil: 10 (the lowest of all plant and animal oils)
Neatsfoot Oil: 50-70
Bear Grease: 52-110 (interesting note here, the softer or more liquid bear grease is at room temperature the lower its iodine value tends to be). Read in detail here.
Mink Oil: 84-89 (see here breakdown of mink oil done by Belgium Ministry Of Health)
Castor Oil: 81-91
Olive Oil: 75-94
Canola Oil: 110-126
Oxidative rancidity in leather is often overlooked or mistaken for something else such as the need to reapply. Some common signs are whitening, or lightening, drying, and cracking. Another type of rancidity is microbial rancidity and this is more common with animal based substances or products. Oxidative rancidity occurs in all oils, greases, and fats, it is about how much and how fast.
Oxidative rancidity can be significantly slowed and reduced by the addition of antioxidants and Tocopherol(s). Birchees leather conditioner & wax are both stabilized with a custom mix of all natural antioxidants and tocopherol(s) making which makes it highly stable with minimal oxidization, that little oxidization is also slowed.
Microbial rancidity is also not an issue for Birchees products due to the Birch tar oil and its strong anti-microbial properties.
Birchees Leather Products Are pH Matched
Something rarely talked about is pH and its importance when it comes to leather. Leather is or should be acidic in the neighborhood of 4.5 to 5.0, yet many leather conditioners and other products such as saddle soap are alkaline. Saddle soap for instance has a pH of 9 – 10, which is harmful to your leather. Use of alkaline products on your leather will cause a chemical reaction which causes the leather and stitching to darken, harden, and eventually crack. Birchees leather conditioner and wax are pH matched and consistently fall inside the 4.5 – 5.0 pH range.
A Two Part System
To obtain the best possible performance a two part system is needed, a conditioner needs to be a conditioner and excel in its role, as does a protectant / water repellant. A conditioner is meant to penetrate and restore, rejuvenate, replace the oils and lubricate fibers, it should also adjust the pH if needed. Some products attempt to also add protection by adding wax but if you add wax you also need to add a solvent or you will not have the needed penetration. The solvent compromises the waxes effectiveness long-term, and I have yet to see a product that conditions & protects whose protection lasts more than seven days.
Birchees conditioner & wax will work standalone, and exceptionally well, but they were designed to work together and when applied in that way are unbeatable in performance, protection and longevity.
Birchees Leather Conditioner: https://otzispouch.ca/product/birchees-all-natural-leather-conditioner/
Birchees Leather Wax: https://otzispouch.ca/product/birchees-all-natural-leather-wax/
Birchees Bundle Pack (conditioner + wax): https://otzispouch.ca/product/birchees-leather-wax-bundle/