Taking Extra Care of Keepsakes

Taking Extra Care of Keepsakes


I lost my father in 2001. He was trying to do better, but years of smoking and general unhealthy living had taken a toll on his body. It came as a shock to us all, he was only 57. I miss him.

Those that knew my dad knew he collected about everything under the sun. He had a room dedicated to his collections, all of which he had purchases at auctions, thrift stores or yard sales. There was the Smurf figures collection, a collection of pocket knives, beer coasters, picture disc records, stamps, coins, baseball cards, Swatch watches – you name it, he had a small collection of them. After his passing my brother and I kept a few of the stashes, but most were resold a couple years later in our own yard sale. Dad saved a lot of things, but not too many things of his own. Everything was from someone else and none of what he left behind had much meaning to me on an individual basis.

Then I found something in the closet. A leather coat he had been wearing recently (yes, another yard sale find). This one struck me differently as I remembered him always wearing some type of leather coat. This particular coat was probably from the 80’s and was a reproduction of an older bomber jacket.

We used Chamberlain's Leather Milk to help keep our keepsake leather jacket in the family for years to come. - SahmReviews.comAfter finally losing a few (50) pounds a couple years ago, I realized I could now proudly wear dad’s old jacket and still have a piece of him with me every day.

We used Chamberlain's Leather Milk to help keep our keepsake leather jacket in the family for years to come. - SahmReviews.com

But after wearing it as my primary winter coat for a couple seasons, the leather was starting to dry up and I was afraid it wouldn’t last much longer.

I had always been a fan of Saddleback Leather Company‘s high-quality leather products, but had never had the opportunity of owning one myself. I found out that the same people had created a new company whose products were specifically designed to preserve the very items they had already been successful in selling.

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk line looked exactly like what I needed to make sure I could continue to wear this coat for years and years.

We used Chamberlain's Leather Milk to help keep our keepsake leather jacket in the family for years to come. - SahmReviews.comPackaged with the 8oz. bottle of formula #1, Leather Care Liniment, was a soft applicator (a nice touch). Application was about as easy as you can imagine, just pour a little on the applicator pad and rub it into the leather.

We used Chamberlain's Leather Milk to help keep our keepsake leather jacket in the family for years to come. - SahmReviews.comI was able to complete the entire jacket in under 10 minutes and then hung it so it could continue to absorb all of the liniment. Because it has been so long since it had been treated or conditioned, I decided to repeat the process a second time a couple days later.

We used Chamberlain's Leather Milk to help keep our keepsake leather jacket in the family for years to come. - SahmReviews.comWhile the photos can only show you the shine, I can attest to how much softer the coat felt after one treatment, much less two. There was no greasy feel and I have no fear of it rubbing off onto other clothing or furniture. The leather wasn’t that high of a quality to start with (definitely no Saddleback!), but I can safely say by treating it we have added years to the lifespan of this coat. And all for under $20 – dad would be proud…

Chamberlain’s has an entire line of leather treatment formulas, from this general liniment to cleaners and water protectants. With Saddleback they are the leather experts, with Chamberlain’s they are the leather CARE experts. The also have a sense of humor – notice the fine print in the instructions:

We used Chamberlain's Leather Milk to help keep our keepsake leather jacket in the family for years to come. - SahmReviews.comI didn’t follow these instructions, I used the amount I felt was necessary. I’ll be able to easily treat another 5-6 coats from this bottle alone (or shoes, bags, whatever!). Maybe someday a Saddleback briefcase!

If you have a leather item or three that needs a little revitalizing, consider supporting this wonderful (US-based) company. See all of their products on their website and please pay them a visit on Twitter and Facebook as well.

What items do you have that this would work well on?


About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

41 comments on «Taking Extra Care of Keepsakes»

  1. Katrina says:

    Great review Scott for this product. It had me thinking about a couple of leather jackets that I own that would benefit from this product.
    Appreciate you sharing this great find!

  2. William says:

    If my fathers leather jacket hadn’t been in my car when it was stolen, I would definitely have given this product a try. Thanks for a great review! 🙂

  3. This stuff looks good! I love the note on the back of their bottle too!
    Popped over from Ultimate Blog Challenge.

  4. This looks like something I really need–we have so many leather jackets and leather bags and I never know how to care for them. Thanks for sharing!

  5. That is so touching, I’m glad you have this keepsake and are taking such good care of it. I love companies with a great sense of humor too!

  6. susan says:

    I have quite a few leather items that could use some sprucing up, I will have to look into this more seems like just what I need.

  7. Michael says:

    Glad you were able to find something to preserve your dad’s jacket. I liked how you combined a personal story with your product review.

  8. Kungphoo says:

    This is very interesting! I have a few coats and bags that could definitely use some upkeep. Thanks for the review!

  9. My husband should get this for his letterman jacket. Your dad’s jacket looks awesome. Keep that forever!

  10. What a difference it made!

  11. Great review Scott! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  12. Angela S says:

    This is great! I have an old leather jacket that is in rough shape, but I cannot part with it. I’ll have to see if this can help preserve what’s left of it.

  13. What a great review. I don’t have a leather jacket to use this on so I am wondering if it works well with other types of leather?

  14. How interesting that you should post this information. I feel like it was just for me. I also have an old leather jacket that I treasure, but it is in less than pristine condition. You can bet that I will be getting some Chamberlain’s Leather Milk asap. Thanks.

  15. keikilani says:

    That is great results! Think it would work on my leather couches?

  16. wow what a difference, looks great! These products sound amazing!

  17. LauraOinAK says:

    Thanks for sharing about this product line to care for leather products. That last ‘step’ for using is a hoot!

  18. Wow that is amazing! What a great product! Sorry about your dad very neat that you have something of his.

  19. Nicole B says:

    I’m sorry about your dad, he was so young for you to lose him at 57. I’m glad you are able to connect to him by wearing his leather jacket. It was the perfect thing for you to do this review. The back of the product (#5) made me laugh.

  20. Very touching story about your dad. This is a great product to help preserve products!! Love the instructions, too! I bet my hubby could use this on a few things.

  21. I think it is so nice that you were able to restore and condition that jacket! I need some for my leather goods.

  22. Janel says:

    Wow, that before and after look is impressive. I’ve never tried to treat leather before.

  23. Pam says:

    It’s great that this worked so well on your dad’s old leather jacket! I have a few leather keepsakes that I could use this on as well.

  24. Shruti J says:

    Never knew about this! Great to know… 🙂

  25. WOW.. what an awesome review Scott… the results are AMAZING!!!! Soo need to look into this for my husbands jacket.. I’m impressed

  26. My husband has a leather jacket that could really use some help. Thank you! I had no idea where to even begin!

  27. This leather revitalizing product looks fantastic – thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  28. This looks like a great product! I wonder if it would work on my leather couch, because it definitely needs some help!

  29. Toni says:

    I love that you were able to preserve the jacket. I may need to use this on some of my hubby’s dad and grandfathers things.

  30. The leather milk looks like a great product. My hubby has a few belts that would really benefit from this.

  31. Liz Mays says:

    I love that you can preserve something that has such special meaning to you. This really does sound like a great line.

  32. Wow, this is great. I had no idea you could treat leather like this. We have a couple of leather jackets that could seriously use some TLC

  33. WOW, your jacket needed some TLC. Hehe, love that last instruction. 😛

  34. It is so important that we preserve what is dear to us!

  35. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a leather product let alone did I know you had to use a product on it to keep it nice. Guess I still have stuff to learn! I love the humour on the product!

  36. I had never heard of leather milk until reading this post! It looks like such an awesome product. I will have to get some to preserve my leather items:) Thanks!

  37. Danielle says:

    Such a great review!!! I honestly need to remember to take care of our leathers!!

  38. Veronica says:

    That was an interesting call to action on the label of the bottle. Lol. Your jacket definitely needed that conditioning. Looks like a handy product to have

  39. I actually have a leather coat that is in need of a little love. I think I just might have to try this stuff.

  40. Angel H-M says:

    Thank you for this review!! My husband and I loved it! Keep up the good work… Hugs. ^_^

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