Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Monday, 24 January 2011 09:50
Disappointed with some of the recent experiments I have undertaken with various forms of leather treatments and waxes for my hardworking boots I have decided to carry out a trial with some Wilmas Kängskosmorning.
I have been somewhat disappointed with the quality of a pair of Danner Grouse boots that I purchased about eighteen months ago; they developed severe leaks and part of the sole developed a crack within approximately 7-8 months of purchase. I am so very disappointed that a pair of boots costing well over £200 should fail in less than a year.
I did contact the retailer that I purchased the boots from and was advised to wait while some distribution issues were resolved. I have recently contacted the retailer, who has been exceptionally helpful at all stages, to find out what the situation is regarding repair or replacement and it appears that a full written report is required. In the mean time I have used the boots on the dry days we occasionally get here in the United Kingdom.
That aside I must admit that the Danner Grouse are a supremely comfortable pair of boots and I have been able to wear them whilst the fields and woodlands in Kent have been either snow covered or frosted. On my last outing I returned late one afternoon and the ground temperature had risen sufficiently for the boots to get covered in mud and the use of the boots in the snow had removed all traces of leather treatment. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to get the Wilmas Kängskosmorning out and give an audition!
Sadly the tin only has information written in Swedish, which reads:-
“En exklusiv lädersmorning av gammal typ, tillverkad av de ädlaste naturråvaror såsom: Björk- och tjärolja, kådharts samt naturfetter. Wilmas kängskosmorning har en god förmåga att tränga in i lädret och gör det därför oavsett tjocklek mycket mjukt, smidigt och starkt vattenavvisande. Wilmas kängskosmorning ger även vid upprepad användning en mjuk antik färgton åt blekt ofärgat läder.”
As my Swedish isn’t up to much, in fact it is nonexistent, I have used various internet sites and some intuition in an attempt to translate for my own needs:-
“An exclusive leather dressing of the old type, made from the choicest natural ingredients such as: birch and pine tar and natural fats. Wilma leather dressing has a good ability to penetrate the leather and therefore makes any thickness very soft, smooth and highly water resistant. Wilma leather dressing gives after repeated use a soft antique hue to pale coloured leather.”
Please Note: - I’m not accountable for the accuracy of the above translation as this is for my own use, I would however appreciate contributions from anybody with a better understanding of Swedish than myself! Please use the Contact Page if you can provide a better translation.
Firstly I carefully washed the leather and the fabric of the boots in cold water and left them to thoroughly dry in a cool section of the office.
With the leather perfectly dry I gently heated the wax prior to use in a tin of warm water to aid better penetration into the leather.
I have always been an avid supporter of working leather treatments into boots, gloves and the like with my hands. This not only reduces waste when we might use a cloth but I believe it also allows for the warmth of ones hands to aid the penetration of the dressing considerably further into the leather. With the product containing what I believe to be birch and pine tar I decided to use a pair of latex gloves to prevent too much contact with my hands.
The warm dressing penetrated deeply into the leather leaving it looking as good as new and I have been pleased with the results. I will now use this leather treatment on a pair of black Lowa Mountain Boots GTX to see how they turn out and post the results to this blog.
I must admit that I do have an initial confidence in this product and hope that the long term results are more positive than other leather treatments I have tried over the years!