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    Hi guys, I need help - my house burned last month and I got my buckskin out but one shoulder is burned and it has some smoke damage. Anyone know how I might go about cleaning it? I'm going to replace the one shoulder and bead over it but as far as the smell and color of smoke on the front and back :dontknow:
    I don't have a clue where to start.
    Don't bring a JV player into my Varsity Game...

  • #2
    Oh my, how terrible.

    Look in the Yellow Pages and find someone who does smoke damage cleaning and restoration. (Get references as this is a scam rich area -- trust me on that:( ) But they do have processes, that do not involve treating the leather with any chemical solutions, which can reduce the smell. As for the color, I really haven't any good ideas. A good conservator may be able to advise you.

    Sincerely,
    OLChemist

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    • #3
      thanks olchemist ;) I think they do something called ozonation?????? Not sure though but I'll check it out.
      Don't bring a JV player into my Varsity Game...

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      • #4
        If your buckskin was smoked it is washable. I don't know if this outfit would have feathers, but if not the smell can be removed by hand washing the buckskin with warm water and saddle soap. I wash mine by soaking in a bucket the the saddle soap dissolved in the bucket and rinsing with warm water. Then I resmoke the peice to help retain washability. Since I don't know the nature of your skin, I don't know if this will help. I hope you and yours are okay after such a terrible event.

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        • #5
          thanks wilderness woman, I've never used saddle soap on a buckskin. No, no feathers involved. It's a old buckskin, was my grandmas, no beadwork or anything. Plain buckskin. I think that it might have even shrank a bit too from the heat and the water when they were putting the fire out. I know that buckskins are about $1200 without beadwork and I was saving this one for my daughter so I'd like to try to save it if possible - I'll give the saddle soap a try and let you know. What kind of hide/tan is yours?
          Don't bring a JV player into my Varsity Game...

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          • #6
            I do not yet have a buckskin outfit. I use most of my hides for moc's and pouches and such, and I have not yet managed to save matching hides for a buckskin of my own. I tan my hides with brains, eggyolk, or mayonaise. Then I smoke them over a green fire. Smoking a hide has the effect of making it washable.

            When buck skin is washed you must be careful not to dry it in high heat or very cold. Either of these will make the hide dry and brittle. I put only a small amount of soap in the water. You can also take the bar and rub it on the skin, but if you do it this way be sure to rinse and rinse and rinse. Don't read the directions, you have to rinse the soap out. The skin should be wrung gently dry. Get as much water out as possible. Then smooth it out and try to keep it flat. When I do clothing, I stuff it with a ton of towels around hangers. (Be careful not to let the hanger make a dent) I know this sounds like a lot, but it is not really very hard. Also it is a labor of love and you will enjoy it. Remember that your buckskin is a peice of history. The history is not tainted by the marks on the skin, it is just the next chapter in this historical peice. It might be neat to preserve the peice on display when you finish cleaning it with a history written underneath.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the advice. My life is a historical piece, lol. Always something interesting going on. Yeah, I will try this and see how it comes out. Like I said before I think the heat made it shrink so maybe I can stretch it some too. Do you think?
              Don't bring a JV player into my Varsity Game...

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              • #8
                Stretch Gently!!! Feel the hide. It will tell yu what it can do.

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                • #9
                  My god, redhorse!
                  How terrible!

                  But it can be seen as a new beginning, also.
                  Since you wrote, that there was no beadwork on it and in your first post that you're going to bead on to it now, the dress lives through a new event in its own history.

                  Wilderness woman gave you some useful tips.
                  I never washed a buckskin dress before, but I tried the "washing process" on a piece to work out the best way.

                  I just have to say, it was fascinating to make the buckskin wet. It gets slippery and is very strange to touch!
                  What you should do when you dry it:
                  take a few towels and lie them on the floor or a big table. Then put the buckskin on the towels and slowly stretch it and flatten it.

                  Then take more towels and press it on the buckskin to dry it slowly. When you wring it out you have to bring it back in shape which is a lot more work!
                  When the towels are damp take new ones and continue the pressing. Don't rub, cause this will make it rough.

                  Hope I could help a little more.
                  Good luck!
                  Join my FB page:
                  https://www.facebook.com/#!/NatamBeadwork


                  Live each and every day of your life as though it would be your last!

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                  • #10
                    Selina's got some good tips too. For a dress I think her method of water removal is better. And that point
                    Don't rub, because this will make it rough.
                    a very important point!!

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                    • #11
                      You know, no one has said whether this dress is Brain tan or commercial. That does make a bit of a difference on how it is cleaned. Is it slick on one side and sueded on the other, sueded on both sides. What color are we talking about?


                      tipis

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                      • #12
                        It's braintan.
                        Don't bring a JV player into my Varsity Game...

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                        • #13
                          I have more of the white rock if you need it. I know you have some, but thats the only thing i use for cleaning.

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                          • #14
                            Hi redhorse!

                            How are you doing with the cleaning of your dress?
                            I hope you are doing fine!
                            :D
                            Join my FB page:
                            https://www.facebook.com/#!/NatamBeadwork


                            Live each and every day of your life as though it would be your last!

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