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Help With Holster Collection Preservation

1470 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  shawn martin
Hello, Can anyone advise me and or comment on how they store their collector grade leather holsters ? While having a new rug installed in my study, I had to move a portion of my holster collection out of the closet so the rug could be put down. While the boxes were out of the closet, I figured I'd take a quick look through them to make sure the contents were OK. Well, it's a good thing I did check because almost all of the leather holsters have developed a dark green corrosion (growth) around the metal components. I've encountered this before on leather goods, especially on items that had been stored in cold & damp climates. However, as this batch of holsters included many "good" collector grade rigs, I had packaged everything with a little better care. Each holster was placed in a freezer grade zip-loc bag, and then placed in it's own cardboard box. I had purposely stored these items in a regular, fully heated room of the house, not in the basement or garage. Hopefully I'll be able to clean off the corrosion on the black rigs OK, but the lighter colored ones may be permanently damaged / stained. Where did I go wrong ? Should I have used some form of anti-moisture blocks or packets ? Is storing them in zip-loc bags a good idea ? As always, ANY & ALL replies will be most deeply appreciated. THANK YOU. Regards, Dom Pastore Jr.
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Dom, I am no expert on preservation but over the years I have observed hundreds of holsters that have some into my shop for repair. The dark green goo that you have observed is verdigris. It is the copper sulfate leaching out of the brass the metal componants are made of. Exposure to air is enough for this to occour. The only way I know of to stop this is to coat the brass with something to stop air getting to it. Some clear substance like nail polish or shellack or whatever might be on today's market. It can be cleaned off with a soft brush and cloth. Be very carefull you do not mash it into the leather as it is oily and will stain as you surmised. Hope this helps, Jerry Burney
This is a common problem on leathergoods and web gear from both the World Wars, that are both in collections and that are lying around in closets, untended for decades. Now that the World War Two generation is passing, more treasures are going to pop up in various states of repair. Thanks for this posting. It taught me a lot I didn't know.
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