Originally Posted by Will M
I believe you'll find these leather conditioners do not suggest using on antique leather but on old leather items that will be used for their intended purpose. Proper storage is the best thing you can do for "antique" leather. Never apply anything to rayskin, dry and hard is what you want, soft only tears. I have recovered sword grips with rayskin and when soaked with water to make it form it tears easily. Once dry it is like a rock and grippy, this is why it was used. It drys tight to a wooden core, any application of softeners will destroy its ability to remain on the grip. For pliable rayskin you will find it is tanned and made into wallets etc. Tanned rayskin was never used on sword grips, for one you cannot form it to a wooden core. Most rayskin sold online is tanned and unsuitable for sword grip use or sword scabbard panels. I find microcrystalline wax fine for rayskin and it will not penetrate the surface to soften the skin.