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white bloom on leather



Greetings.
        After "lurking" for a time I now come forward with a problem I have
recently encountered.  I unrolled some pieces of oasis niger that I had put
away, and found that it is covered with a white bloom.  At first I thought
that this was a powdery mildew, although the leather is not damp and has no
odour.  On looking in my books to see how to remove mildew/mould from
leather, I found mention in Middleton that leather with a soapy residue can
dry with a white bloom on it. Johnson also mentions a white bloom that may
appear on cleaned leather, as a result of salts coming to the surface;
neither says what exactly one should do about this.  Incidentally, neither
do they say what to do about mould or mildew.
        How do I know what I have, and what should I do about it?  Is the
leather usable?  These aren't whole hides, but it's nice leather and I would
like to match something I have already made.  The "powder" brushes off
easily with a dry cloth, except for a few spots that need more vigorous
rubbing.  Any suggestions will be gratefully received.  Thank you.

    Patricia L. Chalmers, Halifax, Nova Scotia


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